What our department likes most about South Salt Lake:


We are grateful every day to be able to work in partnership with our neighbors and families of

South Salt Lake! 


All those who live, learn, work, and worship here contribute to our collective story of community that is being written every day. 


We love being in this work shoulder to shoulder with numerous community partners and compassionate leaders. 


We are honored to be trusted with our city’s most valuable resource—our community’s children.

Contact Us

Director: Kelli Meranda

Phone: 801.483-6057

Email: kmeranda@sslc.com

Office Address: 220 East Morris Ave, 3rd Floor

Office Hours: Monday-Fridays

from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

After Hours Phone: 801.828.8678

Promise South Salt Lake 

VOLUNTEER in an afterschool program, English class, citizenship class or other program, or as a summer reading buddy 

Promise South Salt Lake Overview

Promise Partnership

United Way of Salt Lake

Changing the Odds Initiative

Department Mission/Purpose

The Promise South Salt Lake initiative motto came from Mayor Cherie Wood’s statement, “What I want for myself and for my family, I want for every person in my community.”  We articulate this as three goals or "promises", representing our highest hopes for the community.  They are: 1) That every young person in our city has the opportunity to attend and to graduate from college, 2) that every person has a safe, clean home and neighborhood, and 3) that every person has the opportunity to have good health and to prosper.




Promise South Salt Lake works in partnership with United Way of Salt Lake and many other organizations to implement specialized programs and services, based on specific needs in our community, to provide model/evidence-based curriculums, expanded learning & positive youth development opportunities that support academic, physical, civic, social, and emotional youth success.  Activities in South Salt Lake include high intensity, literacy-focused afterschool programs; structured recreation and service opportunities; cultural observances and celebrations; and a broad range of enriching experiences that utilize a "cradle to career" continuum that improves educational and developmental youth outcomes. 


Our work is accomplished in the 14 South Salt Lake Neighborhood Centers and throughout the community.  We articulate our work as promises that represent our highest hopes for our community.   Based on very specific research and models of other successful communities, Mayor Wood and the Promise South Salt Lake Leadership Team formulated our goals—considering the work that is being done in other high achieving communities, but created with South Salt Lake children, families, residents, and seniors in mind. Promise South Salt Lake recognizes that ALONE, we do not have the resources, time, expertise, or understanding of what it takes, or the organization/coordination to help everyone in our community to have the opportunity to succeed.


Promise represents the interconnectedness of all of the work, business, activities, programs, and interactions that directly or indirectly contribute to the success of our community. 


Most Significant Functions/Programs of

Promise South Salt Lake


  • Operation and facilitation of the work of the Promise South Salt Lake Leadership Councils that focus areas of Health, Education, Jobs & Economy, Housing, Arts & Community, Safety, and Neighborhoods

  • Operates and staffs the ten Promise South Salt Lake Neighborhood Centers, which offer free services and resources, including ESL, Citizenship, Afterschool programming, and model curriculums to encourage resiliency in academics and to decrease risk factors

  • Partners with more than 90 business, faith-based, educational, and community organizations to connect resources with South Salt Lake residents

  • Manages more than 2,000 volunteers annually through the work of the Promise South Salt Lake Neighborhood Centers


Important Things to know about Promise South Salt Lake


Promise South Salt Lake provides a mechanism for utilizing multiple sources of data in a responsive way to guide our planning, to demonstrate progress, and also help us to identify trouble spots and gaps in services.  We utilize information and feedback gathered from program participants to tell the stories of success and challenges and to inform our programs in the areas of health, safety, housing, education, arts & community, jobs and economy, and access to neighborhood services and supports that make critical differences, and that have the potential to favorably impact every person that lives, works, plays and/or worships in South Salt Lake.


Department History


The ever-growing diversity in South Salt Lake has resulted in a culture-rich neighborhood where people from numerous backgrounds have developed a strong community. A strong sense of community, and partnership formation among community-based organizations, businesses, and volunteers has aligned itself with the current South Salt Lake City leadership to provide many of the needed services and programs. Capitalizing on the capacity that Mayor Wood has worked very strategically to build, together the city and United Way, along with our partners launched an the initiative that houses all of this work. 


The Initiative, which launched formally in 2012, is called Promise South Salt Lake.  Promise ties education together the areas of health, safety, jobs/economy, housing, arts & community, and neighborhoods.  All promise partners find a relevant “place at the table” for their work to contribute to the success and wellbeing of South Salt Lake’s young people and their families. 


Department Accomplishments


  • Promise South Salt Lake Councils comprised of city leaders, residents, partners and business supporters and are implementing dynamic action plans to improve conditions and quality of life for South Salt Lake residents in the critical areas of education, health, safety, jobs & economy, housing, arts & community, and neighborhoods.

  • Of the 2,811 youth served in 2016, 816 youth received intensive services, meaning they attended programs 4x/week or more

  • We have initiated evidence based or model programs at all Promise South Salt Neighborhood Centers and Community Schools, including the Strengthening Families Program, Peer Assistance & Leadership, Too Good for Violence, and Positive Action Programs to ensure that the programs we deliver will get the results we are after.

  • Promise South Salt Lake was recognized as the Model Citywide Afterschool Program in the state by Utah Afterschool Network

  • Promise South Salt Lake was recognized among the top 21st Century Programs in the nation—featured in National 21st Century Lessons Learned Guide

  • Promise South Salt Lake was a key component in SSL being named, out of 19,000 cities across the U.S., as one of the Top 100 Places for Youth to Live, Learn and Grow by America’s Promise Alliance







  • Wix Facebook page