Green Apple Awards 2016: Toolkit for Success

Each year, Higher Achievement’s eighth grade scholars graduate in a commencement ceremony not unlike a small high school graduation. Their families, staff, fellow scholars, and other supporters gather to see them on their way to top area high schools, and to congratulate them on all the work they have done to arrive at the end of their final year of Higher Achievement.

Graduates and former and current staff.

As an organization, we don’t just put opportunities in front of scholars. We don’t do the work for them. We support scholars in maximizing their own potential by providing opportunities their circumstances would otherwise limit  – and we expect scholars to meet us in the middle by striving for excellence, and approaching our rigorous program with energy and dedication.

Program Coordinator Angel White presenting David Ross with thank you gift.

In celebration of the tools that scholars will take on with them from Higher Achievement, to high school and beyond, fellow scholars, alumni, parents, families, mentors, partners, staff, board, and a phenomenal guest speaker (David Ross, aka Native Son, writer and poet) all came together at Morgan State University on May 19th. Scholars received their Higher Achievement certificates and performed a symbolic pass of a tulip to their families , thanking them for offering the support it took for each child to come this far.


Talia L., a tenacious eighth grade scholar from our South Baltimore center, was presented with the Rales Achievement Award on behalf of the Norman and Ruth Rales Foundation. The Foundation honors an exceptional scholar each year with a generous $1,000  Next year, Talia will attend Baltimore Polytechnic.


Graduates are moving on to an impressive list of Baltimore high schools, including Baltimore Polytechnic, Western, Mergenthaler, and Baltimore Design School.

The professional photographer on-hand – the illustrious and generous Will Kirk, who donates his work to Higher Achievement often – took tons of amazing photos to capture the evening. You can view these photos here. (P.S. – If you’re in any – tag yourself!)

The work scholars and their supporters do to achieve higher is incredible, and the payoff is huge. Get involved now to be a part of the change for next year’s graduates.