Reach. Transform. Elevate.


Our mission is to empower one life at a time to REACH, TRANSFORM and ELEVATE their community through love and building character.

For us, Higher Ground is more than just a place, but rather, it’s a culture-infusing catalyst that aims create system-wide change, building up our high-need communities - one child and family at a time - and creating collaborative networks of support that ultimately uplift our entire city.

We believe that the issues in our community and schools is NOT an achievement gap. There is no achievement gap, rather, there is an opportunity gap. This opportunity gap creates the pervasive mindset among our youth and families that leads to some of the behaviors that they manifest. We recognize that those behaviors are rooted in the lack of access to opportunities and support in their lives.

We feel that the best way to empower people and realize their opportunities is to focus on our relationships with the people we serve, recognizing the unlimited potential every individual possesses for a meaningful, responsible future, working to convince each person to believe this is possible, and supporting them in becoming the heroes of their own stories. By investing in the mental, emotional, social, spiritual, and physical health of each individual, we invest in the health and well-being of our entire community.

Our ability to transform so many lives is thanks to several core beliefs that we strive to not only uphold ourselves, but also to instill in the people we serve:

  • Giving Love - Every individual is worthy of love and deserves a nurturing environment that allows him or her to grow, regardless of background, behavior, or actions.

  • Building Character - Every individual needs to understand the value of self-discipline, in knowing how to act and control their emotions, and in being guided by a good character and the will to become a contributor in the community.

  • Nurturing Passion - Every individual needs an environment that exposes them to many possibilities; an environment that nurtures their passionate nature and allows them to learn the skills needed to overcome any challenges they might face.

  • Encouraging Vision - Every individual needs a community where they can become positive contributors and have a happy, healthy, positive life no matter their circumstances.

Thanks to that mindset and those core beliefs, as well as to our willingness to meet families and youth where they are, in their community, we have been able to eliminate any obstacles for them to access our services and help them see that they can reach their goals right there in their own neighborhoods.

Our success is not about numbers. It’s about creating the momentum for lasting, sustainable change; it’s about individual transformation that leads to community contribution; and it's about building a stronger collective impact in our community.

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Jansen Azarias
Co-Founder and CEO

Co-Founder and CEO, Jansen Azarias

Co-Founder and CEO, Jansen Azarias

Jansen Azarias is a paragon of grit. He is everything I study — laser-focused on his goal of making kids’ lives better and, at the same time, incredibly hard-working and resilient in making that goal a reality. I’m honored to know him.
— Dr. Angela Duckworth, Character Lab