Our Theory of Change

2022 will mark the beginning of our third year investing entrepreneurial and financial literacy education resources into underserved and under-resourced communities. Over the past two years, we undertook a community-wide reflection and planning process. We engaged with former, current and prospective students of our programs and local business owners who have served as our community partners over the years.

Together, we set our course for 2022-2025 by developing a revitalized change approach for our work and a plan to implement the Whole Family Wellness Model for a transformed St. Louis.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the rising unemployment, homelessness, poverty, and crime rates have not changed our vision. These uncertain times have fine-tuned our all-important mission to work to end poverty by being a support refuge and a pillar of strength for low-income families living in underserved communities. 

We are pleased to share with you the main points of our plan. I hope you’ll see this as an invitation to join us in this work and movement and make Grind + Growth your activist home for creating a more just and equitable St. Louis.

Valerie V. Liddell, Founder & CEO

Our Mission

Grind + Growth works to end poverty by being a support refuge and a pillar of strength for low-income families living in underserved communities. 

person holding world globe facing mountain

Our Vision

We envision a world in which resources and power are equitably shared and a future where everyone can live with integrity and flourish.

Our Values and Beliefs

“To promote equity in the classroom, it’s essential to understand your students and how they learn best.

Valerie V. Liddell, Founder of Grind + Growth

Our Strategic Goals

Promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Conduct listening sessions with the community, local organizations, and individuals we serve.
  • Collect and share information on relevant past, ongoing, or planned activities of Grind + Growth to inform efforts that enhance equity, diversity, and inclusion within Grind + Growth and across the underserved St. Louis City communities.
  • We will publish a request for information to seek input on practical and effective ways to improve racial and economic equity and equality in underserved communities.
  • We will work with the community and local leaders to develop a strategic plan to address racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in underserved St. Louis City communities.

Strengthen the St. Louis Ecosystem for Minority Entrepreneurs

  • Provide grantmaking opportunities to support minority-owned businesses.
  • Continue to offer capacity-building programs that support minority businesses to become more effective and stable.
  • Invest more resources in communities that are under-resourced by broader philanthropy.
  • Engage more funders and St. Louisians to support businesses led by people of color building power in St. Louis City.

Promote Equity in the Classroom

  • Invest in more enrichment programs and resources to support low-income families and underfunded schools by providing financial literacy, entrepreneurial and nutritional education programs, and health and wellness resources.
  • Eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline for students by offering a high-quality literacy program for children reading below grade level.
  • Model equity for the children participating in our programs through flexibility and compassion.
  • Work with students and respect their needs. Connect with them to understand their situations and find solutions. 

Operationalize Our Values in the Management and Use of Our Resources

  • Strengthen and make transparent our financial planning processes.
  • Continue to deepen the alignment of our investments and financial practices with our values.
  • Develop new ways for Grind + Growth financial assets to be helpful for the communities we serve. 
  • Serve as a resource for the entrepreneurial ecosystem for financial and operations strategies that are accessible and implementable.

Learn about the many ways you can support Grind + Growth’s mission

Contact Us

6 Cardinal Way, Suite 900
St. Louis, MO 63102

Office Hours
9 am-5 pm (CST)