[her years as a school counselor and educational leader recognizing her
students’ need for additional programming], Chaka Felder founded Higher Heights
Youth Empowerment Program in 2004. Since then, the program has grown into a program
with great impact. In 11 years, HHYEP has Higher Heights has personally
employed over 75 youth, and provided college planning services to over 675 high
school students and their parents.
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 2014-2015 school year, we provided services to 116 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 50 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).
As HHYEP approaches 11 years of providing college access services to students and parents there is a great need to increase funding to support the fact that we are growing very quickly:
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.
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 local are high schools 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 direct college coaches within their schools. We have grown from serving 100 students annually to a projected 300 students in 2015-2016.
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 eleven (11) years and we are embarking 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.
This year HHYEP has enrolled 116 students in the program, along with expanding services to 3 schools on-site.
The demographics are a true representation as to the need for our CAP model to serve under-represented college-bound students.
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 in grades 9 through 12 are eligible for the program.
· SAT and PSAT Test Preparation
· Academic Tutoring
· College Counseling Sessions/Workshops (for both students and parents)
· College Tour Visits
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.
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.
Women is part of the Higher Heights vision because it directly aligns with our
college access mission who is to
This year the women in our mentoring program also participated
in the College Access Savings program an initiative geared to support
low-income families in New Haven save for post-secondary education. Each
participant are matched a $1 for every $1 saved and can be used towards tuition
or materials needed for post-secondary education. As part of the Program,
participants receive intensive financial counseling to assist participants
adhere to committed savings goals. Participants attend classes on budgeting, credit, saving and other
financial issues. In addition, participants take part in an asset-based
training directly related to goals of secondary education.
This coming year we are very excited about our new Grant funding from the Webster Bank Foundation and the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven has allowed us to launch our new College 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.
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 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
Each director shall hold office for a staggered term of a 2 year, 3 year, or 4 year term, until his or her successor is elected and qualifies. Once selected to serve on the board a director will have the option of terms. A board member will serve no more than 8 consecutive terms.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
When families, schools and communities take the view that children and youth are valued and respected assets to society, they necessarily support environments that nurture youth development. Children raised to embrace positive social values, to seek self-understanding, and to value their self-worth grow to become community-minded young adults with a sense of belonging and a belief in their resiliency. See how you can help our community's children grow into tomorrow's leaders.
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New Haven, CT 06150
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