Educational Institutions

Higher Heights Youth Empowerment Programs

  • New Haven, CT
  • www.higherheightsyouth.org

Mission Statement

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.

Main Programs

  1. College Access Program
  2. College Access Savings Program (CASP)
  3. HIGHER Women Mentoring Program

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Service Areas

Self-reported

Connecticut

This year HHYEP has enrolled 116 students in the program, along with expanding services to 3 schools on-site. 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.

ruling year

2006

Principal Officer since 2004

Self-reported

Chaka Felder-McEntire

Keywords

Self-reported

college, education, youth, post-secondary, mentoring

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EIN

83-0424360

 Number

7598625171

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Secondary/High School (B25)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

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).

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

College Access Program

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.A maximum of 300 students can enroll in the program.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

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$250,000

Program 2

College Access Savings Program (CASP)

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. A maximum of 25 students can enroll in the CASP Program.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$40,000

Program 3

HIGHER Women Mentoring Program

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.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Females, all ages or age unspecified

Budget

$10,000

Service Areas

Self-reported

Connecticut

This year HHYEP has enrolled 116 students in the program, along with expanding services to 3 schools on-site. 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.

Funding Needs

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:2015-2016- we expect to enroll 300 students in the program2015-2016- we will have school based sites at 3 local high schoolsWe have a need to secure $250,000 to help support:increase in student enrollment which will increase a need for direct serviceshiring full-time staffproviding matched-funding to support our College Access Savings Program 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.

Accreditations

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Financials

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Higher Heights Youth Empowerment Programs

Leadership

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Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
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Principal Officer

Chaka Felder-McEntire

BIO

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

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"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 local 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. When searching for Higher Heights on the web, please visit us at: http://higherheightsyouth.com/HHYEP/Home.html https://www.facebook.com/HigherHeightsYouth "

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Gary Hogan

New Haven Housing Authority

Term: Aug 2013 - Aug 2017

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?