Data & Resources
Sioux Falls Thrive: Working on Systems Change
One-third of our school-age children face disadvantages that make achieving their educational and career potential difficult. And those obstacles — housing, income, and opportunity disparities, food insecurity and transportation challenges — won’t be solved one program at a time.
These are systems issues and they are notoriously tough to overcome. That’s because
- We can be blind to them. The majority of Sioux Falls kids and families who are most challenged are living in neighborhoods north of 18th Street, where access to affordable housing, after school programs, and food resources is scarce. For many of us, these families are out of sight and out of mind.
- The systems that need fixing are complex with so many players that no one organization — not the school district, nor the city, nor nonprofits, faith-based groups, or businesses — is responsible for how the systems evolved.
- Time is in short supply — the very people who could play a role in fixing broken systems are working on overload just to find solutions to today’s problems.
Thrive-facilitated collaboration harnesses a full spectrum of community leadership to remove obstacles to student success. It’s hard work! But this past year, more than 150 volunteers decided that dedicating their time to the challenging and often frustrating job of systems change was important.
Thrive is a long-term workforce development initiative. Our city’s economic vitality depends on making sure the kids growing up in Sioux Falls today have the skills and knowledge to become contributing young adults. We are incredibly grateful for the volunteers who are making the most of existing resources to foster opportunity for all children, from cradle to career, regardless of ZIP Code!