The goal of Higher Ground is to promote positive educational habits, strong interpersonal skills, and a sense of empowerment in the local youth. We are overjoyed to experience how involvement with Higher Ground has inspired kids to chose a better path in life.
Jeremy Vasquez, Special Guest
"I want to take the time to sincerely thank everyone in your organization for allowing me to bring my gifts to your respective classroom last week. I don't even know where to begin but I will say, what I experienced amongst your students has given me nothing but joy. The young girl that cried in the middle of my activity filled my heart with hope. I haven't experienced anything like that before but I know I opened some very protected vaults inside of all of your kids. I wish I had safe spaces after-school like those you're creating with Higher Ground but it fills my spirit to know the experiences you are bringing to your students. Teaching is a spiritual act and I most certainly witnessed some of those in person. I'm looking forward to building with your non-profit as a whole and I look forward to returning in the future. Thank you so much for being open to the art of healing and exploring consciousness through spoken word. I hope you see some great changes with your beautiful students moving forward this semester! Love you all..."
"Every Friday, we hold the Higher Ground Snack store. Throughout the week, the kids earn higher ground bucks by being helpful and going above and beyond what is asked of them. The leaders try to distribute bucks evenly, but of course, some kids earn more than others. I was working at the snack store when the group of 6-9-year-old boys came to buy things. There are twin boys in that group who had a lot of money. They looked around the store, picking out items for their family members, spending none of the money on themselves. Finally, they were left with a few dollars each when they saw a friend crying. They asked why he was upset, and he said he had no money to spend, but he really wanted a ball from the store. Without hesitating, the twins pooled their money in order to buy their friend a ball. This is an action that I feel truly embodies Higher Ground. The boys acted selflessly and were later rewarded by Higher Ground’s Executive Director, Joe Baldo, with double the money they spent at the store. These boys truly exemplify the mission of Higher Ground"
"Higher Ground offers homework help during the school year. During this time, the leaders assist the kids with math, language arts, and more. This little girl was in third grade at the time and couldn't read. Most children learn to read at six years old and she was now 2 years behind. She couldn’t even sound out words which is a skill that is typically learned while in kindergarten. I spent every day after school at Higher Ground reading to her and helping her learn a new skill. With every day, she got better and better at reading the books I gave her. Now she loves reading and can do her homework without any help. Later, we found out that she needed glasses, which helped her be able to read much better. She now reads at home in her free time all by herself."