Investing in Youth & Families

Promise South Salt Lake

Promise South Salt Lake is a department of the City of South Salt Lake that provides dynamic, highly specialized community and out-of-school-time programming in 14 programs, at 12 locations throughout our City. It is our commitment to give all youth and families in our community the opportunity to succeed in life. Programs are free, open to all, and emphasize equity, diversity and putting children first. Promise SSL serves anyone who lives, learns, works, plays, and prays in South Salt Lake.

We provide safe, well-rounded, data-driven programs guided by our 3 promises that represent our highest hopes for South Salt Lake:

  1. Every child has the opportunity to attend and graduate from college
  2. Everyone has a safe clean home and neighborhood
  3. Everyone has the opportunity to be healthy and prosper

Being a mom with three boys enrolled in public school and a first-generation college graduate herself, Cherie knew the importance of access to a quality education. On the campaign trail, she heard from many residents concerned about their children's education, and after being elected Mayor, knew the importance of prioritizing support for our local public schools. With unique challenges, South Salt Lake schools were among the lowest-performing in the state at the time. Learning more about the work SSL was already doing in collaboration with our schools and the dedicated administration and teachers focused on academic growth for all students, Cherie could see a promising future.

Soon after taking office, Mayor Wood worked with City administration, partners, education leaders, and residents so that no kid would fall through the cracks. They visited the Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ) for the first time to learn about this organization that set out to address not just some but all of the issues children and families face. Inspiration from the HCZ model along with other research, the specific considerations for our SSL community, and a commitment to setting the bar high with a commitment to everyone in our community grew to become what Promise South Salt Lake is today.

Shortly thereafter, Mayor Wood founded Promise South Salt Lake. What started as a set of afterschool programs has since grown to become a City-wide system that operates 14 community programs and is one of the largest City Departments. Promise SSL is on the front lines creating safe spaces and activities and tackling issues of equity, education, health, safety, housing, jobs and economy, digital inclusion, and other topics that impact youth and community success.

Promise SSL continues to be driven by continuous improvement and uses data to assess and guide the work. These statistics reflect more than numbers and demonstrate what an invested city government can do for its community. The program has continued to grow and grab national attention. Some highlights include:

  • 71% reduction in youth crime since programs started in 2008
  • 75% of elementary and 67.15% of middle and high school teachers reported an improvement in academic performance
  • 100% of parents and guardians reported that they feel their children are safe in Promise SSL programs.

See more information about Promise South Salt Lake.

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