PLATINUM2023

Positive Paths

Building Life Bridges for Women

aka Positive Paths   |   Mesa, AZ   |  www.positivepathsaz.org

Mission

Positive Paths exists to support East Valley women in need by providing a life-bridge to economic stability, personal growth and professional achievement. We do this through scholarship and mentoring programs, and supportive services. We encourage others to invest in the future of East Valley women in need, and to support East Valley women to be resilient and positive contributors to their communities.

Ruling year info

2015

President, Board of Directors

Cherri Marrese

Vice President, Board of Directors

Dr. LaCinda Lewis

Main address

1550 S. Alma School Road Suite 250

Mesa, AZ 85210 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

46-4943070

NTEE code info

Single Organization Support (P11)

Vocational Counseling / Guidance / Testing (J21)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2023, 2022 and 2021.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Positive Paths serves low-income women that live in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, who have faced challenges that inhibit their success, including poverty, violence, substance abuse, and economic dependency, among others. Women are poorer than men in all racial and ethnic groups, and the gap is higher in the United States than in any other Western country in the world. In Arizona, more women are living in poverty than the national average and women of color are far more likely to live in poverty. Additionally, women are over-represented in low-wage jobs and occupations. Positive Paths provides scholarships and mentoring to East Valley women to ensure they become economically independent, enjoy increased job prospects and stability, and increase resiliency through educational attainment and mentoring relationships. We believe that when you help women you support entire families and strengthen our community.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Scholarship and Mentoring Program

Positive Paths assists women who are returning to school to improve their lives and enhance their career opportunities by way of appropriate education, training and mentorship. Many of our women have overcome major obstacles including poverty, domestic violence, death of a spouse, loss of a job, illness of family members, issues with children, or other challenges. Recipients use the scholarship to offset costs associated with attainment of a post-secondary credential that leads to stable employment opportunities. Mentors are career professionals who serve as coaches and role-models.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Adults

Positive Paths provides workshops and events accessible to all East Valley women. These events provide networking opportunities with industry professionals and community leaders, while helping women attain the additional knowledge and skills necessary for personal and professional success. Topics that have been covered in past professional development events include developing a professional image that is appropriate for one’s career field, resume writing and interviewing, time management, financial planning, decision-making skills, speed mentoring, and more. Often these events provide information about academic and career-related connections and resources within our community. In short, we amplify the ability for women to obtain and maintain successful employment.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Women and girls
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Percentage of participants who complete their post-secondary program

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women, Economically disadvantaged people, Single parents

Related Program

Scholarship and Mentoring Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

These numbers are a percentage of completers in the Scholarship and Mentoring Program, which is an incredible success rate for this population.

Percentage of participants self-report that the combination of education and mentoring made a difference in their success

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women, Economically disadvantaged people, Single parents

Related Program

Scholarship and Mentoring Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

100% of participants reported the program increased their likelihood of being retained in college, their opportunities for professional development, and their confidence in reaching their goals

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Goal 1: Positive Paths women will receive financial support to finish post-secondary training or education.
Objective 1.1: By June 2024, more than 120 low-income East Valley women who have experienced challenges will enroll at a public Arizona community college or university with financial scholarship support from Positive Paths.
Objective 1.2: At least 72% of Positive Paths scholars-mentees will complete their post-secondary program (a certificate, an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree).

Goal 2: Positive Paths women will benefit from mentoring relationships with professionals in our community.
Objective 2.1: All Positive Paths scholars-mentees will participate in a mentoring relationship that provides professional guidance and social support.
Objective 2.2: At least 95% of Positive Paths' mentors will report monthly contact with their mentees.
Objective 2.3: At least 95% of scholar-mentees will report that their mentoring relationship increased their likelihood of retention from semester-to-semester and enhanced their opportunities for career success.

Goal 3: Positive Paths women will obtain employment and become economically independent.
Objective 3.1: At least 90% of Positive Paths scholars-mentees will have a secured stable employment or secure a job promotion within 6 months of completing the program.
Objective 3.2: At least 90% of scholar-mentees will report greater access to professional development opportunities and career prospects as a result of their education and mentoring.

Goal 4: Positive Paths will implement best practices for accountability and transparency in a non-profit organization.
Objective 4.1: At least 85% of revenues will be spent directly on scholarship, mentoring, and professional development programs to benefit our women.
Objective 4.2: Board of directors names will be visible on the website.
Objective 4.3: Bylaws, conflict of interest policies, and financial statements will demonstrate compliance with laws for tax-exempt organizations and commitment to public accountability and transparency.
Objective 4.5: Multiple sources of revenue will ensure financial sustainability over time.

Strategy #1: Increase and diversify funding. We will continue to exercise wise and accountable stewardship of the financial resources while devoting more effort to fundraising, donor programs, and grants to ensure the long-term stability of the organization.

Strategy #2: Expand partnerships within the educational, business and non-profit community to directly support our women, market our programs and services to organizations that serve similar populations, and enhance our ability to leverage our strengths.

Strategy #3: Expand the number of volunteers available on our board, as well as support our scholarship and mentoring programs, our committees, and our events. Promote community involvement in attending to the needs of women and their families in the East Valley.

Strategy #4: Implement appropriate administrative systems to track outcomes and to measure and evaluate impact.

Strategy #5: Increase public awareness of Positive Paths and its impact on the community. Develop marketing and communications about the organization, including consistent social media and other forms of messaging to donors, volunteers and the community at large.

Strategy #6: Monitor best practices for non-profit organizations, including recruiting and retaining a diverse board of directors with broad expertise to ensure we are practicing accountability and transparency in our operations and that we are complying with all legal and financial requirements.

Positive Paths is in the early stages of development as a non-profit organization. As of summer 2023, the organization consists of a committed board of directors, volunteers, and one part-time employee. Foundational administrative and financial management systems are in place. We have, for example, developed bylaws, committee structures, and operating procedures; secured an office location; launched a website; created a budget and secured sources of revenue; filed appropriate legal and financial documents; and implemented well-regarded annual fundraising and recognition events.

Our focus has been on being able to serve more women through our scholarship and mentoring program. In 2014, we were able to support 5 scholar-mentees, and in 2023, we are supporting 35 scholar-mentees. Non-profit and educational partners help us make women aware of the program. There is a process for applying, interviewing and being selected, and subsequently for tracking progress. These women receive financial support for the fall and spring semesters and they receive assistance navigating the educational environment. Each woman has a one-to-one mentoring relationship with a professional in the community. Annual events such as a recognition and kick-off breakfast and professional development workshops are shared experiences that bond our women with one another, their mentors, and the board.

We are fortunate to have (a) collaboration with other non-profit organizations such as Assistance League of the East Valley, One Small Step (Clothing Cabin), East Valley Women, A New Leaf, Homeward Bound's Destination Diploma program, College Bound AZ, and Sunshine Acres; (b) involvement from our public educational institutions such as the Maricopa Community Colleges, Central Arizona College, East Valley Institute of Technology, Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona, and Arizona State University; (c) support from key businesses such as Dignity Health, TrustBank, Intel, SRP, APS, Boeing, CAMS, First International Bank and Trust, Rudge Foundation, White Rose Hospice, and others, and (d) commitment from an energetic and devoted board of directors. We believe that with these alliances, we can achieve collective impact that will meaningfully change the life trajectory of the women we serve, while supporting their families and improving the community at large.

Positive Paths has grown from a concept to a structured non-profit organization with appropriate policies, procedures, and systems. Accomplishments in the first 10 years of operation include:
• Forming a board of directors that includes representatives from many of the significant businesses and organizations in the East Valley.
• Writing the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.
• Restating the Bylaws to include significant revisions to board terms of service, a new emeritus status designation, committee descriptions, changes to the conflict of interest policy, and more.
• Establishing bank accounts and financial processes.
• Creating annual fundraising events (Positive Paths Night of Heroes and an Annual Golf Event) that raise a significant amount of the annual operating revenue.
• Diversifying funding sources including programs related to Benevity, SRP Dollars for Doers, Network for Good, Kendra Scott, Arizona Gives Day and Giving Tuesday.
• Receiving grants to support career and professional development events.
• Securing a physical office.
• Hiring a part-time staff member, who supports administrative functions.
• Developing a website, social media accounts (FaceBook, Instagram), and mailing list.
• Developing and implementing a scholarship application and selection process, and subsequent tracking of progress.
• Developing and implementing a mentor recruitment system, mentor-matching process, orientation program with a handbook, and annual surveys.
• Holding an annual Recognition and Kick-off Breakfast to have our scholars-mentees meet their mentors, meet each other, and be recognized for their courage and resilience in creating a better life for themselves and their families.
• Use the data tracking system (Innovative Mentoring System) to create standardized reports on demographics and success.
• Recruiting dozens of volunteers to serve as mentors, and assist on committees and at events.
• Initiating a Marketing and Communications Committee, comprised of board members and other volunteers, to help develop a more concerted marketing plan for the organization, and to increase community awareness and understanding of the issues our women are facing.
• Producing multiple videos that tell the stories of some of our women, their challenges and successes.

Within the coming 12-24 months, the following strategic priorities have been identified:
• Creating additional professional development events that will allow many more women to interact and receive advice from women leaders in our community.
• Establishing an auxiliary group to assist with fundraising and community awareness.
• Enhancing volunteer recruitment, management and recognition.
• Expanding membership on the board of directors with more experienced individuals to fill gaps identified on the board attributes matrix.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection

Financials

Positive Paths
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Positive Paths

Board of directors
as of 11/28/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Cherri Marrese

CAMS

Term: 2023 - 2024


Board co-chair

Dr. LaCinda Lewis

EFY Enterprises LLC

Term: 2023 - 2024

Imelda Castro

Retired Intel

Rhonda Curtis

First International Bank & Trust

Kathleen Dowler

Dignity Health

Caryn Gose

Retired Salt River Project (SRP)

Maria Hesse

Arizona State University

Sandra Hudson

TrustBank

Joyce McKinney

Retired IBM

Denise Hayes

Salt River Project (SRP)

Doreen Cott

Town of Queen Creek

Kim Moyers

City of Chandler

Donna Golub

The Boeing Company

Cherri Marrese

Corporate Air Mechanical Services

Jackie Orcutt

CBRE

Janice Parker

Workforce Development Consultant

Julia Marreel

Retired Hotel Management

LaCinda Smoot Lewis

EFY Enterprises LLC

Julie Soave

Intel Corporation

Nancy Uko

Regain Law Firm

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/28/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/07/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.