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Group Fights Intergenerational Poverty With New Grant

Voices for Utah Children was accepted as a member of the Ascend Network on Tuesday. They also received a $50,000 grant from the Aspen Institute, which is a nationwide organization that is working to eliminate poverty.

Karen Crompton, president and CEO of Voices for Utah Children, said the organization is a multi-issue child advocacy group for kids living below the poverty line in Utah.  

"We believe all children should be healthy, safe and ready for school and live in families that can meet their needs and invest in their futures," Crompton said. 

She said the grant will go toward combating intergenerational poverty. 

"If you are going to ultimately move children into lives outside of poverty, you need to work both with parents and children," Crompton said. "Kids do not live on their own, certainly their family circumstances are big determinants of what their future holds." 

Voices for Utah Children does not have enough time to reach out to each child individually who lives in poverty in Utah, she said. But through affective policies, they can potentially help thousands of children through programs like CHIP and Medicaid.

"This legislative session we have helped to get passed a preschool bill that will target at-risk children having high quality preschool opportunities," Crompton said. 

She said her work is guided by one question: Is poverty good for kids?

"The answer is obviously no," Crompton said. "We believe that if it is not good for kids, it is not good for Utah. All of our communities suffer when all of our families are not doing well. We see it in educational outcomes for children, we see it in future earnings potential. It is a real loss to our community."