We serve the under-represented youth and families of St Louis City, County, and the surrounding areas.
Browse Some of Our Many Success Stories
Our featured story
*Names have been changed for privacy
Meet Jada*, a single mom of 2 children. We met her while she was living in subsidized housing and receiving public assistance. She was working full time and attended college full time in the evenings studying social work. Upon receiving a promotion on her job, what most would count as a good thing, in Jada’s case, put her income $90 over the state’s qualifying criteria. This meant she lost all of her benefits, including her housing subsidy. She nearly lost her home.
New Heights provided her a 75% scholarship for both of her children to have childcare in order to help her continue to progress.
Sadly, after just three months, Jada was forced to approach her supervisor and ask to be demoted. Even with the childcare scholarship, it was too difficult for her to meet the basic needs of her family without some assistance. She took the demotion and we continued to honor the childcare scholarship we provided to help her get back on her feet. Her two children stayed in the program until she finished her bachelor’s degree and moved out of state.
Jada is now a social worker in another state and her children are doing well academically and well on their way to reaching for their dreams.
Unfortunately, most women will not have the happy ending Jada did.
They will continue to struggle to make ends meet. Children living in single-parent, female-led households are often faced with similar stories. Many single female-led households are characterized by incomes below the cost of living, but just above the state’s limit to receive assistance.
Under-employed households are then left with tough decisions:
- Leaving children unsupervised while they attempt to work additional hours
- Settle for inadequate childcare
- Buy unhealthy (lower cost foods) to “stretch” their budget
- Move in substandard housing for lower rental rates
- Quit their jobs to get their government assistance back
- Stay in harmful relationships to receive the help they need
Every tough decision becomes an adverse childhood experience (ACE) for the child. The more ACE’s a child experiences, the more damaging the effects are on their social, emotional, physical, mental, and cognitive development.
New Heights focuses its efforts on reducing the effects of ACE’s on children and youth. Beyond our youth programs, we provide community empowerment conferences to help parents overcome these barriers as well.