Chioma and Abby

Abby, a former Higher Achievement staff member and seasoned Ward 4 Achievement Center mentor, walked into the first night of Afterschool Academy mentoring and discovered that her former scholar, Chioma, is now a mentor! After graduating from George Washington University, she has returned to mentor a group of fifth graders, the same grade Chioma was when she met Abby.

Chioma describes Higher Achievement as “a second family that pushes you whether you want to be pushed or not.” She mentors fifth graders to help them develop “independence, curiosity, and hard work,” along with a passion for literature and writing, just like Abby did for her. To Chioma, her connection with Abby is a “small testament to what this program is doing for people, both the students and the mentors.”

Abby reflects on her experience as a mentor and the impact of Higher Achievement’s community of support.

Being involved with Higher Achievement, first as an employee and now as a mentor, totally changed my life’s path. Not only did it make clear to me the critical importance of making sure all kids have access to high-quality educational experiences, it also highlighted the immense power that out-of-school time programs like Higher Achievement have to change kids’ lives. Being a mentor and helping shepherd that change is an incredible experience. 

Chioma was my first scholar and one of my most memorable. She was SO smart and often way ahead of the material we covered in our sessions. It was no surprise to me when she attended one of the top high schools in the city and ultimately graduated from GWU two years early. Being back at center with her now and watching her connect with new fifth grade scholars is really incredible! 

I don’t think there’s anything more powerful than current scholars learning from alumni like Chioma. Seeing all that she has accomplished and how hard she has worked to get here shows scholars that this program is worth their time and can really be a springboard for future success. I think the fact that Chioma is volunteering as a mentor and that she remains connected to the program, six years after she graduated, speaks volumes about the impact Higher Achievement has had on her life.

I’m a mentor because having the opportunity, in some small way, to support scholars on their own educational journeys is an absolute privilege. Our scholars are bright, funny, and insightful people who deserve every opportunity that comes their way and their access to those opportunities shouldn’t depend on their zip code. 

Become a mentor like Abby and Chioma to support scholars through their educational journeys. Apply today!