AIM HIGH

Rating: 4.96 stars   137 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Education

Location: PO Box 410715 San Francisco CA 94141 USA

Mission: The mission of Aim High is to inspire a life-long love of learning and to instill a sense of community, opportunity, and respect so that students are prepared for success in school and in life. Aim High changes the lives of under-resourced middle school students through an enriching, and academic summer experience that leads to success in high school and beyond. We intervene at a critical stage in students' lives with a free, multi-year summer program. Empowering youth in a supportive classroom environment transforms their attitudes toward learning and unleashes their potential. Our 15 campuses are located in Northern California, where we serve 1,700 students and employ 400 teachers. Our educators reflect the neighborhoods where our students live, and many alumni are inspired to return and work for Aim High. Aim High’s incubator role for innovative teaching techniques inspires new generations of teachers and provides access to real job training and job development. Aim High also provides summer employment opportunities and career development for teachers and teens, many of whom are Aim High alums.
Results: Through high-quality summer enrichment programs, Aim High has touched the lives of thousands of low-income youth in the Bay Area, and continues to employ a diverse group of teachers - 67% of whom are people of color. Aim High's impact is significant: 99% of students say they have an adult or teacher who cares about them 95% of students can imagine themselves as successful college students 79% of students improved their math skills (based on pre- and post-test scores) 87% of students tell us they were challenged at Aim High 90% of students report they are better prepared for the upcoming school year
Target demographics: Low-income Bay Area middle school youth.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 2014: 1,700 students at 15 campuses
Geographic areas served: San Francisco, Oakland, Redwood City, East Palo Alto, San Rafael, Marin City and Tahoe/Truckee, CA
Programs: Our summer program model aims to close the opportunity and achievement gaps for low-income middle school students by offering an engaging, supportive, and tuition-free summer learning program. The Aim High experience fosters critical thinking, instills academic habits, and cultivates a love of learning. Students participate in four rigorous academic classes in the mornings: Math, Science, Humanities and Issues & Choices. Aim High classes have a low student to teacher ratio, allowing for individual attention and a focus on project-based learning. In total, students receive over 60 hours of academic instruction over the course of the five-week program. In the afternoon, students participate in activities such as art, drama, and sports. Students typically participate for three or four summers, and many return to teach in the program. Aim High continually evaluates feedback, assesses results, and shares best practices in order to deliver a high-quality program.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 94-3296338
415-551-2301
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I have taught with Aim High for 2 summers. The quality of collaboration and investment of teaching and site director staff is outstanding and makes for an empowering and creative teaching environment. The Aim High magic is real and keeps me coming back. Students really get the opportunity to find their creative outlet and explore what inspires them.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Aim High creates an incredible supportive space that helps students and teachers alike learn. As a teaching intern getting my first experience at the front of the classroom, I felt encouraged to share with the community and I certainly got as much out of my summer there as any of the students.

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Rating: 5 stars  

This was my first summer at aim high. At first I didn't believe in the "AIM HIGH MAGIC" but its true I felt it! Its REAL!!! and This was just a great experience. I loved it I hope I can return

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Aim High has been a part of my heart since 2001 when I began working as a TA. It did not take me long to realize how special of a program it was, one that truly brought "magic" to middle school students' summers. Aim High's fun and challenging classes combined with memorable assemblies and field trips are just a few things that set it apart from traditional summer school. And though academics is a huge focus of the 5-week program, Aim High also realizes the importance of social emotional learning, especially during the formative middle school years. Classes like Issues & Choices help students learn and reflect about themselves and the person they want to become. Graduates who return to volunteer and later teach just goes to show how much of a impact Aim High has had on their lives!

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Rating: 5 stars  

Volunteering at the satellite campus in Tahoe, I am very grateful to see this program in the community where I grew up. The kids that are enroll in the program are very lucky to do so as I wish it had existed when I was younger. The impact that it has made in my community is tremendous and I am excited to see the youth of my community succeed in reaching their academic and career dreams.

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Rating: 5 stars  

In summer of 2009 our great journey with Aim High started. I did not know the great impact this summer program would have in my kid’s life. Aim High means a lot for our family because it is a program where my child changed her perspective of learning, come to have a fun while learning and had challenging experiences to mention some of the great skills that this program had given her. The extraordinary results were noticed right away. The kid that hardly used to speak soon was standing in front of people giving a science presentation, besides that she improved her math, writing, reading, and improved and grown her love for science. It was amazing to see. After the first summer she used to count the days for the following summers and was ready to learn those skills that would help her succeed during the school year. My little girl is in her last year of high school and she is doing wonderful and now she is ready to put in practice what she learned about the path to college in Aim High! The thrilling experience for my child with Aim High has not yet finished because this past summer she came back to the program as a teacher’s assistant where she continued not only to keep learning but putting in practice the great knowledge that one day was taught to her. Now she is getting ready to come back next summer, still counting the days. In addition, I would like to add that our youngest child is now experiencing the greatness of Aim High. Seeing your children growing, excited, prepare, happy, learning in a program like this one means the world for you as a parent. All I would like to say is: THANK YOU very much Aim High for a great program that help to “Reach for a Dream.”

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

Aim High truly makes a difference in the lives of middle school youth from underserved Bay Area communities. At this critical time in personal development, Aim High serves over 1700 students with an engaging, challenging summer school experience. This tuition free program combines rigorous academic coursework in the morning, followed by an afternoon filled by creative, artistic, and athletic activities.
Our Board members each "adopt" one of our 15 campuses, where we get to know the directors and teachers and witness what makes these summer school experiences come alive. With our public schools so financially challenged, Aim High has assumed a key role in the strengthening the fabric of these communities. It's an honor to be involved!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I personally attended Aim High for all three years, and later returned as a teaching intern for 8th grade science this past summer. I can confidently that if it were not for Aim High, I would have never even heard about all the different high schools, let alone colleges, that were available for me to apply to and possibly attend. Aim High really opened up a myriad of doors on how I could possibly go about my life, and therefore allowed me to really explore my passions and interests.

As a student, I remember myself quite literally changing from a very apathetic person into an extremely positive and enthusiastic person. Aim High teachers were always very enthusiastic and very kind to me. Honestly, it felt like the "student-teacher" hierarchy got blurred because the teachers were also people I could confide in. They weren't simply superiors; they learned just as much from and about the students as the students learned from them.

As a teaching intern, teaching at Aim High has been one of the most rewarding jobs I've ever had. I finally got to implement and exude enthusiasm and positivity to students who might have been like me as a middle schooler--and hopefully affect their lives in a positive way. As an intern, I taught alongside an experienced lead teacher who allows me to lead some classes daily. Later into the summer, I also formulated my own lesson plan which I implemented in class on my own--my first time fully teaching a class by myself. Outside of the classroom, I found students sometimes talking to me about what was going on in their lives--making me realize the importance of having interms (typically college students) and TAs (high schoolers), who would be closer in age to the Aim High students.

The design of Aim High, from it's part-academic and part-elective portion, to the staff that is hired, is well thought-out to provide the best experience for middle school students. Aim High not only enhances the educational and academic experience into a fun one while preparing students for the upcoming school year, but also discusses real topics and issues that people face in their daily lives.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I attended Aim High as a student and I can honestly say that the experience shapes who I am as an adult today. The supportive academic and social community that Aim High provides to youth is invaluable. The guidance and opportunities the program provides year round to its students is indispensable. As a 29 year old I still consider myself an Aim High Student, and will forever be a part of the Aim High community.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

Aim High has been an amazing experience for my son. The young men and women that taught there were excellent mentors and eventually encouraged my son to volunteer as a TA..something he never saw himself doing. After a summer of full time volunteer work, my son returned the following year as a paid TA and was thrilled to have the opportunity for a meaningful summer job and some income.

The staff is very devoted and challenges and encourages the students to expand their vision of what they are capable of.

The program was also a life saver for me when I was a single mom and didn't want my middle schooler unsupervised during the summer. To know that he had guidance and academic support set my mind at ease while i was at work. The tutoring offered by high schoolers during the school year was also extremely helpful.

This is an outstanding program! Thank you!

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