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"It Takes A Village" By Frannie Neal

Frannie Neal (center) hangs out with her coworkers at Higher Ground. 

Frannie Neal (center) hangs out with her coworkers at Higher Ground. 

Reaching Individuals, Transforming Families, Elevating Communities
                                                                                       ...One Life at a Time.

Many people say that it takes a village to raise a child, and I truly see that working with the Higher Ground Resource Center in South Tucson, Arizona. Higher Ground is a very special place, unlike anything I have ever experienced. When I moved to Tucson several months ago, I knew I would be working with at-risk youth. I came into it thinking, I have worked with at-risk youth before- how different could this be?

Everything. Everything is different.

Higher Ground is completely unconventional and takes pride in that. Higher Ground truly gets to know everything about every student. No student is the same. That is where my position comes in to help a little. I am responsible for the mapping component of the new Community and Family Services Team, which allows us to get a holistic perspective on each and every student. 

Recently, I created a new RTE Leadership Program. The name comes from our motto, “Reach, Transform, Elevate.” This program is our own version of a case management system. We have a Community and Family Services Team which consists of five people, each of whom are responsible for a certain number of students. Anytime anything happens, that student goes directly to their leader. This way, we are able to better develop those relationships.

I feel lucky to be working within the village at Higher Ground, and I cannot wait to see where the future takes it. Higher Ground is incredibly unique and led by two wonderful people with the biggest hearts. As Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Published on March 14, 2016 by Spencer Brown.

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