HEART Bridge Program Alliance

A new alliance aims to help potentially at-risk Dubuque-area high school students create sustainable careers. The partnership brings together the Housing Education and Rehabilitation Training (HEART) Program, Dupaco Community Credit Union and the Dupaco R.W. Hoefer Foundation.


The effort includes hands-on learning, financial education and savings goals, certificate programs and advanced degrees. The program also is intended to address the local economy’s growing shortage of skilled workers.

Through the alliance called HEART Bridge, Dupaco Community Credit Union and the Dupaco R.W. Hoefer Foundation annually contribute staff expertise and more than $10,000 in direct matching contributions and operational support. Learn more about the HEART program.

The new initiative builds upon the successful results of the 12-year-old HEART Program. Through hands-on revitalization projects, the program teaches valuable trade skills to juniors and seniors who may be at-risk of dropping out of high school.

Through the enhanced HEART Bridge program:

  1. Dupaco Community Credit Union opens a savings account and provides financial coaching required by the program to help ensure the participant’s goals are met;
  2. Students earn a stipend as they learn valuable hands-on trade skills during housing and community revitalization projects;
  3. The Dupaco R.W. Hoefer Foundation will match the savings amount once the goal is attained;
  4. Participants can use their savings and matched funds toward certificate programs, degree programs, career equipment or tools.
  5. The HEART Program continues to teach trade skills and coach students toward viable career paths.

To help these students build skills, the Four Mounds Foundation and its partners—Dubuque Community School District, the City of Dubuque and Four Oaks of Iowa, Inc.—created its HEART Program in 2003 to revitalize blighted neighborhoods and community buildings in Dubuque. This program empowers its participants to take part in community revitalization projects while also working on becoming better leaders and developing viable career paths.

Modeled after Dupaco’s highly successful Individual Development Accounts (IDA), HEART Bridge participants leverage their savings and match for acquiring wealth-building assets and marketable skills.

Contributions from Dupaco Community Credit Union, employees and members fund the Dupaco R.W. Hoefer Foundation. Student support also is being provided by the McDonough Charitable Foundation and the Kiwanis Club of Downtown Dubuque.

Comments (2)
How much would you pay to save a persons life?
Shelly
 • 304 days 4 hrs 23 mins 9 secs ago
I am writing as a grateful mother of a student in the HEART Program. My son was not doing well in conventional classrooms, and my fear was he would drop out of school. Then what... He has worked since he was 14, but because of some issues was struggling in school. This program has saved my son from dropping out of school, taught him life skills, tolerance, and many more things. I could praise this program for hours. My son will graduate from High School next year, and has developed new friendships and his future is much brighter. So THANKS to all who promote, sponsor and drive the success of this program....It has been life changing for my son. Again how much is the life of a child worth...I don't think you can even begin to imagine the heartache this program has saved for my son...and the many others it has impacted. One small ripple can have lifetime of waves! Thank you! Shelly
 

Re: How much would you pay to save a persons life?
Dupaco Moderator
 • 303 days 47 mins 2 secs ago

Hi Shelly, Thanks for your kudos on the program and for sharing how HEART has positively impacted your son's life - we love to hear about stories like this and it makes it well worth the partnership for us with HEART!

 

How much would you pay to save a persons life?
Shelly
 • 304 days 4 hrs 23 mins 9 secs ago
I am writing as a grateful mother of a student in the HEART Program. My son was not doing well in conventional classrooms, and my fear was he would drop out of school. Then what... He has worked since he was 14, but because of some issues was struggling in school. This program has saved my son from dropping out of school, taught him life skills, tolerance, and many more things. I could praise this program for hours. My son will graduate from High School next year, and has developed new friendships and his future is much brighter. So THANKS to all who promote, sponsor and drive the success of this program....It has been life changing for my son. Again how much is the life of a child worth...I don't think you can even begin to imagine the heartache this program has saved for my son...and the many others it has impacted. One small ripple can have lifetime of waves! Thank you! Shelly
 

Re: How much would you pay to save a persons life?
Dupaco Moderator
 • 303 days 47 mins 2 secs ago

Hi Shelly, Thanks for your kudos on the program and for sharing how HEART has positively impacted your son's life - we love to hear about stories like this and it makes it well worth the partnership for us with HEART!

 

congrats
mike t
 • 1155 days 3 hrs 42 mins 10 secs ago
Wonderful job on the 30th project!!!!! As past Dubuque resident, board member, and still Dupaco member I applaude the cooperative effort.
 

Re: congrats
Dupaco Moderator
 • 1151 days 23 hrs 33 mins 24 secs ago

Hi Mike, thank you for the kind words. We enjoy being a partner for the HEART program and instilling the cooperative effort.

 

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