By 2020, 65% of jobs nationwide will require post-secondary education, for which Baltimore City students are dramatically underprepared. National and city data show that middle school students are at extraordinary risk regarding their academic performance and social development. The middle school years are when many students disengage from family and school and experiment with risky behaviors that – without being channeled into something positive – could be unhealthy, irresponsible, and/or illegal. Grades and test scores often plummet during the middle school transition and continue to decline through the 9th grade. The highest level of high school drop outs happen during the 9th grade. That makes middle school the last best chance to get on track to graduate high school. The timing of educational interventions in Baltimore City is key to making a lasting impact.
We are excited to pilot a program that will support our Higher Achievement Alumni. Through funding from the State of Maryland’s Next Generation Scholar’s grant, we will be able to provide resources such as tutoring, one–on-one mentoring, social emotional learning, family engagement, college readiness, and community awareness.
Let’s welcome (back) Angel White our new Manager of High School Placement and Alumni Services!
Why are you excited about this program?
Angel: In addition to the evident benefits of the scholars that we serve, I’ve seen Higher Achievement nurture so many young adults and help them not only grow professionally, but also reach and operate on a new level of purpose as it pertains to their passion in their youth development.
Why do you think it is necessary?
Angel: Higher Achievement is a vehicle of hope and opportunity that supports our scholars with their navigation through academic and social emotional challenges. It is continually needed to foster relationships between caring adults and brilliant scholars beyond school day hours to ensure that they are successful to in all of life’s pursuits.
What are some of the challenges?
Angel: In my current role as Manager of High School Placement and Alumni Services, I’m learning that high school readiness is a priority that must not be overlooked. As we prepare our Baltimore scholars for positioning themselves to be accepted into their Tier I high schools of their choice, we must be intentional in building skill sets and providing resources around success in secondary education.
What type of support do you need?
Angel: I look forward to seeing Higher Achievement not only find ways to expand its internal capacity for high school readiness efforts, but also to build partnerships with like- mission organizations throughout the city of Baltimore. We are already off to a great start with our current partnerships with Urban Alliance, Morgan State University, and University of Baltimore– each of which provides year round exposure of our scholars to a lot of the great initiatives that are happening throughout the city for current K-12 students.
Inspire Higher Achievement’s middle school scholars to DREAM BIG by supporting our Scholars2College campaign today!