Higher Heights Youth Empowerment Programs
419 Whalley Ave, Suite 404
New Haven CT 06511
Contact Information
Address 419 Whalley Ave, Suite 404
New Haven, CT 06511-
Telephone (203) 859-6630 x
Fax 203-389-5194
E-mail chaka@higherheightsyouth.com
Web and Social Media
Mission
Our mission is to change the lives of under-represented college bound students and Empower, Encourage, and Equip them to obtain a post-secondary education.  
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 2004
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Chaka Felder-McEntire
Board Chair Gary Hogan
Board Chair Company Affiliation New Haven Housing Authority
Financial Summary
 
Projected Revenue $149,184.00
Projected Expenses $149,184.00
Statements
Mission
Our mission is to change the lives of under-represented college bound students and Empower, Encourage, and Equip them to obtain a post-secondary education.  
Background

Since 2004, Higher Heights Youth Empowerment Programs, Inc. has provided college planning services to over 400 high school students throughout the State of Connecticut. Enrollment varies year to year based on the number of applicants to the program and the goal of our College Access Program.

The program has evolved over the course of the years to now offering:

1. SAT Test Prep

2. PSAT Test Prep

3. College Counseling Sessions (Group & Individual)

4. Mentoring

5. College Tours
 
6. A program designed specifically for Parents or Guardians of our college bound students, and a 
 
7. Financial Literacy Program (College Access Savings Program 
Impact

The CSDE reports a 27.1 percent high school cumulative dropout rate for New Haven School District, indicating that a first priority is to retain students in high school through graduation. A second goal is to provide services that will prepare New Haven students from high school graduation, admission, enrollment, and graduation into and from postsecondary schools.

The College Access Program (CAP) supports the local community development efforts by engaging youth in process of self-discovery and learning about careers and postsecondary education. By assisting parents with the college preparation process, the CAP inspires students who might not have considered college to set higher goals. In addition, it generates family awareness of the importance of planning for college and identifies areas of study that need to be strengthened to assist students in fulfilling their goals.

Our CAP addresses the need to provide college planning service and has achieved the following success over the past 8 years: 100% of our high school seniors have obtained a high school diploma, and 100% of our graduating seniors have entered postsecondary education.

On average our students increase their GPAs by 10%, but more importantly our program has encouraged our students to enroll in Honors and Advanced Placement Level courses while in High School.

Most recently, for the 2012-2013 school year, we provided services to 64 high school students within the Greater New Haven area: 100% of our participating seniors graduated from high school; 100% of our participating seniors received over 75 college acceptances; 80% of all participating students were first generational college bound students; and through a post-survey the students gave the program an overall 98% participant program satisfaction rate.

The value-added that our partners brings to our CAP is equally matched by the commitment and dedication that define HHYEP that is designed around the E3 model (Empower, Encourage and Equip).

 

Needs

As HHYEP approaches our tenth anniversary in the coming year, the measure of our success is evidenced by college graduation celebrations and more importantly by those former students who now willingly give back as mentors and tutors. In order to sustain and strengthen the operations of (HHYEP), and the delivery of critical programs that promote college access possibilities for parents and students, HHYEP must increase visibly and relationships in the community and dramatically increase its fund development portfolio. The organization is at a growth point where we are need of a dedicated staff person to lead the fund development goals and message of the organization. 

Over the past years, our board and staff have worked with The Center for Capacity Development of The Workplace, Inc. Through the work and recommendations of the strategic planning consultant and the guidance of the Bard of Directors, we’ve  identified that our primary Capacity Building need is to develop and increase resources to invest in long-term organizational development and mission achievement of Higher Heights. The connection between organizational development work and the achievement of our organization's mission is the rational for pursuing assistance for doing our work.

CEO Statement This year, like many other not-for-profits, has been a trying year for Higher Heights. But every time we look into the eyes of one of our students or receive a phone call from an alumni parent who needs help completing the FAFSA; it reminds our staff that we are doing this for a greater purpose than our own.

We have learned a lot this year from program design to best practices for program expansion. And I am glad to announce that Higher Heights has formed a partnership with the Community Action Agency to create a funnel of services for our students. Students who participate in Higher Heights will continue to receive our college planning services; but will now have access to job-readiness and employment through our collaborative Manage Your Future Program.

We are also excited to become a part of a national movement through the National College Access Network. Membership with the Network will allow Higher Heights to improve program services and have access to federal funding and technology training at a national level.

Higher Heights has been in existence for ten (10) years and this year we will embark on a CAPTIAL CAMPAIGN to lay the framework for facility that will become the permanent home of Higher Heights. A facility that will allow us to offer our test prep, college counseling, parent workshops, and staffing needs all in one place. This is an exciting and large endeavor. We are asking all of your support as we continue to lay the foundation for long-term stability for Higher Heights.  

 
When searching for Higher Heights on the web, please visit us at: http://higherheightsyouth.com/HHYEP/Home.html

https://www.facebook.com/HigherHeightsYouth
 
 
Board Chair Statement
As an alumni parent of Higher Heights, it is with great pleasure that I serve as the Board President.  For the past seven years, Higher Heights has been a major part of my life and my daughter's success.
 
I have made a long-term commitment to the organization because I believe in the mission and I know how tirelessly the staff and volunteers work to ensure that every student who enrolls in the program- graduates from high school and goes on to college.
 
 
 
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Education / Secondary & High Schools
Secondary Organization Category Youth Development /
Areas Served
Ansonia
Bethany
Branford
Cheshire
Derby
East Haven
Guilford
Hamden
Milford
New Haven
North Branford
North Haven
Orange
West Haven
Woodbridge

This year HHYEP, plans to enroll approximately 100 students into our College Access Program. This is a major increase from our annual enrollment of 50-75 students. 

Historically, the demographics of the program have been: 70% female, 30% male; 87% African American, 8% Hispanic, 2% Caucasian, and 3% Other. In terms of grade levels served: Grade 9 (7%); Grade 10 (18%); Grade 11 (43%) and Grade 12 (32%). Geographically, our students represent the following towns: Ansonia, Cromwell, East Haven, Glastonbury, North Haven, Orange, Springfield, Westport, Woodbridge, and Bridgeport. The majority of our students represent: Fairfield, Norwalk, and Stratford (1%); Hamden (13%); New Haven (64%); Stamford (1.5%); and West Haven (10%). Sixty-five percent (65%) of our students receive free or reduced lunch and seventy percent (70%) are first-generational college bound students.

The demographics are a true representation as to the need for our CAP model to serve under-represented college-bound students.

Programs
Description

College Access Program
The purpose of our College Access Program is to provide more equitable access of college preparatory resources and services to a broad range of students and their families who have a history of being deprived and who as a consequence are underrepresented in the pool of academically high-achieving students.


Students must be entering 9th grade or currently attending high school to apply.

The Program is divided into sessions appropriate for different grade levels.

Program Components:

· SAT and PSAT Test Preparation

· Mentoring

· Academic Tutoring

· College Counseling Sessions/Workshops (for both students and parents)

· College Tour Visits

 


Population Served At-Risk Populations / Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
1. Increase the number of students receiving college planning services from Higher Heights (50 students to an increase of 100 students).
2. Improve the high school graduation rate and college enrollment rate of participating students by 80%
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
Building capacity through our AmeriCorps Programs, within the next three years, Higher Heights will launch at least 5 local College Access Centers in various high schools throughout the Greater New Haven Area.
 
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. Higher Heights aims to enroll 100 high school students to participate in our College Access Program. The goal of the program is to provide college planning services to the students that include test preparation, advisement, and mentoring.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
  1. 80% of the participants will enroll in a post-secondary institution.
  2. The college enrollment rate of program participants students will increase by 80%.
  3. The high school graduation rate of program participants will increase by 80%.
Description

Grant funding from the Webster Bank Foundation and the CFGNH has allowed us to launch our new College Access Savings Program in collaboration with the CT Association for Human Services (CAHS) and Webster Bank. CASP provides positive learning experiences that help young people learn and improve upon personal finance skills using a combination of technology and live instruction. CASP is an Individual Development Account(IDA)Initiative that is geared to support low-income families in New Haven save for post secondary education. 

The Higher Heights CASP is designed to promote patterns of regular savings, responsible spending and budgeting for high school aged students. In addition to fostering a sense of financial responsibility, accountability and habitual savings behaviors in our youth; youth enrolled in this initiative will be saving toward Secondary Education. 

Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
  1. Outreach at least 75 New Haven Residents, enroll 50 students in the College Access Program and 25 high school seniors in theCollege Access Savings Program
  2. Assist 25 participants in devising a workable saving and financial plan for their future.
  3. 25 high school seniors will receive a matched IDA in the amount of $500, totaling $1,000 saved towards their post-secondary education.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. The goals of the project are threefold. First, the project will increase student and family knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation, and financing. Second, the project will increase student academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education. Third, the project will increase the rate of high school graduation and enrollment in postsecondary education among students in target areas.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
Success will be monitored by:

Evaluation Metrics

                 Total number of enrolled participants vs. number initially contacted

                 Number and percentage of participants who successfully complete at least a six-month savings period and make a qualified withdrawal

                 Number and percentage of participants who failed to complete the program, along with reasons why

                 Average monthly savings amount, unmatched and matched

                 Number of assets purchased by type

                 Program assessments on the part of participants

                 Number, average amount, and reasons for emergency withdrawals

Post-Program Evaluation Metrics:

                 For selected participants, monthly saving rates following the conclusion of the program.

                 College matriculation rates for participants who did not make a qualified withdrawal during the program.

                 Participant success in following through with post-asset purchase savings plan.

                 Participant success in maintaining asset purchase.

 
Description
The focus of our HIGHER Women mentoring program to include financial literacy for both the young girls and their mothers.

During a 10-month period, young girls and their mothers attend weekly seminars that focus on financial empowerment and college savings instructed by Financial Services Professionals.
 
Expanding college access and success through improved financial education is the goal of a new partnership between HHYEP, the (NCAN) and the Greater New Haven Asset Building Collaborative (ABC).  The underlying belief of each agency is that financial knowledge and sufficient assets are crucial to help struggling families move out of poverty and towards economic self-sufficiency. We connect people with a variety of asset-building services, such as access to affordable, mainstream banking; financial planning, education, and coaching; and credit and debt counseling.
Population Served Females / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. The program will be designed for the 20 girls who have been identified, by school officials, as students who are considered "at risk" of not enrolling in or completing a post-secondary education. The program is in partnership with BOOST and Metropolitan High School, where all the activities will take place.

The objectives/outcomes for the female participants of the program are to:
1. Select colleges for application as a result of an advising session (college fair or college visit)
2. Complete and Submit at least 2 college applications
3. Submit a completed FAFSA on time
4. Open bank account or increase bank savings
7. Improve academic performance
8. Improve school attendance and behavior

The objectives/outcomes for the parents of the participants are to:
1. Attend at least 7 parent workshops, including the Orientation
2. Attend at least 1 group learning activity (FAFSA Workshop or HHYEP Family Day)
3. Increase bank savings or open bank account
4. Improve credit and debt management

The objectives/outcomes for the Mentors are to:
1. Complete the Service Learning Training
2. Commit to making contact with mentee at least once a month while away at college
3. Attend Meet & Greet Session in July/August
4. Participate in Service Learning Project (held once during the school year)
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. 1) Improve college enrollment rates, 2) Decrease dropout, and 3) Decrease crime (Related Mission: Create and support opportunities for the economic, educational, emotional, social, and personal growth of women and girls; Advance the status of women and girls in the core areas of economic security, health, violence, and education) 

3) Alumni giving back to the community (Related Mission: Encourage the advancement and full participation of women and girls in the community and in philanthropy).

4) Decrease Pregnancy rates amongst the 20 high school girls (Related Mission: Meet special needs of women and girls and the diverse populations of women in our region).
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. Difference Made
1. #/% of program participants that enter college or are promoted to the next grade level
2. #/% of program participants who open a bank account
3. #/% of program participants' improve their credit score
4. #/% of program participants who gain summer employment
5. #/% of program participants that increase savings accounts 
 

Program Comments
CEO Comments

This coming year we are very excited about our newGrant funding from the Webster Bank Foundation and the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven has allowed us to launch our newCollege Access Savings Programin collaboration with the CT Association for Human Services (CAHS) and Webster Bank. TheCollege Access Savings Programprovides positive learning experiences that help young people learn and improve upon personal finance skills using a combination of technology and live instruction. Financial Avenue (FAVE) is a web-based tool based on U.S. Department of Treasury guidelines that offers a range of online courses and mini-modules to help young people gain life-long knowledge about personal money management.  Students learn that the road to riches will prepare them with the knowledge and skills to steer toward a successful financial future.

 

As always, we are very proud of our students and their accomplishments to go onto college.

CEO/Executive Director
Chaka Felder-McEntire
Term Start Jan 2004
Email chaka@higherheightsyouth.com
Experience

Educational Leadership Program (begins Fall 2012)               Southern CT State Univ.               Doctoral Candidate

Intermediate Administrative Certification (092)                                 Sacred Heart University                Candidate

Masters of Science in Counselor Education                                       Canisius College                     August 2003

Masters of Science in Organizational Communication & Development Canisius College                     August 2002

Bachelor of Science in Business Studies                                          Buffalo State College                    May 2000

 Ø Founder of a local college access program for high school students that has served over 280 students and employed 50 youth.

Ø Created the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of all program components.

Ø Oversees the day-to-day operations with a strong performance and outcome based approach

Ø Designed and developed the curriculum that guides the program model.

Ø Assure that the organization has a long-range strategy which achieves its mission, and toward which it makes consistent and timely progress.

Ø Provides leadership in developing programs, and organizational and financial plans with the Board of Directors and volunteers.

Ø Secured grant funding and facility space to help the organization grow to a budget of $160,000 budget with 2 full-time staff, interns, contractors, and volunteers within 8 years.

Ø Maintains official records and documents, and ensure compliance with state and local regulations.

Ø Establishes partnerships and cooperative agreements with community groups and organizations that align to the mission and vision of the organization

Ø Represents the programs and point of view of the organization to agencies, organizations, and the general public.

Ø Responsible for developing and maintaining sound financial practices.

Ø Responsible for grant writing, grant management, and grant or project evaluation.

Ø Created and maintains the organization’s website and webmail marketing system.

Ø Develops and implements the programs fundraising events

Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 3
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 5
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate 90%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 1
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 5
Unspecified 0
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Semi-Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Quarterly
Collaborations
Currently, HHYEP is in a 3-year collaborative AmeriCorps VISTA Grant with the New Haven Education AmeriCorps VISTA Project.
 

The New Haven Education AmeriCorps VISTA project works to improve underperforming Title I schools in New Haven, Connecticut.  Partnering organizations include:  Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut, United Way of Greater New Haven, New Haven Reads, Dwight Hall at Yale, Higher Heights Youth Empowerment Program, Parent University, Common Ground High School and Everybody Wins Connecticut.

Other partnerships include:
  • Being a BOOST partner at Hill Regional Career High School and Metropolitan Business Academy (since 2011)
  • A co-founding organization of "New Haven's Brightest" with Quinnipiac University.  A celebratory event for graduating eighth graders from New Haven Public Schools.
  • The Governor's Prevention Partnership to administer our Higher Men & Higher Women Mentoring Programs
The following organizations have partnered with HHYEP to refer their students to our College Access Programs: DCF, AFI, and Y.E.S.  In addition, HHYEP has a working relationship with the following universities for student admissions, professional development for our staff, and resources for our parents: Albertus Magnus College, Central CT State University, Western CT State University, Eastern CT State University, Southern CT State University and Yale University.
 
Staff of HHYEP serve as committee members and volunteers with Parent University and works collaboratively with New Haven Promise to ensure that our students are eligible and have applied for the Promise Scholarship.
Board Chair
Gary Hogan
Company Affiliation New Haven Housing Authority
Term Aug 2013 to Aug 2015
Email gbhogan@hotmail.com
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
LaVonta Bryant New Haven Housing Authority
Tony Carberry Central Connecticut State University
Brigitta Henderson New Haven Housing Authority
Nancy Hill New Haven Public Schools
Darryl Huckaby
Jenell Lawson Community Action Agency of New Haven
Vannessa Martinez Law Fellow Yale University
Jennifer Quaye New Haven Public Schools
Sara Swallen
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 8
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 1
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 7
Board Co-Chair
Jenell Lawson
Company Affiliation Community Action Agency
Term July 2010 to July 2015
Email jenelllawson@sbcglobal.net
Standing Committees
Executive
Finance
Marketing
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
CEO Comments
When searching for Higher Heights on the web, please visit us at: http://higherheightsyouth.com/HHYEP/Home.html OR https://www.facebook.com/HigherHeightsYouth
 
@HHYE On Twitter & Instagram
 
 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start June 01 2014
Fiscal Year End May 30 2015
Projected Revenue $149,184.00
Projected Expenses $149,184.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Documents
Form 990s
Form 9902013
Form 9902012
Form 9902011
Form 9902010
Form 9902009
Form 9902008
Form 9902007
Form 9902006
IRS Letter of Exemption
IRS Tax Exempt Letter
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Revenue Sources ChartHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201420132012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$145,838$117,826$131,080
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified------
Individual Contributions------
------
$22,327$4,425$17,458
Investment Income, Net of Losses$2,975$12,061$5,311
Membership Dues------
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind------
Other$1,881$110$1
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$92,676$63,049$68,609
Administration Expense$77,216$71,510$76,568
Fundraising Expense------
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.021.001.06
Program Expense/Total Expenses55%47%47%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$37,284$34,155$34,524
Current Assets$21,008$27,372$27,759
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities----$232
Total Net Assets$37,284$34,155$34,292
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountWorkforce Alliance $63,093Workforce Alliance $77,776Workforce Alliance $70,204
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountThe Community Foundation for Greater New Haven $38,750The Communtiy Foundation for Greater New Haven $30,000The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven $40,350
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountCity of New Haven $34,000 --Americorps $10,767
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities----119.65
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Comments
Foundation Staff Comments
This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address 419 Whalley Ave, Suite 404
New Haven, CT 06511
Primary Phone 203 859-6630
CEO/Executive Director Chaka Felder-McEntire
Board Chair Gary Hogan
Board Chair Company Affiliation New Haven Housing Authority

 

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