Mission & History

Talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. In Baltimore, DC Metro, and Richmond, Higher Achievement steps in to give scholars supplemental academic support in communities that lack the resources to start all students on equal footing.

Who We Are

We are educators, mentors, community partners, and citizens who see inequity in our communities and are driven to do something about it. Middle school is the best chance that a student has to get on the path for post-secondary success, and at Higher Achievement, we are committed to helping students in underserved communities define and pursue their personal and educational goals.

Our Mission

Higher Achievement closes the opportunity gap during the pivotal middle school years. By leveraging the power of communities, Higher Achievement’s proven model provides a rigorous afterschool learning environment, caring role models, and a culture of high expectations, resulting in college-bound scholars with the character, confidence, and skills to succeed.

What We Do

Higher Achievement offers a rigorous, supportive, and fun learning environment—with caring mentors and academic enrichment in the pivotal middle school years, culminating in placement in college preparatory high school programs.

Afterschool Academy:

Out-of-school programming meets academic intervention. Through mentor-led small-group instruction of STEM and humanities curriculum, academic skill-building, and homework help, scholars receive targeted support and hands-on learning.

Summer Link:

Learning doesn’t end when school’s out. We work closely with scholars and families through the summer, notably through one-on-one advising meetings with every scholar and family, every year. We also connect our scholars with extended summer programs to give them a boost for the next school year.

High School Placement:

Middle school isn’t the last stop. We work with our scholars to identify, apply, and enroll in college preparatory high school programs, and our staff and mentors provide ongoing support to make sure our students succeed once they get there—with a special focus on 9th grade.

Our Strategy

More than 7,000 kids drop out of school every day—half right after middle school. This is a critical time for intervention and thousands have benefited from Higher Achievement’s focus on getting underserved kids to and through high school. But to have a lifelong impact, we must think bigger.

To learn more about our strategy, check out our strategic plan video.

Who We Serve

Our scholar population reflects the communities where we work: 75% identify as Black and 12% as Latinx, and students join us with a range of academic performance and levels of support in and out of school.

No two scholars are alike, but we are all united in a strong belief in our four social justice pillars—voice, freedom, justice, and solidarity—and all students leave the program ready and able to realize their potential, regardless of where they started.

No two scholars are alike, but we are all united in a strong belief in our four social justice pillars—voice, freedom, justice, and solidarity.

Where We’ve Been

For more than 40 years, Higher Achievement has worked alongside schools and families, foundations and government, and volunteers and community members to create lasting outcomes for all youth, regardless of neighborhood.