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Glenn Shannon

Glenn Shannon - charity reviews, charity ratings, best charities, best nonprofits, search nonprofits
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AIM HIGH
August 6, 2009

This is the seventh summer that I have seen Aim High in action and their performance remains consistently strong. The combination of a well-structured academic program with the personal development focus of the "Issues & Cjoices" curriculum and the extracurricular/enrichment offerings makes for a program that really engages students and prepares them for success in school and in their personal lives. In addition, the fact that about one-third of the Aim High faculty are themselves graduates of the program provides credible and authentic role models for the students - I think this is an important contributor to Ain High's success. Overall, I think Aim High does a remarkable job of, as one graduate so eloquently put it, "convincing me that I had a right to an education, that I had the ability to succed academically and that I had a responsibility to myself, my family and my community to get an education".

The Great!

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

the hgih school graduation rates and college matriculation rates of the graduates and the commitment to the program of graduates who return in high numbers as teachers.

Ways to make it better...

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

be struggling with the same issues that leadership now faces - how to scale the organization without compromising quality of the program.

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

the leadership of the organization by experienced educators so that the program is thoughtfully designed and implemented.

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

highly dedicated to the students and to their communities.

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

build organizational capacity to be able to serve more students during the summers and also to continue to support its graduates as they move through high school and into college.

Ways to make it better...

we had the resources to serve the qualified students (about 300) we had to turn away simply because of a lack of sufficient funds. We wouldn't need $10 million - anout $500,000 would have done the trick.

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

(1) the need to raise about $2 million on an annual basis withourt any significant public funding and (2) the need to sustain the quality of the leadership team for another 24 years.

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

Aim High is a program that is highly scaleable and highly cost-effective that has a dramatically positive impact not only on its students but also on the underserved communities where it locates it summer sites.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Board Member & I co-chaired the Development Committee and attended Visiting Days to help assess the program and to intoduce Aim High to other potential supporters.

AIM HIGH
August 26, 2008

I have a broad perspective on Aim High because I have served on the Board for about 5 years, two of my children have worked as teaching assistants in the summer, and a number of our employees' children have participated in the summer program. Aim High is an extraordinarily effective program that is meeting a critical and life-changing need (educational enhancement) for the most underserved members of our community. Aim High has demonstrated its success at providing the skills and motivation necessary for its students to graduate high school and matriculate at college. As one student put it: "Aim High is the place where I learned that I had a right to an education, I had the skills necessary to get an education and I had a responsibility to myself, my family and my community to get an education".

The Great!

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

the success of its graduates in high school and college and the enthusiasm and commitment of its graduates for the program as demeonstrated by their returning to teach in the program.

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

the professionalism and commitment of the Aim High staff which has resulted in the continuous expansion and improvement of the program.

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

extraordinary. The administrative staff combines deep expertise in the needs of middle school children with unflagging enthusiasm for the program. Many of the volunteers are graduates or parents of graduates who think Aim High changed their lives.

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

expand its program dramatically - immediately changing the lives of literally thousands of children - while ensuring that it had the resourses to maintain program excellence and ensure financial stability.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

MY ROLE:
Board Member & I have helped Aim High develop a strategic plan that has guided its expansion over the past 5 years from 7 sites to 12 sites, increasing the number of students served from 760 to almost 1200.