Aspire Toledo: A StriveTogether Sustaining Organization!

Aspire Toledo reached an important milestone recently as StriveTogether officially named Aspire Toledo a Sustaining Community, the third gateway in an overarching Theory of Action.

The announcement comes after Aspire Toledo underwent a rigorous evaluation by StriveTogether, a Cincinnati-based organization overseeing a network of partners dedicated to improving cradle-to-career outcomes for young people in their respective communities. Aspire Toledo is one of more than 70 organizations in the StriveTogether network, and now one of approximately 35 organizations to have achieved Sustaining Community status.

Aspire Toledo: The Path to Proof Point

The StriveTogether Theory of Action is based on continuous improvement among four essential pillars: a shared community vision, evidence-based decision-making, collaborative action, and investment and sustainability. Organizations must meet a series of benchmarks to move through five Gateways: Exploring, Emerging, Sustaining, Systems Change, and Proof Point.

Here’s more information about the various levels, how we achieved them, and where we’re going next!

Gateway 1: Exploring.

Partnerships are initially formed and a plan is first formalized.

Gateway 2: Emerging.

An organizational structure was in place, and a baseline is established.

Gateway 3: Sustaining.

Even more community assets can be leveraged to effect change within the core indicators. Indicators are being continually refined to increase accuracy and validity; partners are connected with student-level data. Collaborative Action Networks are identifying opportunities and barriers, enabling them to take action to improve outcomes. Resources are allocated to improve community-level outcomes, and a collective advocacy agenda is developed to change local, state, or national policy.

Gateway 4: Systems Change.

Here’s where we truly start to see exciting improvements within the community! As the structures prove themselves durable, services organizations have access to the student-level data that will empower them to leverage their capacities.

Gateway 5: Proof Point.

A community at Proof Point is one that is seeing indicators improving. This is the ultimate goal for organizations in the StriveTogether network, and Aspire Toledo is working diligently to see this become a reality.

Aspire Toledo is dedicated to providing resources that enable organizations to fulfill the outcomes our community has deemed essential to the success of any given program. We will provide further information in future blog posts, and we encourage you to check back frequently!