GRIT Studio mapping

Every child experiences poverty differently. Support should never be one-size-fits all.


At Higher Ground, we are leading a comprehensive solution to the obstacles that threaten an individual’s achievement in school and in life, ensuring that poverty - and all of the social, economic and psychological obstacles that often come with it - does not hinder them from realizing their greater potential.

The key to that endeavor is acknowledging that every individual experiences poverty and trauma differently, and we must understand a child’s unique circumstances in order to provide the tailored support he or she needs.

Since 2012, we have been developing a proprietary mapping tool, called the GRIT Studio Mapping.

This innovative mapping tool allows for our team to recognize existing or potential stress factors, traumatic experiences, service gaps, risks, and current supports/resources for each student. Notes are taken throughout the process and key items are added to the student’s map, transforming it into less of a “tool” and more of a living document that follows the student’s progress throughout their time in our program and is updated as the child and his/her environment changes.

Additionally, the mapping is used to create a forum for individualized goal setting for each student, as well as provide a checklist for Higher Ground staff to provide the appropriate services based on the student’s needs and follow-up on evolving needs.

As a result, our maps help us provide a continuum of responsive, holistic care to the student, and build deeper relationships as we work alongside parents, schools, community health agencies, and others to address his/her needs and help guide him/her on a path toward success and self-improvement.

GRIT Studio Mapping In Action:

Many of our students here at Higher Ground are diagnosed with an attention deficit disorder (either ADD, or ADHD, which includes hyperactivity among the individual’s symptoms). However, each of these youth will require different help, depending on his or her specific lived experience.

By using GRIT Studio mapping information, not only can we understand each individual student better and how their individual needs can be addressed, but the mapping also provides important information about the strengths and resources he/she has, and creates an empowering environment rather than one that focuses on the "problems" that need to be fixed.

The GRIT Studio Mapping may not necessarily be predictive, but it does help Higher Ground staff in recognizing patterns in behavior and assists in developing approaches to helping a child overcome obstacles associated with poverty and/or trauma.


*As of 2018, our GRIT Studio Mapping tool is being programmed into software.