This summer, we made Aim High history by admitting our very first student from King City, California — a small, vibrant town in Monterey County. Our mostly virtual program allowed rising 6th grader Sophia to attend our summer program. Sophia’s mother, Barbara, had spent weeks looking for summer learning opportunities for her daughter, learned about Aim High from her church group in San Francisco and encouraged Sophia to quickly apply to our program. We were excited to accept Sophia, who will attend Chalone Peak Middle School in the fall, and spend the summer with her. Sophia and Barbara share their thoughts on the program and what Aim High has meant to them this summer. What was your favorite part about Aim High? Sophia: My favorite part about Aim High was STEM (STEAM) class, because I like to build and design things. We used tape measures, lollipops and ping pong balls to build and design a parachute, then test it out to see if it worked. If not, we had to retry until we got it right. It was really nice because they let us design things and then let us keep building and redoing until things were perfect and worked. How was Aim High different from your regular school? Sophia: Aim High was very different from my school year. In elementary school we didn’t have different classes. We stuck to the same class. We also didn’t really have STEM (STEAM). We had math, science and ELD and ELA sometimes. So Aim High was really different because of all the classes it offered. It was really cool. Aim High gave me more opportunities for science and prepared me for middle school. And I think it helped a lot of other students prepare for middle school and if you are in higher grades, for the coming school year. What do you want to be when you grow up? Sophia: I want to be either a lawyer or an architect. I just like building things. Do you want to go to college and do you know where you want to go to school? Sophia: Yeah. Well, for law school I might want to go to UC Berkeley. If I do architecture, I am not sure. What are your dreams for Sophia? Barbara: For her to see that in this country, as a woman of color, she can go very far if she desires. I would like for her to be motivated to continue to do well in school. I tell her she can try things and if she isn’t the first or best, I want her to know that she just needs to finish what she started. What changes have you seen from Sophia during and after attending Aim High? Barbara: She studies more and is more active. It’s very difficult when your child is at home to motivate them to learn. I think Aim High has helped her focus on her studies, to think critically, to write again and to remember what she was learning during the school year. So now when she enters 6th grade I think she will be more prepared. Right now she is motivated and saying she is eager for school to start. She is ready to learn. Why do you think programs like Aim High are important? Barbara: Programs like Aim High are important, especially for parents who have questions and may not be able to help their children. These programs help students develop interests in the different subjects they are being taught during the school year. I would like more programs like Aim High, especially here in King City where there are a lot of kids who need it. Aim High would like to thank Sophia and her mother for taking the time to talk to Aim High. Aim High hopes Sophia has fun in middle school. We wish her a safe and healthy school year. Make sure to follow us on social media to read our latest stories.