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Higher Ground Youth & Family Services

 23001 La Palma Avenue, Suite 220A
 Yorba Linda, CA 92887
[P] (714) 833-5087
[F] --
[email protected]
Joseph Baldo
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA Higher Ground Youth & Family Services
Higher Ground
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Employer Identification Number 46-1455865 00000


Mission StatementMORE »

Engaging the entire person to facilitate exploration and discovery of life's possibilities through mentorship. Expanding purpose, possibilities, and hope for youth and families at risk. 

Mission Statement

Engaging the entire person to facilitate exploration and discovery of life's possibilities through mentorship. Expanding purpose, possibilities, and hope for youth and families at risk. 

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2019
Projected Expenses $610,672.76
Projected Revenue $632,076.07

ProgramsMORE »

  • After School Program at Lincoln

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Engaging the entire person to facilitate exploration and discovery of life's possibilities through mentorship. Expanding purpose, possibilities, and hope for youth and families at risk. 

Background Statement

Higher Ground was founded in 2012 by Joe Baldo. After many years as a successful businessman in Orange County, Joe retired and went in search of ministry. He tried many areas, but was hooked by the kids in the Juvenile Detention System. His observations that the need to belong to something along with the active recruiting by neighborhood gangs lead these youth to directly to trouble motivated Joe to start Higher Ground. Gang members are responsible for a proportionally high number of aggravated assaults and murders, however they comprise less than 1% of the City of Anaheim's population. There are currently 35 to 40 documented street gangs in the city. Most current gang members "jumped in" (joined) the gang sometime during the 7th to 9th grade school years. Law enforcement officials have noted that once in, it is almost impossible to leave a gang. These young people are making a lifelong commitment to adversity somewhere between 12 and 14 years of age, and need a better alternative. Higher Ground is committed to empowering youth, making them aware of life's possibilities, giving them the tools, access and desire to choose a better path, and to become successful in the adult world.

In the spring of 2013, Higher Ground mentors started playing baseball with kids in the Lincoln Elementary School area of Anaheim. By working with the Anaheim City School District (ACSD) and in conjunction with Angels RBI, Higher Ground provided coaches for four Angels Junior RBI teams. All sixteen kids on each team were hand-picked by a committee comprised of educators & HG staff based on criteria like academic and behavioral struggles, lack of home support, etc. By keeping the ratio of kids to coaches at four to one, Higher Ground not only provided coaching, but mentoring. By the spring of 2014, the number had grown to eight teams at ACSD elementary schools. Success of the program was measured by teacher/staff and parent reporting in areas of behavior, grades, social interaction, etc.

Higher Ground continues to serve the Anaheim community by providing programming for youth. In the summer of 2014, Higher Ground started their first annual Summer Camp and in the fall, Higher Ground opened an after-school program at Lincoln Elementary School that same year and in 2015 we moved into Lincoln Park where we currently have 5 classrooms and a batting cage for our program.

Impact Statement

Higher Ground has a cooperative agreement with the Anaheim City School District (ACSD) to use two classrooms, the Library, the computer lab and the playground at Lincoln Elementary. In Higher Ground’s (HG) First Annual Summer Program (Summer 2014), we served about 370 at-risk youth from the ages of 6 through 16 by providing academic, social and sports programming. Higher Ground, in partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank, served 3600 lunches and 3750 snacks to summer participants.  For the 2014-2015 school year, HG is running its first after-school program serving youth from fourth grade through Junior High which continues many programs from summer camp as well as adding a homework/tutoring component. HG has a cooperative agreement with Chapman University that gives Chapman students the responsibility for designing and facilitating a two-hour once-a-week program that targets a specific area. Some Chapman programs include Shakespeare, Improv, Yoga, Sports Fitness, Volleyball, Frisbee, Video Creation/Editing and Magic. We also have volunteers from Concordia & Biola University as well as area high schools, church groups and civic organizations.

Higher Ground is committed to continue our relationship with Angels RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities). In the spring of 2014, HG had eight teams that played in the Jr. RBI league and we hope to have the same number for the spring of 2015. 

Higher Ground has a cooperative agreement with the City of Anaheim for the use of Lincoln Park and on January 2, 2015, placed four modular buildings there. One will be a clubhouse, one an Education Center, one a food distribution center and the last is a restroom as the park currently only has a Porta-Potty. It is Higher Ground’s goal to complete the remodel of the buildings this spring and have them open for use as soon as possible.

Needs Statement

Higher Ground needs funding for salaries. Currently there is only one full time employee, Director of Operations. All others are part time staff, volunteers, including interns. 

Higher Ground needs capital funding to refurbish the modular buildings. Specific areas of need include paint, flooring, furnishings, and industrial toilets, sinks, and stalls for the restroom.

Higher Ground needs program mentors who are willing to volunteer at least two hours a week and to come at the same time every week. This provides continuity of programming for our patrons.  

CEO Statement

Higher Ground is a place where school children can come after school for positive role models, tutoring, supervised sports and a host of other activities. Higher Ground provides them with tools to make choices at an early age that could lead to a different life 10 years down the road.

The vision at Higher Ground is to transform lives of youth living in at risk communities in our own backyards. These kids are looking for adult guidance and alternatives to the gangs, drugs and crime on their streets. Higher Ground can give these deserving kids that and more. We offer a safe place to talk about the challenges they face every day, whether that be a challenge at school, a difficult family situation, or peer pressure from friends. Higher Ground mentors become a safe and trusted listener to those who do not otherwise have this privilege.

Aside from daily mentoring and tutoring, Higher Ground is doing whatever it takes to engage at risk youth in new life experiences and activities such as recreational sports, music, dance, art and video production.

Board Chair Statement


Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

Higher Ground is in need of volunteers in all areas to mentor the at-risk youth of Orange County. If you have a heart for these young people and would like to share your time and talent with them, contact us today at [email protected] We welcome your involvement! We welcome your donations.  You can go to our website at or mail a check to Higher Ground, 23001 E. La Palma, Suite 220A, Yorba Linda, CA 92887.  The kids we serve thank you! As our program has grown, so have our needs.  If you would like to share some of your treasure, Higher Ground accepts checks mailed to our office at 23001 La Palma, Suite220A, Yorba Linda, CA 92887.   

Geographic Area Served

Central Orange County
Higher Ground serves youth in the Anaheim area.

Organization Categories

  1. Youth Development - Youth Development-Citizenship
  2. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs
  3. -



After School Program at Lincoln


After School Program at Lincoln Elementary School/Lincoln Park – Serving youth from 4th through 8th grade, this program provides services in Education, Enrichment and Social Recreation. We provide programs with mentors who help with homework and tutor in all subjects. We also have programming in music, dance, cheer, magic, video creation/production, etc. as well as basketball, baseball, soccer, volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, and other sports activities.

Budget  $86,000.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served At-Risk Populations Children Only (5 - 14 years) K-12 (5-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  xxx
Program Long-Term Success 

 Higher Ground is committed to empowering youth, making them aware of life's possibilities, giving them the tools, access and desire to choose a better path, and to become successful in the adult world. The ultimate success would be for all children to realize their potential, graduate from High School and continue on to some form of higher education.  Alas, this is not realistic, but Higher Ground desires that all those children in our program who have the desire graduate and continue on receive support from Higher Ground and access to other organizations who can assist with this process. 

Program Success Monitored By  xxx
Examples of Program Success  --


CEO/Executive Director Joseph Baldo
CEO Term Start 2012
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Joe Baldo is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University where he earned a bachelor's degree in Business. For 30 years, he owned and operated a successful video production company in Orange County serving major corporations. Since 2008 his passion has been mentoring youth through numerous area organizations including:

  • Catholic Detention Ministry (Juvenile Hall and ancillary locations)

  • Lives Worth Saving (engaging youths on the streets of Santa Ana)

  • GRIP (Gang Reduction and Intervention Partnership)

  • RBI - Reviving Baseball in the Inner City (throughout all Orange County)

  • VPCOC (Violence Prevention Coalition of Orange County)

  • JDAI (Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative

Most recently, Joe made a life decision to pursue a full-time ministry supporting at-risk youth of the inner city. In 2012, he formed Higher Ground Youth & Family Services to create a safe place in troubled Orange County neighborhoods where kids can freely come to play, learn, grow, and transform through mentoring in academics, social and sports programs during a critical time in their lives.

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Geraldine Densmore COO --
Melissa Mendez Director of Programming --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 2
Number of Part Time Staff 72
Number of Volunteers 100
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100%
Staff Professional Development Yes

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 1
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 1
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? --
Organization has Strategic Plan? No
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy --
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? --
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency -- --
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency -- --
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency -- --

Government Licenses


CEO Comments


Foundation Comments



Board Chair Ken Clark
Board Chair Company Affiliation Advisor to CEOs Inc.
Board Chair Term 2013 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ken Clark -- --
Michael Deluca -- --
Geraldine Densmore -- --
Vanessa Dixon -- --
Francisco Fonseca -- --
Lisa Gorciak -- --
Kathleen Juniper -Aust -- --
Joe Slowensky -- --
Rand Sperry -- --
Yolanda Uzzel -- --
Alfonso Valdez PhD -- --

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 7
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 4
Male: 6
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 75%
Written Board Selection Criteria --
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy --
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Board Orientation --

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments


Standing Committees



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2019 to Dec 31, 2019
Projected Revenue $632,076.07
Projected Expenses $610,672.76
Form 990s

2016 HG 2016 - 990

2015 HG 990US

2014 Form 990

2013 2013 990

2012 2012 990

2011 Form 990

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2013
Total Revenue $399,959 $354,462 $132,065
Total Expenses $191,061 $188,274 $9,499

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$399,959 $354,462 $132,065
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- $0 --
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- $0 --
Earned Revenue -- $0 --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- $0 --
Membership Dues -- $0 --
Special Events -- $0 --
Revenue In-Kind -- $42,600 --
Other -- $0 --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2013
Program Expense $177,753 $167,830 $7,851
Administration Expense $13,308 $20,444 $1,093
Fundraising Expense -- $0 $555
Payments to Affiliates -- $0 --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 2.09 1.88 13.90
Program Expense/Total Expenses 93% 89% 83%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2013
Total Assets $520,762 $312,112 $122,566
Current Assets $413,936 $224,398 $119,416
Long-Term Liabilities -- $4,000 --
Current Liabilities $4,000 $0 --
Total Net Assets $516,762 $308,112 $122,566

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 103.48 inf inf

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 1% 0%
Endowment Value $0.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates Jan - Dec
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

CEO Comments

The area we service is downtown Anaheim, CA where 91% of the population lives below the poverty line.  There is significant crime and gang activity.  Our mission is to help our youth avoid these pitfalls.  We rely 100% on private donations and so there are never enough funds to do all that we want and see that is needed.   However, we do everything we can including creating a Parent Advisory Committee so we could ask parents directly, what they needed. They told us they wanted to learn English and so we now offer ESL 4 days/week.  We also know that the highest obesity rate in the USA is in OC and Anaheim even greater than that.  Knowing this we went in search of partners who could support our efforts to provide healthy food. We currently offer a nutritious breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner every day.  We also provide health and nutrition counseling and Zumba classes on site.    We could do so much more with additional funding but we are thankful that we are having such an impact already with what we have to offer.  

Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the Form 990s and consultation with the organization. The organization started operations in 2013 and thus only have financials for 2013. Foundation/corporate and individual contributions are combined under Foundation and Corporation Contributions.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.