Scholar Spotlight: Alisia

Higher Achievement scholars like 8th-grader Alisia are learners and leaders. “Higher Achievement helps me build on subjects that I’m weak in, and I can help other scholars in subjects that I am strong in,” says Alisia. Scholars at Higher Achievement are active supporters of their peers, and Alisia particularly enjoys bonding with the younger scholars in the program. “We get to be leaders at Higher Achievement. Seeing younger students reminds me of when I first started, and seeing them grow is exciting.” 

Alisia also receives support and encouragement from her mentor, Ms. Shalonda, and Ward 7 Learning Director, Ms. Radiya, as she prepares for high school. “My teachers at school just told me where I should apply. Ms. Radiya and Ms. Shalonda helped me pick options based on my interests.” 

Identifying those interests and homing in on options for high school took time. “I had to do a lot of research and thinking to figure out what I’m interested in for the future,” says Alisia. “I think I’d like to major in economics because I’m good at math. I’m not as good at ELA [English Language Arts], but it helps me since I need to read and write well for everything else.”  

Higher Achievement understands the foundational importance of ELA. A focus on literacy as part of our COVID recovery strategy helps scholars practice writing and communication fundamentals that prepare them for success in high school and beyond. This academic enrichment is paired with social-emotional skill-building that supports scholars’ development during the critical middle school years.  

Alisia’s dedication to her own personal and educational growth has produced results. In addition to being on the honor roll throughout middle school, Alisia is particularly proud of the work she has done to regulate her emotions during stressful situations. “Sometimes I get really frustrated when disruptions in class don’t get addressed. But I’ve been practicing my self-control to handle it.” 

In high school, Alisia looks forward to meeting new friends, participating in a sport such as soccer or track, and taking AP classes that will help prepare her for college.