We soon met with Mr. James Fish and some of the leaders of TUSD. TUSD offered a strong partnership that provided 6 classrooms from one of the brand new wings at Valencia Middle School for 2011-2012.
Immediately our program grew from 60 students to 130 students with over 40 students in the waiting list. We maxed out our space and still remained free of charge to the community.
We also expanded our program to provide: homework tutoring, math and reading programs, tackle football for our middle school students, a dedicated boxing team, dance, art, choir, high-school career internships, character development for boys and girls, jujutsu and financial literacy.
Higher Ground is preserving a 70 year old historic landmark at Wakefield Middle School through a partnership with Tucson Unified School District. Higher Ground has created a collaboration with the following organizations:
- The Well Worship Center
- United Way
- St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
- La Frontera
- Tucson Youth Development
- Gospel Rescue Mission
- Pima Vocational High School
In the process of expanding Higher Ground Youth Center into becoming Higher Ground Community Resource Center, we moved to Wakefield Middle School. With the closure of Wakefield Middle School, the community was devastated. Due to the school closures, Valencia Middle School will now need all of its classrooms. This prompted us along with TUSD’s partnership to move into Wakefield Middle School, giving us more space and community outreach.
After 5 years of Higher Ground, Timothy, graduated from Cholla High School. His risk factors – divorced family, low income neighborhood, high crime neighborhood, and low performing schools – stated that he is 8 times or more likely to drop out of school. Timothy graduated from college at Christ For the Nations Institute. He fulfilled the Higher Ground definition of success - community contribution. He is now back in Tucson and works at Higher Ground helping reach, transform, and elevate lives. As a Child and Family advocate at Higher Ground he is building relationships with the youth and giving back to the community. Timothy’s story is not unique.