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LISTEN TO The stories of teens 

in the ringgold community


LIFT provides a free drop-in afterschool YOUTH CENTER for 6th-12th grade Catoosa County students, where we foster an environment of inclusion, positive self-worth, and self-discovery within our youth while facilitating inner growth to prepare them for future success.


CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR Students TO BE Loved as they are, Inspired to be more, Found in community and Trusted to make a difference.

"The day I was out with LIFT was one of the first times I truly felt as if I wasn't alone in this world."


L oved as they are

  • by seeing and accepting students without judgement or criticism
  • by walking alongside them as they become their best, most-healthy selves

"Everyone should be able to have the openness to find themselves, love themselves, [and] accept themselves."


I nspired to be more

  • by helping students recognize and embrace their gifts and talents
  • by allowing them an environment to explore, discover and develop

"At school a lot of people are really judging… We need a place to go, where we can be accepted."


F ound in community

  • by inviting them into an established, safe space for being known and knowing others
  • by developing layers of support and encouragement across generations

"I never get picked for things, but I could be a really great leader."



  • by empowering students in leadership positions and service opportunities
  • by expecting their success and positive impact to ripple through families, schools and neighborhoods

the Need

Catoosa County Student Survey

78 %

Stated that they would be interested in being involved in future programs/events  

30 %

Shared that they did not have close friends

69 %

Say they are not usually with other people and 7% admitted they are alone a lot

21 %

Feel they are deeply “known” by others and have no secrets

30 %

Feel they are fully reaching their own potential and are given a chance to excel

in the next 24 hours in the united states

Teens will attempt suicide
Teens will use drugs for the first time
Teen girls will become pregnant
Teens will run away

LIFT's Three Year Strategic plan

the window

Suicide, depression, anxiety, isolation and self-destructive behavior are all on the rise. Without support, students can move down a negative spiral as biological changes, negative social interactions, erratic sleep and technology overloads lead to problematic behavior and emotional patterns. This keeps the spiral going in a negative direction. LIFT Youth Center will be a positive anchor in a sea of negatives, an option where they can learn, grow and explore — even fail — all while being supported and encouraged. In this positive spiral, biological changes increase their tendencies to explore healthy versions of risk-taking which leads to taking on responsibility and improving self-confidence as their risk is rewarded. Students have so much potential to go positive OR negative, especially if…

  • They are isolated or ostracized because they are unique in some way.
  • They are raised by relatives, in foster care or have experienced some trauma.
  • They are exposed to poverty, addiction, insecurity and unhealthy choices. BUT they are still GREAT kids! They just need more!

LIFT's History

it all started with an idea

year in review

first year 2021-2022

year two 2022–2023