Aim High

Rating: 4.95 stars   148 reviews

Address:

PO Box 410715 San Francisco CA 94141 USA

Mission:

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.

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 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.

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

415-551-2301
www.aimhigh.org

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Reviews for Aim High

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

Aim High has been a part of my life since 2002. It is why I got into teaching. I treasure my friendships, my colleagues, and my experiences from Aim High. Also their leadership team is dedicated, inspired, and has a growth mindset. I never left a meeting or a day at Aim High where I didn't say 'that was worth it'.

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

1 person found this review helpful

I can tell you firsthand that Aim High changes lives. Not only the lives of the students who participate, but also those of the educators who get to work with them. The Aim High framework provides youth with the authentic environment for rigorous and fun learning each summer. Its students return year after year to soak in the magic of hands-on projects, college and career field trips, and the exploration of engaging learning. Aim High provides our most vulnerable student populations with enrichment beyond measure, keeping them academically, emotionally, and physically safe and secure, loving learning and building community!

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

Aim High is my favorite place to be! I teach middle school in San Francisco and have been fortunate enough to be part of the Aim High family for four beautiful years and counting. We walk out of staff meetings saying, "Wow, that was amazing!" Our kids leave summer session saying they wish it would never end. These statements are unheard of in the world of education, yet at Aim High, these sentiments are common; they are the norm.

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

I have watched Aim High change the lives of families for 20 years now: in San Francisco, in the Tahoe area, and in Oakland. This program, who works with low-income middle school students and their families, is powerfully effective and relentless in its goals to broaden the opportunities available to our students.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Aim High has dramatically changed the course of the lives of many Bay Area youth. It has also changed the course of many Bay Area adults, be they family members of students or aspiring teachers who are struck with the success of the Aim High model of education. Aim High opens doors and expands horizons of anyone who walks into this community. I have been working with this organization for 13 years and I keep coming back because of the enormous gifts it keeps on giving to our families. Thank you Aim High.

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

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

inspired, energetic, generous beyond expectation, dedicated, and caring. Everyone in the Aim High "family" gives it their ALL!!

Ways to make it better...

I knew that more students were being helped as much as these students were. I wish that EVERY middle school child was getting the sort of guidance that Aim High affords our students.

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

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

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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

I've worked at an Aim High site for three years, in different roles. My experience has been nothing but positive. My time with this program has helped mold me into a better educator and learner. I wish I had the student experience because the things we teach and the way we teach at Aim High is amazing. Families continue to bring their kids to our program because we make real impact during the summer and we prepare students for the road ahead on their educational journey.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have never before felt so connected to my line of work. Aim High's vision and commitment to serving students and the community at large is inspiring and I count myself incredible fortunate to be part of such an inspiring, compassionate and dedicated organization.

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

I'm so grateful that Aim High exists: it provides such a vital service & community for middle school kids. The folks at Aim High are dedicated to offering rigorous, yet flexible curriculum, the teachers work incredibly hard, and the result is a space for students to explore intellectually and socially during the summers. I've been lucky enough to collaborate with Aim High on curriculum development, and have been blown away by their commitment to the students. I have no doubt that kids who attend Aim High are more prepared for high school and college than their peers.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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

1 person found this review helpful

Aim High is a Summer Enrichment program unlike any other. While Aim High receives some credit (still not enough) for the amount of work it does for the children it serves, it also does a supreme job of developing rising educators.

I joined as a Teaching Intern fresh out of High School. Aim High's teaching model is a unique one; teachers are split up into teams of either two or three, with one Lead Teacher and an Intern and/or Assistant. This model provides a plethora of benefits. I teach a class called Issues and Choices, in which we create a classroom culture that promotes College and Career Awareness, as well as Social Emotional Learning (bullying, empathy, goal setting, problem solving, etc). The very nature of our class requires forming close connections with our kids. One of the benefits of our teaching model is there is a teacher in every classroom that every student can relate to. Not every person likes every person; this extends to the classroom. Not every student is going to relate to me, its a simple reality. By having two other talented people teaching with me, we can guarantee that connection, and in turn the student buy-in.

I spent the first two years as an Intern, learning closely from an AMAZING Lead Teacher. Aim High provides an environment where young folks who care can jump in, gather best practices, and explore the world of educating our undeserved youth. Seasoned teachers are able to not only share their ideas, but improve upon them with profound support. I have a not-unique story when it comes to Aim High. When I started, I was an International Relations major, dabbling in education. After two summers at Aim High, I transferred schools and became a Child Psychology major. The amount of bright, talented individuals that Aim High has lured into education from other fields is innumerable. I personally know one Civil-Engineer-to-Dean-of-Students, and am introduced to countless others every summer.

Aim High's success goes beyond the summer classroom. They create and prepare rising educators, and veteran teachers bring new tools and techniques to their school year. In this way, they not only benefit the students they serve during the summer, but likely thousands more.

It is easy for me to say that stumbling upon the Aim High family nearly seven years is one of the defining moments of my life. Please help ensure another 29 years of Aim High serving our communities.

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

Expand it (that's where you come in!), both in terms of scale and perhaps an implementation of a year-round support system.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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

Aim High is like no other non profit I know. They truly honor their mission and vision and create a safe space for young people to learn, grow and feel like a part of a community. What makes Aim High so unique is their commitment to academic excellence, culturally relevant curriculum and a holistic approach towards youth development. I have worked in a variety of educational setting and no where else have I felt as supported and encouraged to grow as a teacher than I did at Aim High. For both the students and teachers, Aim High is something we look forward to all school year, that one place where we can feel nurtured and inspired to be our best.

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

Aim High is a life changing experience for students growing up in the concrete. Every summer, hundreds of students interact with passionate teachers, critical subjects, and build confidence and new friendships. Because middle school years are some of the most challenging, Aim High is a wonderful academic program that helps students become into young adults. As a Lead Teacher for the past two years, I've been able to work with young minds and see how much Aim High impacts their life. I honestly believe Aim High transforms students lives forever, because school should be fun and challenging at the same time. This is the mission and magic of Aim High and I'm so happy that I get to be a part of this amazing program.

 
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