Scholar Spotlight: Aras

8th-grade scholar Aras celebrated a considerable accomplishment this past year: earning her first A in math. Higher Achievement’s small group math instruction in the 2020-2021 school year facilitated significant gains in grades and confidence for scholars, despite the challenges of virtual learning. 

“I don’t mind being online, but being in person gives me better connections to new teachers and mentors,” says Aras. In particular, she has enjoyed getting to show new Higher Achievement scholars around her school and introduce them to her classmates.  

This year, Aras has been hard at work preparing for her high school placement process. Representatives from various high schools gave presentations during programming about their schools. After having conversations with Aras about her goals for high school and beyond, her mentor, Ms. Kate, and Learning Director, Ms. Chavonte, recommended several schools for Aras to consider.  

She was immediately drawn to the opportunities provided at schools like Hotchkiss and the Potomac School. “I’ve watched the intro video for the Potomac School like twelve times!,” exclaims Aras. “There are so many extracurriculars, clubs, and programs I’m interested in, including Model UN and debate, Black Student Alliance, Gay Straight Alliance, school magazines and newspapers, and dark rooms for photography.” 

8th-grade scholars like Aras receive support throughout the application and selection process from Higher Achievement mentors and staff. For Aras, this means tests, transcripts, parent statements, teacher recommendations, and essays for Potomac School, Hotchkiss, and her other top choice schools: Georgetown Day, Georgetown Visitation, Sidwell Friends, Benjamin Banneker, and National Cathedral. 

Although Aras looks ahead with excitement to high school and beyond, she will miss the connections she has made over the past several years. “You can always find your place at Higher Achievement,” says Aras. “It’s been three years since I joined, and it’s been one of the most helpful experiences in my life, in almost every way.”  

Higher Achievement isn’t just a place for scholars, it’s a community. A community where they are given encouragement, academic support, and opportunities to develop and pursue their passions. 

For Aras, the future is full of possibilities. “When I was little, I wanted to be president, then a nuclear physicist. Maybe one day I’ll be a museum curator, or a labor and delivery nurse—There are so many options!”  

Our scholars are brimming with talent and big dreams. Please consider making a gift today to empower scholars like Aras with relationship-focused educational support.