40 Stories

In honor of our anniversary, we have selected 40 exceptional alumni, mentors, donors, staff members, and board members to profile as part of our 40 Stories Project. These scholars and supporters range from famous comedians to successful accountants to award-winning poets to respected lawyers – and everywhere in between.

Meet Howard

“I put in what they put in,” says mentor Howard Johnson, referring to his 401K mentoring plan where he matches his scholars investment in their education, just like companies do for their employees. Howard asks that scholars put their all into advancing their academics and becoming leaders in their community. In return, Howard commits to being a mentor that will go above and beyond in supporting them.

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Proven Results



Graduate high school on time

That is 20% higher than the average graduation rates in our cities.

Randomized trial study

Gains from participation in Higher Achievement equaled 48 extra school days in math and 30 extra school days in reading per year.



Higher Achievement scholars show positive grade impacts.


There is no doubt that Higher Achievement is the most effective after school and summer program in the country.

Dr. Leigh Linden

University of Texas, Austin

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i3 Grantee





In The News

Higher Achievement Impacts Scholars During the Most Changeable Time in Their Lives.

My name is Mr. Rob. I am a Higher Achievement mentor at Cherry Hill. I have been a mentor for 10 years. I was born and raised in Baltimore and I love…

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The Power of Mentorship and Year-Round Academics

My name is Brandon. I am a Higher Achievement Scholar. I am 10 years old and I’m in the 5th grade. l live in Pittsburgh, PA with my dad.
I am…

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Derlyn’s ambitions amplified through Higher Achievement

My name is Derlyn. I am a Higher Achievement scholar. I was born and raised in Alexandria, VA. I am 12 years old and I’m in 7th grade. I live at home…

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Shaniya finds a family in Higher Achievement

My name is Shaniya. I am a Higher Achievement Scholar. I live in Baltimore, Maryland. I’m 13-years old and I’m in the 8th grade. I live at home with…

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Hate Has No Home Here…

On behalf of Higher Achievement, especially our Higher Achievement Pittsburghfamily, I am writing to condemn hate. The shootings at Tree of Life…

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