East Side Aligned

Community Contact Information


Lead Intermediary Organization

United Way of Greater St. Louis

Region Story

Recognizing a growing sense of urgency to achieve measurably better outcomes for children and youth in the East St. Louis District 189 footprint, a group of committed stakeholders began laying the foundation for a collective impact process in November 2012. This process, now known as East Side Aligned, envisions a day when all children and youth in the greater East St. Louis community are supported – physically, intellectually, and emotionally – and ready for success in school, work and life. Our collective mission is to create the conditions that will equip every child for success through aligning and advancing policy, practice and investment across sectors.

The collective impact process has presented an opportunity for community stakeholders to coalesce around bold action on behalf of young people. Using the Forum for Youth Investment’s Ready by 21® developmental pipeline to shape our work, the initiative is currently undertaking a master planning process to improve outcomes for children and youth.

Areas of Expertise

  • Collective Impact
  • Pathways Curriculum Development
  • Career Information and Advising
  • Employer Engagement
  • Opportunity Youth (Non-engaged Young Adults)

Prioritized STEM Industry Clusters

Key Success to Date

  • Conducted a Pathways to Prosperity Asset Mapping in East St. Louis with JFF
  • Secured funding and employer engagement for Career Cruising Inspire
  • All East St. Louis School District students (7-12th grade) developed their individual learning plan for college and career pathways
  • Recognized at the annual College Changes Everything Conference for its work

Key Goals for Next 2 Years

  • Implementation of the middle school Possible Futures and Possible Selves career exploration pilot program
  • Create a dual credit agreement with Kaskaskia College
  • Offer a one-day job shadowing experience with St. Elizabeth’s Hospital

High School Career Development Project

  • Create a Health Science job-shadowing program with St. Elizabeth’s Hospital so students can obtain the necessary field hours for the CNA certification and expand the paid internship experience program for high school students with moderate to severe mental disabilities. One example of a current work-based learning opportunity is twice a month with the school-based food pantry students unpack bulk donations and divide them up into family boxes for distribution.