High Aspirations Inc.
803 East 27th Street
Kansas City MO 64108
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 305-3334
Mission Statement
High Aspirations will raise African American males’ aspirations by initiating innovative ways to improve the quality of their lives spiritually, emotionally, socially and academically.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Henry W. Wash MPA
Board Chair Mr. Damon Bryant
Board Chair Company Affiliation Fox 4 News
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2010
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer
We encourage support in several ways including:
  1. Volunteering - long term as a mentor or monthly program content provider; serving on our fundraising committee; periodic office or special event support. 
  2. Donations - monetary or in-kind donations accepted in a multiple of ways - cash, check, pay pal via our website, and sponsorship/purchase of tables during our annual fundraiser. 
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Statement High Aspirations will raise African American males’ aspirations by initiating innovative ways to improve the quality of their lives spiritually, emotionally, socially and academically.
Background Statement Founded in 2004, High Aspirations is a Kansas City, MO, 501(c)(3) organization that provides a proactive mentoring program that addresses the social, emotional, academic and spiritual needs of African American males ages 8-18 in the Kansas City urban core. Our organization’s objective is to reach low-income at-risk youth, who spend their childhoods in a disadvantaged environment beset by crime and violence.
 
Nationally, when reviewing the number of homicides that occur on a regular basis in the United States, 30% of them are honor roll students. When the data are broken down to category order they show majority of the 30% are young African American males. African-American males are the perpetrators and targets of the majority of local violence. High Aspirations primary purpose is to target the 30% population of young African American males 8-18 in Kansas City’s urban core who are interested in making positive life choices.
Impact Statement
Accomplishments from 2018:
  1. Purchased and renovated a building
  2. Established a 12 month plan and 5 year strategic direction
  3. Grew the number of board seats from 13 to 19
  4. Established new programs, collaborations, partnerships, transformative tools and other mentoring programs to collaborate through an organizational contract or memorandum of understanding.

Last year, HA helped 32 young men find stable employment. We sent 30 young men to Kidds Across America and all got saved.
According to KU, “HA’s young men have improved their GPAs by 17% and 68% either made the honor roll or improved benchmark scores and grades.”

There are three components that attribute to HA’s young men’s success·
  1. Those who make contact weekly with their mentors are more successful.
  2. There is a positive correlation between contact and retention.
  3. Those who join the HA leadership council and attend regularly raise their GPA’s to 3.0 or Higher.

Goals for 2019:
  1. Structure to Support the mission
  2. Establish Growth Plan
  3. Plan for sustainability
  4. Plan in the future for the Mentoring Center
  5. Strategic Alliance
Needs Statement High Aspirations needs resources to support its current space for its members to use as a refuge and for mentoring sessions, homework completion, and weekly member meetings. Our goal is to establish a plan for sustainability. 
Service Categories
Youth Development-Citizenship
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
Geographic Area Served Narrative These young men principally live in Kansas City's urban core, which approximates from the Missouri river to 95th Street; State Line to I-435. The statistics for the urban core are dire- the median family income is $34,100 and within the Kansas City School District where over 80% of all students receive free/reduced lunch. Eighty-seven (87%) of all public housing units through-out the city are in the African American dominated census tracts. The majority of our participants are living in either single-parent female headed or grandparent-headed households.
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement

The program values assessment, strategy and action planning for each mentee’s process. Its pre/post-test measures what young men have control over verses what they do not (Internal and External Focus of Control). It was designed by Dr. Lester Blue. When our mentees first enter the program they are placed on observation and given a chance to earn higher levels of the following: Fundamentals, High Standards and High Aspirations. We have three pillars that hold this organization together our mothers group, mentor advisory council and our board. This is why I love being involved.   

Damon Bryant, Board Chair
Programs
Description
  • 1st Saturday: chess session builds critical thinking skills, patience and healthy competition.
  • 2nd Saturday focuses on leadership training that develops the youth’s skills in leadership, participation and fosters success in home, school and community. We develop them through debate and public speaking.
  • 3rd Saturday is a pre-collegiate program created in partnership with local community colleges/universities that focuses on academic preparation and success. First three Saturdays after the session study hall is held for 2 hours.
  • 4th Saturday of the month is when the group (mentors and mentees alike) volunteers in the community; these activities foster the development of work skills and social engagement. 
  • High Aspirations mentors are responsible for 7 young men at a 7:1 ratio. The mentors call their group of 7 young men once a week to support/coach them into manhood. High Aspirations model focuses largely on support.
  • Debate
  • Reading
  • STEM
  • #ChampioneME
Category Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Males
Short-Term Success

High Aspirations has four different levels connected to the situational leadership model. The first level is observation, level two is Fundamentals, level three is High Standards and level four is High Aspirations. There are different requirements for each level that correlate to expectancy and there are benefits to each level. High Aspirations, has a student-led Leadership Council wherein each level is represented. The aforementioned group is allowed to give consistent feedback on new ideas and ways to make High Aspirations' programming more relevant and influential in creating a positive cultural system for participants. The Leadership Council is also allowed to assist with High Aspirations program governance matters.

Long-Term Success
  • Every Saturday we hold programs to measure satisfaction
  • Surveys from young men to see what they want to add/improve to program
  • The ultimate goal is to build men that are well educated, highly skilled, entrepreneurial and prepared to be loyal husbands and loving fathers.  They, in turn, will give back to the community as mentors to a new wave of High Aspirations young men.
Program Success Monitored By

HA uses a series of metrics designed to demonstrate the program's positive impact. Pre- and post-testing is conducted electronically (Survey Monkey), given to each new participant on the third Saturday of the month, and measures generalized and achievement expectancy.

To measure achievement expectancy, we collect each participant’s grade cards and assess changes in grades over the school year.

Another important guide to measuring the progress of each mentee is the five-step, five-year goal setting plan that the mentee in collaboration with and support from their mentor develops at the beginning of their involvement in the program. The plans are reviewed every three months to ensure the mentee is making progress towards their goals. The plans are updated annually to include new goals or set new timelines based on individual circumstances.

Board member, Dr. Lester Blue designed the test. KU and UMKC assist in evaluating data or revising the metrics as needed.

Examples of Program Success

Robert Rimpson has been a participant in High Aspirations since 8th grade. At the start of the program he had lofty goals. Since he began High Aspirations Robert has made good grades and has far beyond exceeded his mothers expectations. He has improved socially, emotionally, academically and spiritually. He graduated from High School and received his Associate of Arts degree at the same time in one year. He recently graduated from Florida A&M.  

Description
  • Mentees have created a volunteer based social entrepreneurial lawn-mowing program for the mentees during the spring/ summer/months
  • The mentees of High Aspirations volunteer during the spring/summer performing landscaping activities every fourth Saturday for two hours from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. The young men learn how to maintain lawns through cutting abandoned overgrown and unmaintained lots in the inner city.
  • This program is being used to teach the young men the value of hard work, the value of money-management and savings through a partnership/coaching with Mariner Wealth Advisors and Arvest Bank.
  • Once young men have obtained the skills necessary, they will receive their own push lawn mower to cut grass in their own neighborhood outside of the High Aspirations program time.
Category Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Males
Short-Term Success

High Aspirations has four different levels connected to the situational leadership model. The first level is observation, level two is Fundamentals, level three is High Standards and level four is High Aspirations. There are different requirements for each level that correlate to expectancy and there are benefits to each level. High Aspirations, has a student-led Leadership Council wherein each level is represented. The aforementioned group is allowed to give consistent feedback on new ideas and ways to make High Aspirations' programming more relevant and influential in creating a positive cultural system for participants. The Leadership Council is also allowed to assist with High Aspirations program governance matters.

Long-Term Success

High Aspirations community service program has grown consistently in its impact and reach in the Greater Kansas City community. The program has assisted St. James hand out over 2000 food baskets, create over 3000 school snack packs at Harvesters Food Bank, maintain six vacant lots and ensure every prior commitment in the past has been honored.    

Program Success Monitored By

HA uses a series of metrics designed to demonstrate the program's positive impact. Pre- and post-testing is conducted electronically (Survey Monkey), given to each new participant on the third Saturday of the month, and measures generalized and achievement expectancy.

To measure achievement expectancy, we collect each participant’s grade cards and assess changes in grades over the school year.

Another important guide to measuring the progress of each mentee is the five-step, five-year goal setting plan that the mentee in collaboration with and support from their mentor develops at the beginning of their involvement in the program. The plans are reviewed every three months to ensure the mentee is making progress towards their goals. The plans are updated annually to include new goals or set new timelines based on individual circumstances.

Board member, Dr. Lester Blue designed the test. KU and UMKC assist in evaluating data or revising the metrics as needed.

Examples of Program Success
Joel is a changed young man. He has been a participant in High Aspirations since 10th grade. At the start of the program Joel had 0.5 credits. He graduated in the fall of 2015 earlier than expected because of his commitment to High Aspirations. Joel was also High Aspirations 2016 Lawn Crew Leader.
Description
The High Aspirations Olympics (“HA Olympics”) is a program that engages all young men, parents, and mentors in a way that stokes competition among the different mentoring groups, and rewards success to the young men for their consistent commitment to the program’s principles. The Olympics challenges the young men to strive for excellence in four key areas:
  • Academics
  • HA Activities
  • Relationship Building 
  • Community Service 
There are two Olympics seasons each year. One is in the Fall and one the winter. Like the professional Olympic events, the team with the best team work does win the season, along with a traveling trophy and other prizes.
Category Youth Development, General/Other Youth Leadership
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Short-Term Success
  • Increased Attendance
  • Greater Participation During High Aspirations Sessions
  • Improved Academic Performance
  • Better Interaction with Mentors
  • Greater Accountability to team/ Program
Long-Term Success
  • Increased Attendance
  • Greater Participation During High Aspirations Sessions
  • Improved Academic Performance
  • Better Interaction with Mentors
  • Greater Accountability to team/ Program 
Program Success Monitored By
The program success is monitored through High Aspirations Program Specialist. We have total point tracking grid to monitor the success. 

Too, HA uses a series of metrics designed to demonstrate the program's positive impact. Pre- and post-testing is conducted electronically (Survey Monkey), given to each new participant on the third Saturday of the month, and measures generalized and achievement expectancy.

To measure achievement expectancy, we collect each participant’s grade cards and assess changes in grades over the school year.

Another important guide to measuring the progress of each mentee is the five-step, five-year goal setting plan that the mentee in collaboration with and support from their mentor develops at the beginning of their involvement in the program. The plans are reviewed every three months to ensure the mentee is making progress towards their goals. The plans are updated annually to include new goals or set new timelines based on individual circumstances.

Board member, Dr. Lester Blue designed the test. KU and UMKC assist in evaluating data or revising the metrics as needed.

Examples of Program Success The "Green Team" won the first season Olympics and they all improved in their grades, attendance, High Aspirations activities and social interaction.  
CEO Comments High Aspirations, is currently seeking interns that will be a good fit for the organization. Furthermore expand our reach to more young men and mentors. Another challenge facing High Aspirations is the competition between life reality (present) and life possibilities (future forward looking). Many of our young men come from home lives beyond their control where they are surrounded by negative environmental influences. Our program is focused on preparing for the future and working on the character of the young men; these are intangible things. The mentors serve as visual motivation; many were in the same situation as young men and have life stories that can aid in motivating our young men to keep moving forward in a positive manner. We are also aware that the need for High Aspirations services in Kansas City continues to grow exponentially each year but at this time we are not in a financial position to expand our reach as we would like to do.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. Henry W. Wash MPA
Term Start Nov 2010
Experience
Henry W. Wash founded High Aspirations (HA) in 2003, a proactive mentoring program for African American males ages 8-18 which emphasizes social, emotional, academic and spiritual growth. Henry has over 21 years of expertise in designing, implementing and evaluating programming for at-risk populations. He gathered peer reviewed research to develop the organization while serving as a graduate teaching and research assistant at UMKC’s Henry W. Bloch School of Business.
 
Henry’s educational accomplishments include an Associate degree in Applied Science, Associate degree in Arts, Bachelor’s in Sociology, Minor in Black Studies, and Masters of Public Administration in Urban Affairs. Henry is a National Member of Alpha Kappa Delta, the International Sociology Honors Society, a Harvard Annie E. Casey Innovations in American Government award winner, an Alumnus of the Kansas City Tomorrows program, Americorps Alumnus over 3,000 service hours and a Rising Star Alum award winner chosen by The Independent Insider.
 
Henry came from a background very similar to that of many of the young men that participate in HA. He overcame his circumstances in large part due to the mentoring he received from two prominent Kansas Citians—Henry W. Bloch and the late Thurman N. Mitchell, KCTV5. Henry's vision to return the favor is by changing the direction of the young men from the Kansas City urban core, resulting in a stronger community. Henry Wash is a current board member of Caring for Kids and Hawthorn Foundation. He is happily married to Trina M. Wash and the proud father to Laurianna Wash.
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 2
Paid Part-Time Staff 1
Volunteers 70
Retention Rate 100%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
African American/Black 3
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 1
Male 2
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Collaborations
We know the need is very great and High Aspirations can’t possibly reach everyone. There is always the conversation about data and funding being appropriately allocated to areas, populations, and agencies in our community that need it most. The HA network allows us to partner and reach more young men through other groups like Urban Rangers Corp, Arts Tech, Boys Grow, Boys Hope Girls Hope, etc.
 
We meet once a quarter,
  1. Each time one organization presents so we can learn more about what they do.
  2. We allow time for announcements
  3. We also discuss opportunities out there for funding.
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Mickey Dean Leadership and Commitment awardCity of Kansas City2014
2015 Class of Rising StarsKC Independent2015
SpotlightAEI, FDIC2015
Buck O'Neil Legacy SeatKansas City Royals2015
Jack and Jill of America KCMO ChapterJack and Jill of America KCMO Chapter2017
CEO Comments

The founder of High Aspirations, Henry W. Wash, is an excellent leader. There are always things we can improve. We should continue to raise more dollars to aid High Aspirations in serving more young men.

Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Damon Bryant
Company Affiliation Fox 4 News
Term Jan 2014 to Jan 2018
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Dr. Lester BluePrivate Psychiatric Practice
Mr. Damon BryantWDAF-TV 4
Ms. Jeanette CounteeHallmark Inc.
Mr. William Dunn Jr.JE Dunn Construction Company
Ms. Angie FingersConcerned Mothers of High Aspirations
Mrs Monic Houpe
Ms. Anita MaltbiaGreen Impact Zone
Mrs. Dana Nelson
Mr. Doug NgomsiDeloitte
Mr John Schmidt
Mr. Robert SniezekStifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated
Mr. Stan StarkArbor creek tax service
Mrs. Erica StoneUMKC Proffessor
Mr. Zachary ThompsonClay County Prosecutors Office
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 6
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 7
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 8
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 11
Standing Committees
Executive
Board Governance
Finance
Nominating
Advisory Board Members
NameAffiliation
Mr. Bill Dana
Mr. Terry Dunn
Mr. David Gershon
Mr. Daniel Gerson
Mr. Doug Heck
Mr. Crosby Kemper III
Mr. Jacob Kern
Mrs Gayle Krigel
Mr. Glen Posladeck
Mr. Rico Tejada
Mr. Patrick Trysla
Mr. Brian Wimes
CEO Comments High Aspirations is currently seeking a marketing person to serve on our board. We should see a qualified candidate fill the position soon. We desire to keep this a first class organization and having a solid marketing person will assist the organization in this area.
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2019
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2019
Projected Revenue $811,613
Projected Expenses $811,613
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2017, 2016, 2015: Financial data reported from IRS Form 990.
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
 
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$201,644$152,061$62,296
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified--$0$0
Individual Contributions------
$22,354$16,935$15,000
$7,291$1,427$3,569
Investment Income, Net of Losses($21,522)$6$6
Membership Dues----$0
Special Events$207,983$151,978$105,035
Revenue In-Kind$70,640$8,851$1,800
Other$40$1,437$19
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$190,301$127,711$138,087
Administration Expense$65,585$44,705$48,413
Fundraising Expense$32,537$50,172$14,356
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.451.450.93
Program Expense/Total Expenses66%57%69%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$403,060$278,610$171,322
Current Assets$398,227$278,610$170,725
Long-Term Liabilities$0$14,982$0
Current Liabilities$10,065$0$8,949
Total Net Assets$392,995$263,628$162,373
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities39.57--19.08
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%5%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Organization Comments

Last year we raised more money because of the capital campaign and the building. We plan to use 50% of it to pay off the building and its renovations. Finally the remaining will be for any anticipated operations or maintenance.

 

Other Documents
High Aspirations Annual Report2016View
High Aspirations Annual Report2015View
High Aspirations Annual Report2014View
Organization Name High Aspirations Inc.
Address 803 East 27th Street
Kansas City, MO 64108
Primary Phone (816) 305-3334
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Henry W. Wash MPA
Board Chair Mr. Damon Bryant
Board Chair Company Affiliation Fox 4 News
Year of Incorporation 2010