Scholar Spotlight: Isabella

Relationships were foundational this year for 7th-grade scholar Isabella. 

Before Higher Achievement’s programs moved online in the spring, her school clubs and activities prevented her from attending programming at the Ward 4 Achievement Center as often as she’d like.  

The switch to a virtual format at school and at Higher Achievement presented some initial obstacles. “Most of my work has been paper and books,” reflected Isabella. “It’s been tough to learn how the computer and all the technology works.”  

But Isabella confronted these challenges head-on. With the obstacles came the opportunity to participate more fully in Higher Achievement’s virtual programming 

Isabella dove into programming, building relationships with staff and peers, and taking advantage of the optional one-on-one academic support days in addition to weekly math pods, humanities mentoring, and community meetings with her peers. “My teachers in school sometimes get frustrated with technology issues or lack of participation. It makes me have anxiety during virtual learning, but Higher Achievement gives me extra time and attention. If I have a question, I can actually talk it through with someone.”

This personalized attention kept Isabella coming back every week. “People give you time at Higher Achievement. They cheer you up. It’s like a family.” Higher Achievement encouraged Isabella as she gained confidence and set goals for her academic growth. 

Earlier in the year, Isabella applied this same growth mindset to her own personal circumstances. 

When her grandparents got sick with COVID-19 in the spring, Isabella wrote to them often as they recovered. “One of my personal goals for this year was to improve my English work. My writing has been improving because of all the letters.”  

Recently, Isabella received recognition as scholar of the month for her excellent participation, attendance, and positive attitude. “I felt really excited to get the award,” said Isabella.   

Higher Achievement’s virtual program provides scholars like Isabella with personalized academic enrichment and support. This model of high-intensity tutoring and social-emotional skill building is one of the most powerful ways to make up for the academic slide caused by COVID-19, and it is made possible through your support