A note from the new DC Metro Executive Director

Dear Friends and Supporters,

I am Thalia Theodore Washington, and I just joined Higher Achievement as the new Executive Director for DC Metro. I’m thrilled to join a network of passionate supporters focused on middle school students in the DC area.

I am drawn to the mission of Higher Achievement because the opportunity gap has influenced life outcomes in my own family in real and sometimes painful ways.

I am a first-generation American and the first in my family to graduate from a 4-year college. My husband, Jason, and I are raising our two daughters in Silver Spring. We are constantly aware of how different their lives already are from ours because they are the children of college graduates. Here in Washington, DC, where the average student is struggling just to graduate from high school and make ends meet, the work being done at Higher Achievement empowers students and their families to change their life outcomes beginning in middle school.

I step into the Executive Director role eager to join, eager to learn, and eager to lead in support of this mission.

I come to Higher Achievement having worked in K-12 education and nonprofit management for 15 years. I began my career as a public elementary school teacher in the Bronx, which is where my passion for serving urban students began. For five years, I worked at DonorsChoose.org in New York where I managed a development team with ambitious funding goals during an aggressive national expansion. More recently, my experience here in DC includes working in the Office of College and Career Readiness at DC Public Schools and as the Program Director for BUILD where I managed the execution of a 9th-12th grade entrepreneurship program.

I have been impressed and humbled by the scholars, mentors, and supporters I have already met — all exemplified passion, commitment, and positivity.  I feel proud to be joining the Higher Achievement community and am truly looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and diving in.

I look forward to meeting you at our upcoming Love Out Loud, Middle School Matters tour, or Mentor In-Service Training.


Thalia Theodore Washington