I joined Higher Achievement seven months and five days ago and remain as excited today as I was in December 2022. The opportunity to join an organization with such a long-standing and tested commitment to D.C., a demonstrated track record of success with middle school scholars, and a team with rich knowledge and passion for the empowerment of students, was exactly what I was looking for in my next role.
Over the past seven months, I had the wonderful opportunity to listen, learn, and observe. I visited each of the eight Achievement Centers in our DC Metro portfolio and connected with more than 100 scholars; spoke to school leadership and staff; thanked volunteer mentors; met with active funders and potential donors; and processed and planned with leaders from peer organizations equally committed to shaping how learning and living happen for scholars in Washington, DC.
These encounters and experiences were rich, enlightening, and inspiring! And, they each served as a reminder of the opportunities and obligations that Higher Achievement has to be a leader in this post-Covid recovery period where nearly two decades of learning progress for middle-school students has been lost as a result of the pandemic (see our nation’s latest report card here).
I am thankful that the programs and services that Higher Achievement has provided for the past 48 years are recognized as critical ingredients to helping scholars get back on track (academic support, healthy social-emotional development, and mentoring) and we remain committed to strengthening all aspects of our work to meet this moment for the communities, scholars and families that we serve.
Our theme for the 2023-24 academic year is Strengthening Our Core! We’re going deeper with intentionality and strategy and we’re leaning harder on the core values that set us apart from other organizations:
- Racial Equity
- Voice & Inclusion
- Power of Community
- Striving for Greatness
But, we can’t Strengthen Our Core without you. Over the next few weeks and months you’ll hear from us and learn how you can help Higher Achievement have an impactful 2023-24 school year. Please stay tuned.
-Dr. Beshon Trusty
Higher Achievement DC Metro Executive Director