The Zion Story


The work of Zion is the manifestation of a vision that two residents had for improving their community from the inside out.  Erick and Shawn Pearson moved to South Phoenix with their children to begin a new chapter of life for their family.  It was not long before the Pearson's recognized a need for resources in the community to support families and children.


Erick and Shawn made a commitment to use their skills and talents as assets for their community as advocates, then as service providers.  In 2010, Mrs. Pearson left her job as Executive Director of a local Christian nonprofit, to focus her full-time efforts on community development exclusively in South Phoenix. 

Zion Institute uses the concept of "relationships as the bridge" and combines it with asset-based community development strategies to build community capacity.  This innovative model reaches into and across business sectors, faith communities, socio-economic classes, race, ethnicity, backgrounds and stereotypes to make way for the launch of Zion Institute.

Zion Institute has partnered with more than 100 local churches, businesses, education institutions, public safety agencies and residents to become a “Well” that establishes businesses, programs and resources to make a positive social and economic impact in our community.


Historical Programs and Initiatives


  • Community Mobilization Network

  • South Phoenix Re-entry Coalition

  • South Phoenix Re-entry One Stop

  • Zion Business Resource Center

  • Zion Early Learning Academy, LLC

In March 2018, Zion's leadership focused its efforts on a Community Resource Rescue Project. A longstanding childcare facility closed, leaving more than one hundred children without childcare.  As an answer,  Zion Early Learning Academy was established in an effort to be part of the solution for addressing the need for quality childcare and early education for the children and families in South Phoenix.

In October 2018, the decision was made to dissolve the housing program and concentrate all efforts and resources on Zion Early Learning Academy.  


​Zion's programs and services are funded through government contracts, private donations, in-kind contributions and other program fees.  Donations to support our work can be made by contacting our office at 602-268-7502, visiting the center or by mailing donations, payable to:


Zion Institute

5644 S. 16th Street

Phoenix, Arizona 85040


God is using everyday people who are willing to answer His call and spread the good news-

be the good news.

Advocates - Residents- Believers

© 2018 Zion Early Learning Academy

Call Us: 602-268-7502   /  5644 S. 16th St. Phoenix AZ, 85040