Program of the Week: Higher Achievement

Higher Achievement helps at-risk middle school students in the Washington, D.C. area to reach and complete high school and is one of thriving and innovative programs featured in Transforming Communities through Service.


 

Photo Credit: Alexis Davis, Higher Achievement

Photo Credit: Alexis Davis, Higher Achievement

Alexis Davis, a VISTA volunteer at Higher Achievement explains her work and success with the program: “As the Volunteer Outreach VISTA at Higher Achievement, I’ve been exposed to a whole new side of the non-profit world. This year, I spent time developing tools (such as a Community Outreach Form that was distributed to our more than 500 mentors to let them know ways to get others involved) that continue to build collaborative partners.  The work paid off, as we sparked new corporate partnerships and mentor-lead fundraisers to benefit our scholars.”

Higher Achievement provides afterschool and summer programs to middle school students from at-risk communities to help students attend and complete a college preparatory high school. By providing many academic opportunities including mentors, a social justice based curriculum, and access to academic contests, Higher Achievement hopes to inspire student interest leading to more effort and achievement opening the door to even more opportunities. Higher Achievement partners with various organizations to obtain access to quality facilities, access to scholar data to better support students needs, support for alumni of the program, access to recruit potential mentors, and curriculum and instruction resources. Within this program, AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers have worked with students in the D.C. area to improve grades, increase attendance, and increase acceptance rates of graduates into the city’s top high schools. Maximizing on the 520 mentors and AmeriCorp members that volunteer each week, Higher Achievement has seen huge success including 75% of students improving the reading grade or maintaining an A/B grade point average and 75% of students improving their attendance record or having 5 or less absences in the 2012-2013 school year. Learn more about how Higher Achievement and AmeriCorps members are helping at-risk middle school students in Transforming Communities through Service: A Collection of the Most Innovation AmeriCorps State and Volunteer Generation Fund Programs in the United States or by visiting http://www.higherachievement.org/our-communities/dc.