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Phone: 415-551-2312
PO Box 410715
San Francisco
California 94141

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Target demographics: Low-income Bay Area youth ages 11-14; Aim High graduates age 15-19

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2008: 1,100 students at 12 campuses

Geographic areas served: San Francisco, Oakland, Redwood City, and East Palo Alto, CA

Programs: For the past 22 years, Aim High has been helping middle school students in the San Francisco Bay Area achieve their dreams by providing a tuition-free summer enrichment program in underserved neighborhoods. Nearly 5,000 students have benefited from Aim High's unique, innovative curriculum that offers challenges and, most importantly, results at a time when students need it most.

The Program: There are five main components to Aim High's program outlined in the strategic plan, Vision 2010. The summer school program has always been, and remains, the heart of our work, but other key initiatives build on our strengths and support our mission. These are listed below:

* Summer School Program - During the summer session, students participate in academic classes in the morning, attending Math, Science, Humanities, and Issues & Choices (an adolescent development class). Aim High provides each class of sixteen students with a Lead Teacher and a Teaching Intern or Teaching Assistant; this favorable ratio (1:8) of teachers to students allows for individual attention. In the afternoons, students participate in a range of arts, cultural and sports activities. Aim High works with many organizational partners to enrich students' experiences, including: The Urban School, Lick-Wilmerding High School, St. Paul's Episcopal School, Bishop O'Dowd High School, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), the Exploratorium, the San Francisco Zoo, and the newest partner, California State University. Aim High set a goal to grow to at least 12 sites, serving more than 1,200 students by 2010, and will reach that goal in 2008 (two years early).

* Student Center - Aim High has created a Student Center to provide tutoring, high school and college placement support, financial aid workshops, and cultural enrichment activities for Aim High students and alumni.

* Headlands Environmental Home Program - Aim High will continue to develop the Headlands Environmental Home program in collaboration with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area to increase opportunities and access to the park for urban youth.

* Teaching & Learning - Aim High will continue to refine and publish its curriculum and further develop the teacher training component of the program.

The mission of Aim High is to provide underserved urban youth with challenging, innovative and highly supportive educational programs, most notably our exemplary summer school. The goal of Aim High is to ensure that our students are well-prepared for success in school, have a deep appreciation for their community, and are aware of the issues—personal, local and environmental—that affect their lives. Our vision is to inspire youth to reach for their dreams.
Through high-quality summer enrichment programs, Aim High has touched the lives of over 5,000 low-income youth in the Bay Area, and has employed over 1,000 teachers - approximately 30% of whom are graduates of the program - over the last two decades.

Aim High's impact is significant:

-More than 90% of graduates report that Aim High has helped them to be better prepared to learn in school, make new friends, and be aware of issues that affect their lives.

-94% of students report maintaining or improving their GPAs since attending Aim High.

-98% of Aim High's class of 2002 graduated high school on time in Spring 2006; by comparison, only 71% of students graduated on time in the state of California.

-95% of Aim High grads went on to attend 2- or 4-year colleges.

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I have taught with Aim High for the last five summers. Being part of this organization is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. Over my years teaching with Aim High, I have seen what a huge impact this program has had for our youngsters in East Palo Alto. For some, the program has ... more »
My name is Suzanne & I was 1 of the 1st 50 students when Aim High first started, graduated in 1988. My 2 younger siblings attended Aim High also. For me Aim High was a great experience. Aim High, Mr. Lee, Mrs. Mc Bride & Mr. Matthews just to name of few of my teachers helped me grow as a person, ... more »
The Exploratorium's Educational Outreach Program has partnered with Aim High in San Francisco for over 20 years. Aim High creates an academic summer program for middle school students that manages to be rigorous while still fun, playful, enriching, and socially relevant. Older students are ... more »
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