College of Education > About > Centers & Initiatives > Lift As You Climb > Our Purpose

Our Purpose

"And so, lifting as we climb, onward and upward we go, struggling and striving, and hoping that the buds and blossoms of our desires will burst into glorious fruition 'ere long."
- Mary Church Terrell

Mary Church Terrell (1865-1954) was a leader for the women’s rights and the rights of African Americans. Building on her legacy, a legacy of struggle and determination, of community and possibility, we developed Lift as You Climb (LAYC). In the spirit of leaders like Terrell and so many others, we aspire to generate the kind of community and compassion that engenders change in the lives of all involved. Lift as You Climb provides a sense of community and a sense of purpose for DePaul’s College of Education students. It connects them with each other and the larger community toward change.

Provide more than mentorship

LAYC is a leadership development program based on enriching and promoting the strengths and values of its participants. The LAYC model–the development of collectives, small groups of like-minded participants–is designed to engage alumni, university students and community members and organizations in various areas of interest toward a culminating community-based initiative.

Prepare future leaders for a changing educational landscape

Through leadership development seminars, discussions surrounding the implications of identity in leadership, support in developing and executing a culminating project, Lift connects participants through shared interests and an investment in creating more equitable and sustainable educational institutions and spaces.

Invest in the needs, values and priorities of underrepresented communities

Lift as You Climb personalizes leadership development through practical application and relationship-building. It expands and connects an engaged community of change agents, and is committed to inclusion, equitable opportunities/representation, individual agency, and a shared dedication to social change.​