Family Engagement Liaisons Program Earns National Recognition from Mutual of America Financial Group

Luncheon and award presentation salutes Beyond Housing's program helping students from an under-resourced area of the city achieve success.

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Beyond Housing was recognized by Mutual of America Financial Group for its Family Engagement Liaisons program during a special luncheon and award presentation at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis on February 13.

Family Engagement Liaisons (FEL) was named a Merit Finalist award recipient in the Mutual of America 2019 Community Partnership Award competition, which received entries from organizations nationwide.

The program was launched by Beyond Housing, a Missouri-based community development organization, to address the out-of-school barriers threatening students' success. The families in this under-resourced area are served by the Normandy Schools Collaborative, a struggling public school district that was taken over by the state and stripped of its accreditation in 2013. FEL provides services and support to help overcome barriers to academic and social successes, including supplemental food, uniforms and clothing, essential school supplies, referrals to healthcare services, and rent and utility assistance programs.

"In just three years, the overall performance score of our district leaped from 7.1% in 2014 to 62.5%. At the same time, our graduation rate grew from 54% to 81%. We were thrilled when the Missouri Board of Education voted unanimously in December 2017 to upgrade our school district's accreditation to 'provisional,' citing improvements not just in academics, but also in system leadership and school culture," said Chris Krehmeyer, President and CEO of Beyond Housing.

"[Last] year, we received the Friend of Education Award from the Missouri National Education Association. We take this as further proof that our belief in the power of collective impact is a sound one. When you address the needs of students and their families, children come to school ready to learn and succeed. It's a model we look forward to helping other school districts replicate."

About the Mutual of America Community Partnership Award
The Mutual of America Community Partnership Award annually honors the outstanding contributions that nonprofit organizations, in partnership with public, private and other social sector organizations, make to society. Since 1996, the Community Partnership Award has recognized 240 partnerships from cities and towns across America. To watch videos of all of the national award-winning programs, visit the Mutual of America Foundation Community Partnership Award channel on YouTube.

About Mutual of America
Mutual of America is a leading provider of retirement products, offering personalized service at a competitive price to help plan participants and individuals build and preserve assets for a financially secure future. Integrity, prudence and reliability are the values that have guided us since our inception in 1945 and that continue to serve us well. For more information, visit mutualofamerica.com, and connect with us via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.