At Higher Achievement, middle school is the start of a lifetime of success, and the next stop on that journey is high school. Preparing our scholars for the rigors of high school is one of the important elements of Higher Achievement’s work, and to do that, we help our scholars apply to, attain, and attend competitive and top-ranking high schools in their communities. We’ve seen educational opportunities open up whole hosts of choices for scholars, and those choices are what help our scholars become whoever they want to be.
Our staff and mentors work closely with scholars to identify which schools would be a good fit for them and support them through the challenging application process with everything from essays to interviews. The goal? Upward trajectory. Scholars are building a solid foundation in middle school and developing critical knowledge and skills in high school so they’ll succeed in college and beyond, and it all starts now.
Kyshae and Lesly are some of our most recent graduates who are moving on to the next step. We’re proud to share their stories with you.
Kishae Belt – McKinley Technology High School
When Kishae first joined Higher Achievement she was shy and very quiet, and she was uncomfortable speaking in front of her peers. Now she sees herself as someone who is confident enough “to share her opinion on different topics” and “speak her mind,” she said. She believes that working with her mentors helped her stay on track with her homework, more fully understand lessons learned in school, and earn good grades.
With help from her mentors, Kishae identified her top school choices. She will be attending McKinley Tech, a STEM-focused high school in Washington, DC, that requires excellent grades and test scores, an essay, and an interview as part of every application. Kishae is heading to high school with confidence that comes from encouragement and support, and she is particularly thankful to her mentors and many champions at Higher Achievement for “believing in me and always being there to help me.”
Lesly Escolatico – Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School
Lesly and her mother emigrated from Peru, where Lesly’s mother trained to be a nurse. When they arrived in the United States, they had to navigate a new culture and educational system without knowing the predominant language. Higher Achievement provided Lesly with academic and emotional support, numerous opportunities, and encouragement that helped her achieve her many goals. “At Higher Achievement, there was always someone there to help me with my homework, someone who would push me to be better, and someone who would not give up on me,” she said.
Higher Achievement helped Lesly become a competitive applicant with good grades and self-assurance, but it was her mentors who introduced Lesly to Don Bosco, a private Catholic high school that combines a college prep curriculum with professional work experience. Lesly’s goal is to become a nurse, like her mom. “When I reflect on my experience with Higher Achievement, I think about how it showered me with new opportunities and support to become a successful high school student, on track to go to college,” Lesly said. “Higher Achievement has given me a lot.”
Rigor, Relationships, Results.
Higher Achievement offers a rigorous academic and enrichment program during the critical middle school years, but the ultimate goal is to position scholars to attend and graduate from competitive high schools so they can find further success in college. With the strong foundation that Higher Achievement helped them build, graduation from high school and college is well within reach for Kishae and Lesly, and for all of our scholars who make the daily decision to work for it.