Phoenix, AZ   |


Elevate Phoenix's mission is, "Delivering long-term, life-changing relationships with urban youth for civic impact." We work with students from kindergarten through college who struggle with gangs, drugs, dysfunction and generational poverty. No other organization uses teacher-mentors in the classroom who also are available to students 24/7 for other assistance. The geographic area served is nine schools in Soouth Phoenix and Maryvale.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Tim Cleary

Main address

3750 W Indian School Rd

Phoenix, AZ 85019 USA

Show more contact info



NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

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 2021, 2020 and 2019.
Register now


Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We aim to address the need to help youth succeed academically, stay in school, and move on to a successful career. Cronkite News recently reported that only 30% of Arizona’s fourth- and eighth-graders are proficient in reading and only 34% are proficient in math. In Maryvale, these percentages are 33%and 40% respectively. The state's graduation rate is 78%, lower than the national average of 82.3%. Low-income and minority youth score lowest on standardized tests. This is concerning because they must do well in school to improve their quality of life. For most, their parents did not go to college, so they do not know how to help their child prepare for it. They also cannot afford remedial education programs when their child struggles in school. Elevate Phoenix provides a host of educational, life skills development, reading and other programs to help improve their academic success and succeed in school, a career and life.

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?

Discover Your Future Program

The goals of the Discover Your Future Program are to help 5,000 at-risk elementary, middle and high school students stay in school; graduate; and enroll, and be successful, in post-secondary education and a career by providing them with mentoring, tutoring and other assistance. Activities will include:
• Having Elevate Phoenix's teacher-mentors work with teachers to teach Arizona Department of Education standards-compliant academic reading curriculum to high school students.
• Having the teacher-mentors tutor students at lunch and after school and be available for them 24/7 to help with school work, a bully, a problem at home, or anything else they need.
• Training high school students to serve as peer mentors and teachers so they can conduct a weekly academic reading program for Grades 2-3 using character, life skills and civics awareness curriculum. Before being transported to the elementary schools, they match topics with myON Reader (a web-based, literacy environment for students) books and make those book recommendations to the elementary students and teachers. We give students access to 8,000+ digital myON books to read and that allows parents and teachers to measure improvements in their literacy skills. The program also enables high school students to use their educational skills and knowledge to teach younger students and to serve as peer mentors.
• Working with the students to prepare them for post-secondary education and a career, and to be civic-minded adults by involving them in a number of community service activities.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

The program goal is to improve the literacy skills and reading comprehension of 4,450 students in Grades 2-12 in five low-income South Phoenix schools (the target population and geographical area served). The student demographics are approximately 80% Hispanic, 12% African American, 2% Asian, 1% American Indian and 5% Caucasian. On average, 85% of the students qualify for the Federal Free/Reduced Lunch Program.

The program activities include:
1. Having Elevate Phoenix's teacher-mentors work with teachers to teach Arizona Department of Education standards-compliant academic reading curriculum to high school students.
2. Having the teacher-mentors tutor students at lunch and after school.
3. Training high school students to serve as peer teachers to conduct a reading program and rallies for elementary students using character, life skills and civics awareness curriculum.
4. Giving students free 24/7 access to 8,000+ digital books through myON Reader (a web-based, literacy environment for students), which matches vetted titles with student reading levels and interests, generates a recommended list of e-books, and tracks students' reading improvements. We also conduct summer reading activities for hundreds of youth.

The Reading Program meets the need above by providing programming that is proven to improve urban, at-risk students' literacy skills and comprehension, improve their Lexile scores, and keep thousands of youth in school through graduation. Elevate Phoenix delivers the program in and out of school through a reading curriculum, classroom education, mentoring and a kid-friendly digital reading library. All students receive 24/7 access to Capstone Publishing's myON Reader, which is a “library” of 8,000+ books that youth love to read. The myON Reader e-books include hundreds of topics that interest the students, including sports, mysteries, biographies, technology, history and current cultural issues. Students can access myON Reader using an electronic device (i.e. Smartphone, Kindle, etc.). We also conduct teacher training and parent literacy education on myON’s evaluation tools that measure the number of books each student is reading and the improvements in their skills and comprehension.

In addition, students also receive mentoring and tutoring from our teacher-mentors, which is one of the keys to the program’s success. No other program uses teacher-mentors in the classroom to teach reading curriculum and tutor students outside the classrooms. The one-on-one help and 24/7 assistance (i.e. help with a bully, a problem at home, etc.) that students receive motivates them, improves their literacy skills, keeps them in school and gives them a mentor from their own community who overcame the same challenges the students face to stay in school and go to college. Since most of our students had no sibling or parent graduate high school, having a teacher-mentor who did helps them envision a brighter future for themselves, which motivates them to stay in school.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

National Mentor Award for Calling Character and Commitment from Elevate USA for Dalila Gamper 2021

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Number of participants engaged in programs

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

At-risk youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

The number of youth participating in all of Elevate Phoenix's educational, life skills development and other programming.

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.

We are hoping to increase the number of at-risk youth who are staying in school, graduating, and moving on to post-secondary education. The demographics of students served is approximately 80% Hispanic, 1% Native American, 2% Asian, 12% African American and 5% Caucasian. Nearly all come from low-income families. The typical Elevate Phoenix student is someone who wants a better future, but circumstances make it difficult to envision. They see their parents and other adults in the neighborhood who are weary from the daily struggle. In addition, many students don't have a sibling or parent who completed high school and they don't know anyone who went to college to prepare for the career of their dreams. On their way to school, they walk past friends who dropped out of school -- and try to convince them to do the same. They hear, “Why are you wasting your time? Skip school and hang with us." They are ridiculed for doing the right thing by turning down offers of drugs and joining a gang. Yet, these students are beating the odds because Elevate Phoenix gives them caring mentors, teaching them reading and character development curriculum, and having its teacher-mentors remain available to the students 24/7 for help with a bully or any other issue with which they are struggling. We help them through school, and beyond, so they can secure a good job and have a brighter future.

Our strategies include conducting these programs:
Elevate Phoenix's programs and services include:
• RISE (Relationships. Instruction. Support. Equipping.) Program, which helps low-income, at-risk students remain in school, envision and achieve a successful future, enroll and remain in college, and prepare for employment.
• Discover Your Future: Education, Mentoring and Relationships Program, which helps at-risk students in Grades K-12 stay in school, graduate, and enroll in post-secondary education.
• Reading Program, which improves the literacy skills of thousands of students in Grades 2-12 each year.
• In-school tutoring. Elevate Phoenix's teacher-mentors provide tutoring in reading, workforce readiness, social studies, math and other school subjects over lunch and after school.

The other key strategy is the relationship between students and the Elevate Phoenix teacher-mentors. Most of our teacher-mentors grew up in low-income urban areas of Phoenix and understand the challenges our students face and how to overcome them to stay in school, graduate and go on to college and a career. They model good behavior and choices that the students want to emulate. They are available 24/7 to help students with homework, a problem at home, completing job applications and college entrance forms, and anything else they need. Many students woefully lack a role model in their lives and our teacher-mentors provide for that need. In fact, they have taken ill students to the clinic; helped students (and parents) access resources for drug-related health issues; and provided grief support when a family member was killed due to gang violence or other issue -- even conducting fundraisers to help with the funeral costs. The high school and college students feel supported and encouraged, have the desire to stay in school through graduation, and eagerly participate in workforce readiness activities to secure a job. Having a teacher-mentor who knows their challenges, and who successfully graduated, went to college and is working in the career of their choice, gives students the desire to stay in school and the knowledge that they, too, can succeed.

Elevate Phoenix is capable of meeting all of its goals due to its successful track record and excellent, experienced staff. Elevate Phoenix is accredited through a Phoenix Union High School District Governing Board agreement, and is replicated on the very successful Colorado Uplift program model. Elevate Phoenix also is a registered 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. Tim Cleary, Executive Director, has 33+ years of experience as a national educational consultant and trainer. He holds a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Media Communications. Amanda Covarrubias, Teacher-Mentor (TM), holds a B.A. in Youth Program Management from ASU. Juan Chavez, TM, is pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Youth Work. Dalila Gamper, TM, certified teacher and curriculum specialist, holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Education from ASU. Jazmine Hall, College and Development Director, holds a Master's degree in Business Management and a Bachelor's Degree in Human Communication from ASU. All other TMs hold at least a Bachelor's degree.

Elevate Phoenix's Board of Directors is responsible for the agency's ongoing governance. They advance the agency's mission by setting policy, providing governance and program and agency evaluation, overseeing the agency's strategic direction, and through active participation in leadership fundraising and donor stewardship.

Elevate Phoenix's accomplishments over the past year include:
• Serving 4,980 unduplicated students. Some of the numbers in the bullets below represent students served by more than one of our programs.
• Being embedded in schools in four school districts: Phoenix Union HS District, Creighton District, Roosevelt District, and the Maricopa County Community College District.
• Supporting 1,592 K-12 students through our Discover Your Future Program, including providing daily classroom / mentoring programming, tutoring, lunch program, college post-secondary preparation groups, community service projects, camps and student events.
• Assisting 2,956 students through our K-12 reading and literacy program.
• Serving 875 students in Grades K-8 through our Summer School Programs in our summer reading and activity programs that begin with the Summer School camps.
• Serving 450 young adults through our R.I.S.E. (Relationships. Instruction. Support. Equipping.) college bridge and alumni mentoring programs.
• The R.I.S.E. students successfully earned six college credits and performed at an average of a 3.88 G.P.A. to start their college careers.
• Determining that 100% of the R.I.S.E. students had a post-secondary plan to continue on to college, a trade/certificate program, the military/armed forces and/or the workforce.

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 bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback



Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.


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.


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


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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.


Board of directors
as of 08/04/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Bob Barbee

Longmont Ford

Board co-chair

Mr. Tom Lehman

PGA Golf Professional

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 ? Yes
  • 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 5/20/2022

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


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/20/2022

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

  • 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.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
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.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.