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Aim High Aspiring Teacher Program

Aim High strives to propel more young people into careers in education. Our Aspiring Teachers Program creates a larger, more diverse and prepared pipeline of teachers and leaders for California schools.

The Need for More Teachers

California and the nation are experiencing an unprecedented teacher shortage, especially of teachers of color. Representation in the classroom matters. The benefits of having a teacher from the same racial background, particularly for Black and Latino students, show up in test scores and grades, behavior, attendance, high school and college enrollment. Studies show that a non-white student is less likely to encounter a same-race role model at school. Students connecting with a teacher with shared experiences can influence growth and provide opportunities to discover their true potential.

Aim High’s Aspiring Teachers Program lowers barriers to education careers through training, mentorship and coaching, while also leveraging Aim High’s middle school summer program as a training ground that propels more high school and college students into education careers. Aim High supports future educators from diverse communities, with mentorship, peer-support and an alumni community to support their career ambitions.

Making an Impact

Since 1986, we have trained more than 4,000 educators.

Hands-on Training & Support
25% of staff time is allocated to professional development & classroom training to improve success potential in their career.
Diversifying the Teacher Pipeline
We hire and develop educators from underserved communities. 80% of our staff are people of color, compared to 40% of California public school educators.
Innovative Classroom Methods
We utilize evidence-based approaches, such as culturally responsive and trauma-informed teaching, social-emotional learning, project-based learning and restorative justice practices. Teachers then take these resources back into their academic-year classrooms, extending Aim High’s impact far beyond summer.

Sustaining Our Work

In 2021, Aim High launched the Alec Lee Fund for Aspiring Teachers, an endowment fund that will support our efforts in perpetuity. The fund also honored Aim High’s founding executive director, Alec Lee, who retired that year. “I cannot overstate the importance of excellent teaching and a school environment that celebrates the promise of all students,” he said. “This is what we create each summer at Aim High. This is what changes educational outcomes for low-income, first-generation young people.”

If you have questions regarding giving, please contact Marianne Evans, Director of Development, via  or by phone at 415.699-8724.