ST. LOUIS — Annie Malone Children & Family Services secured a monumental $3 million commitment from Governor Mike Parson and several other legislators to launch a new economic mobility program. The purpose of the program is to transform the lives of young men and their families in the St. Louis region.

CEO Keisha Lee’s passion to break the chains of poverty, despair, and violence for the youth in the community ignited the start of the economic mobility program. Her continuous effort to gain support and funding from our local government and community organizations made this revolutionary program a reality.

“I think it was important for me to go down and really advocate for this funding, so we can reach our youth and help our families on a different level,” said CEO Keisha Lee.

The economic mobility program focuses on economic empowerment, reinforcing mental well-being, and fostering family stability for young men aged 12 to 21 years old.

“We are helping them with rental assistance, food, utilities, car notes, whatever we can assist them with, so we are sending that youth back into a functional environment,” said Duane D.T. Tolen.

The seven concepts of the program consist of pioneering career trajectories, instilling social responsibility, breaking the cycle of recidivism, igniting educational aspirations, strengthening educational aspirations, embracing family therapy and nurturing emotional resilience. This program impacts youth holistically.

“There has never been anything out here like this before. People are going to see the difference in this program and what it means to the youth. This program has a lot of benefits to it that these kids are going to walk away with,” said Lance Huff.

Annie Malone Children & Family Services staff are elated and appreciative to Governor Parson, legislators and other community organizations involved. The charity will embark on a new era of transformation in the lives of young men, making their dreams a reality and creating a brighter future for them and the community.

For more information on how you can become a part of this program, visit