United Way of Northern Utah, in close partnership with the Ogden School District, was awarded a $1.5 million Partnership for Student Success Grant from the Utah State Board of Education this week. The funds will be distributed over the course of three years. The grant builds upon the work of the neighborhood improvement initiative, Ogden United Promise Neighborhood (Ogden United PN) and will provide additional supports to children and families in the Ogden High School feeder pattern. The grant is a partnership of more than 15 local organizations.

“If presented with additional opportunities for education and growth, our children and youth will reach new heights,” said Tim Jackson, Chief Operating Officer of United Way and Ogden United PN Director. “The Partnership for Student Success effort provides opportunities to those who most need them by leveraging the expertise and services of over a dozen community organizations. United Way of Northern Utah is privileged to be the steward of these funds and to work with the Ogden School District and our community to improve educational outcomes.”

The Ogden United Promise Neighborhood ‘footprint’ includes five elementary schools within the urban neighborhood of central Ogden, all of which feed into Ogden High School. Many neighborhood families are highly impacted by poverty, housing instability, and a lack of education or employment opportunities. This neighborhood has not seen many of the benefits associated with surrounding areas’ economic growth.

The Ogden United PN initiative brings partners and community members together in order to address children’s unmet needs and to build aligned systems of support. The Partnership for Student Success Grant will be combined with matching funds and in-kind supports from the grant’s partners equal to two times the grant’s value each year. The monies will be distributed by United Way of Northern Utah for specific efforts outlined in the grant, some of which include: high-quality preschool; student advocates (at the elementary, junior high, and high school level); tutoring and mentoring in junior high; credit recovery and acceleration supports; parent ambassadors; financial literacy education; parent education and leadership classes; and college savings incentives. These efforts are designed to increase student success beginning in early childhood and going all the way through college graduation.

Ogden United Promise Neighborhood partners worked together to determine community needs, secure matching funds, and prepare for adequate data collection and measurement of their goals.

“We worked together with Ogden School District to determine what were the most critical needs at this time,” said Angela Choberka, Assistant Director of Ogden United PN. “The process of bringing together so many community partners has been crucial to the success of Ogden United PN.”

Collectively, Ogden United PN partners can have a greater impact, more effectively addressing the needs of the community. Choberka applauds the effort that went into preparing the grant proposal, and the benefit of so many partners working together toward a common goal. She looks forward to helping all the partners “continue to work together for the kids in the community, because that’s what this initiative is about.” This funding provides Ogden United PN the opportunity to expand on the work already happening, much of which was catalyzed by a 2013 Promise Neighborhood planning grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Among the partners, Dr. Azenett Garza and Yesenia Quintana of the Weber State University Community Research Extension at the Center for Community Engaged Learning have long supported the initiative through data management, analysis, and reporting. Their work was integral to the application process and is essential to the Ogden United PN work.

Partner organizations include the Ogden School District, Weber State University Community Education Center, Weber State University Access and Diversity, YMCA of Northern Utah, Cottages of Hope, Early Childhood Utah, Daniels Fund, Weber County, America First Credit Union, Ogden Weber Community Action Partnership, Midtown Community Health Clinic, and Waterford UpStart. Many other organizations have also been involved in these efforts to develop and implement programs aimed at improving educational outcomes in the Ogden United Promise Neighborhood.

The Partnerships for Student Success Grant received legislative funding in 2016 through Utah Senate Bill 67, and provides up to $500,000 annually for three years for qualifying grant applicants. The Legislature appropriated a budget of two million dollars annually for the Grant, to be distributed among grant recipients. Senator Ann Milner sponsored the bill, saying the intent is to help organizations “[get] together as a community, building partnerships that will help our schools and our students be successful.” Among the grantees, the Weber School District was also awarded a grant for the Roy High School feeder pattern. United Way of Northern Utah is proud to be a partner of their effort as well.

About United Way of Northern Utah:

United Way of Northern Utah is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Ogden, Utah. Its mission is to unite people and organizations to build a healthy, stable, and well-educated community where individuals, families, and neighborhoods thrive.

About Ogden United Promise Neighborhood:

The Ogden United Promise Neighborhood (Ogden United PN) initiative came into being in 2009 under the name “Ogden United” as a grassroots effort championed by community leaders to address the increasingly concentrated needs of residents in the central city. The goal of Ogden United PN is to ensure all children and youth have access to great schools and strong systems of family and community support that will prepare them to attain an excellent education and successfully transition to college and career.


Tim Jackson, Ogden United Promise Neighborhood United Way of Northern Utah
(801) 410 2805  tjackson@uwnu.org