Mentoring for High School Readiness

Higher Achievement has made a big investment in our scholars by expanding small-group high school readiness mentoring to engage scholars of every grade level as they explore their options for the future, identify their interests and goals, grapple with social justice community topics, and practice their writing and communication skills.  

High School Readiness Curriculum 

As partners in our scholars’ success, Higher Achievement aims for 75% of scholars to be accepted into best-fit college preparatory programs and high schools, and for 100% of alumni to graduate high school on time and prepared for post-secondary advancement. To meet that goal, our support begins in the 5th grade. 

  • 5th grade: Scholars build relationships and foundational skills such as creativity, leadership, communication, flexibility, and collaboration; identify and learn about role models and what factors contributed to their success; and discuss their dreams and goals for their future including middle school, high school, college, career, and community. 
  • 6th Grade: Scholars learn about their city, including its history, politics, geography, and high schools and colleges; expand their writing skills to cover different mediums such as essays, speeches, poems, and social media; and explore civic engagement by learning about the structure of government, protests and grassroots organizing, and ways they can take action to shape their futures and those of their community.  
  • 7th Grade: Scholars delve into personal exploration of their career aptitude and interests, goal setting, and priorities; build research and presentation skills while working on a passion project of their choice; and learn about their options for high school by reviewing high school and program options, practicing applications, and selecting their top choice high schools.  
  • 8th Grade: Scholars complete their high school applications from start to finish, including writing essays and prepping for interviews; explore high school and post-secondary options and review different types of colleges and the connection between college and career; and spend time creating a reflection project on their time at Higher Achievement in the medium of their choice.  

Social-Emotional Skill-Building 

Mentors are key partners to our scholars during this formative period through their support and encouragement. Each week, caring mentors lead scholars in activities that bolster their skills and context for high school readiness all while engaging their social-emotional skill-building.  

A relational, small-group format allows mentors to develop deep and meaningful bonds with our young people and help them identify, harness, express, and build confidence in their innate abilities.  

Mentors receive ongoing support and recently participated in training webinars on finding fun and building relationships, putting social-emotional learning into practice, and reflecting on white saviorism.  

Prepared for the Future 

By 8th grade, scholars leave Higher Achievement with confidence in their academic abilities and the tools to pursue their chosen path for their future. Our high school readiness mentoring centers the voices, experiences, and talents of our scholars and celebrates their progression to high school and beyond.