Aim High

Rating: 4.95 stars   148 reviews


PO Box 410715 San Francisco CA 94141 USA


Our mission at Aim High is to create life-changing opportunities during the summer and beyond. Our community: NURTURES the promise and potential of middle school students from low-income neighborhoods. PREPARES students for high school setting them on the path to college and future success. INSPIRES the next generation of teachers and educational leaders. Our vision is to close the opportunity and achievement gaps in Northern California through our transformational summer learning program. We envision every middle school student having access to joyful summer learning, inspired and innovative teachers, and the support they need to succeed in school and life.


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 and Tahoe/Truckee, CA


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.

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
Write a Review
Invite Reviews Share This Nonprofit

More Info


Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on

Reviews for Aim High

Rating: 5 stars  

This summer, I experienced Aim High for the first time working as a teaching assistant in 7th grade humanities. Upon entering the program, I wasn't sure what to expect. I had never worked closely with students before, and did not know what my experience would bring. After my six weeks with Aim High, I can truly say that becoming a part of this community changed my life and my perspective on the world. Each day, the 60 students that I worked with brought incredible energy, passion, and life to the classroom. I was so grateful for the opportunity to work closely with these students and help them make the most of their time at Aim High each day. I was awed by the way in which Aim High helps even the most reserved students to become enthusiastic about coming to AIm High each day. Aim High creates a truly magical community in which all of its members, students and adults, learn and grow from each other. As a high school student, my time at Aim High opened my eyes to so many new perspectives that I had yet to learn about. Working as a teaching assistant this summer helped me realize a passion for teaching and learning that I did not know I have, and now as a senior in high school this year I approach learning in entirely new ways. It was amazing spending 5 weeks this summer watching the students I met achieve so many incredible things in and outside of the classroom. Aim High gave me a passion for learning that I hope to be in touch with my entire life.

Would you volunteer for this group again?


For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?


Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?


When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

Working at Aim High after attending the program as a student, gave me the opportunity to positively impact others and has helped me develop into a confident, independent, self-expressing individual.

Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

Aim High is a life-changing experience, both for the students who participate in the program and for the team of teachers, volunteers and supervisors who support them. I first came to Aim High as a brand new teacher (full of common first-year teaching anxieties). I received so much support, both from central office and from my site supervisors, that I felt prepared and confident to go in and lead the classroom on the first day. Each summer that support and sense of community continues to grow, which I believe is directly reflected in the number of team members who decide to return summer after summer. Our students also return summer after summer, as Aim High provides them with a sense of community and belonging, and with the academic confidence they need and rightfully deserve. There is something truly magical about being able to create such a special environment among staff and students in such a short period of time, but those involved with Aim High can attest that magic is not only real, but contagious.

Flag review
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.

Flag review
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.

Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

This organization has it all--it brings joy and a love of learning to the students it serves, provides an engaging, supportive and creative environment for teachers and volunteers, proven data-driven results, thoughtful and smart leadership, and most of all it has so much heart. This is an organization to support, admire, and love.

Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

I worked as a 7th and 8th grade teaching intern for Aim High last summer. It was my first out of college job and I am so happy that it was. Being a part of Aim High gave me extended experience teaching, mentoring, and building relationships with students that I had not previously been exposed to. Working at Aim High strengthened my desire to work in education.

It really is magical!

Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have worked at AIM High for the past two summers and they have been incredible. There is truly something amazing about the energy that is present at the AIM High campuses during the summer. The teachers are enthusiastic and love the work that they do. And that energy rubs off on the kids as well. The kids really get into their learning and their activities because of the relationships that they have with their teachers and with each other. AIM High is great because it helps kids continue their growth academically over the summer, which better prepares them to start the new school year, but the true "AIM High magic" lies in the fact that the kids really look forward to coming to a place where they are loved and a place that they enjoy! AIM High holds a special place in my heart and I can't wait to go back this summer!

Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

Aim high is an incredible opportunity for students, teachers, volunteers, and anyone else who wishes to be apart of the magic. I have been involved with the program for over 6 summers over a span of 14 years, and its power and inspiration continues to help me be a better educator. Aim High was my first job as an educator, and I haven't stopped since. My sister is a graduate of the program and my family has seen the benefits with both daughters as a student and a teacher. Thanks to Aim High, I feel reinvigorated every summer as an educator.

Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

We are an Aim High family. It began about 18 years ago when my daughter started Aim High. My son went also. I became a volunteer. My husband joined the Board. My daughter became an Aim High volunteer, then high school intern, college intern, and finally teacher. She wrote her college application essay about Aim High. Her Aim High experience led her to major in Urban Studies and to become a public school teacher in a Title I school. I have mentored a number of students I have met at Aim High. One of the great things about the program is that students come from many different schools and backgrounds. They meet new people and learn how to make friends and get along. They take their Aim High experience back to school with them. The experience stays with them the rest of their lives. Aim High develops middle school students, high school students, college students, teachers and all those associated with the program.

Flag review
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

19 people found this review helpful

As an Aim High parent and volunteer, I have seen the direct short and long term results of this exemplary program for middle schoolers. Both my children are graduates of Aim High. My daughter has worked in the program as a teacher. Each summer Aim High provides academics, outdoor education, enrichment and fun! Aim High is truly diverse. It is an excellent program with excellent teachers. During the school year they provide tutoring and fun outings. And Aim High is FREE.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the lives of my children and other Aim High students I have known.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not do as good a job as the current administration.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

kids enjoy learning.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...


If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide a great summer to even more kids expand their program and services.

Ways to make it better...

Aim High could accept all the families who apply.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the number of children who can benefit from Aim High and the money it takes to provide services to them.

One thing I'd also say is that...

the heart of the people behind Aim High is truly pure.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Flag review