Ascend - We Raise Foundation



Upbring – Austin, Texas

  • Emerging Leader: Amy Knop-Narbutis
  • Grant Program: Emerging Leader
  • Amount of Grant: $15,000
  • Dates of Grant Term: May 2019 – May 2021

Leader Summary:
Amy Knop-Narbutis has served as a research analyst for Upbring’s statewide child welfare programming since 2014. In her role, headquartered in Austin, Texas, she seeks innovative opportunities to use thought leadership and data to advance Upbring’s mission of breaking the cycle of child abuse. She has trained as a results-based facilitator through Lutheran Services in America/Annie E. Casey Foundation, an emerging leader through Leadership Austin, and as a “leader with heart” with the American Heart Association. Amy came to Upbring from The University of Texas at Austin, where she graduated top of her master’s program in policy studies and social program evaluation. She previously served as a Fulbright grantee in Costa Rica, worked with microfinance recipients in Peru, and with Fair Trade artisans in Ecuador. Amy is highly involved in her local community and actively volunteers with the refugee center Casa Marianella, Communities in Schools, and the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition.

Project Summary:
Upbring’s mission is to break the cycle of child abuse by empowering children, families, and communities. Ascend is an emerging, research-informed program designed by Upbring to reduce rates of intergenerational child maltreatment among children in foster care. Following an in-depth research review of risk factors for child abuse and neglect, Upbring identified five key markers of wellbeing – health, safety, vocation, education, and life skills. When adequately addressed, these five key markers become a powerful, protective force for children in foster care. The Ascend model works to connect children to community partners that bolster their resources in these areas and prepare them for a future free of abuse and neglect.


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