- Academic success starts here. Eighth-grade performance is the best predictor of on-time high school graduation and college matriculation. Across our 16 campuses, every Aim High middle school student receives the same high-quality programming and curriculum, taught in small classrooms by teachers who believe in them, instill confidence in them and work to understand how each student learns best. 98% of Aim High students graduate from high school on time and enroll in college.
- Adolescents need to feel seen, heard, and appreciated for who they are. Community, the cornerstone of our program, will play a big role in restoring confidence to our learners this summer. We know this is critical to the development of a students’ growth mindset and self-efficacy.
- When students see themselves in stories, it centers and empowers their own voices. This summer, Aim High will hold spaces for different types of storytelling. In Book Club, students will read stories with characters that resemble them and with storylines that reflect their life experiences. In Future Success, students will tell the story of their dreams and aspirations by mapping their goals for high school and college on vision boards. Aim High alumni will also return to campus to share the stories of how their lives were changed through education.
Every day before a big holiday in 7th grade, my math teacher began class by telling us a story. As Mrs. Gabor’s pet tortoise roamed between our desks eating lettuce, she told us about how she’d come to live in America. She spoke with candor about the obstacles she faced as she found her way in this country after surviving the Holocaust. I vividly remember her perseverance and resilience in the face of harrowing oppression—an experience so profound that to this day I am moved by the memory of her retelling. This teacher helped me understand the power of story to transform. Lessons that spoke directly to my experience and taught me about the value of human life. Mrs. Gabor’s influence has never left me. I’d just transferred into this school with its vastly different learning culture, higher expectations, and challenging, stimulating coursework. Over the course of my middle school years, I learned how to learn and to love learning. My peers and I were being prepared for what lay ahead: high school and college. I now know that if my parents had not transferred me to this school when they did, I would have missed out on so many of the academic and professional opportunities that have influenced my life. I would not have completed the required classes for college admission, taken the necessary steps to a life of opportunity, or grown from awkward pre-teen into the adult I am today. Middle school was a pivotal and transformative moment for me, as it is for so many students. As I pursued my own career path, I learned more about the systems and inequities at play in education—systems that create barriers for so many students from historically marginalized neighborhoods. I come to this work driven by a deep personal commitment and passion that is fueled by my experience as an immigrant to this country and as a student of color growing up in Southern California. All young people deserve a high-quality and formative middle school experience like mine. Like Aim High. Here at Aim High, I am surrounded by staff, parents, and partners who know why middle school is so essential in the development of a student’s mind and identity. We believe middle school matters because: