Voice, Freedom, Social Justice, and Solidarity

Happy Spring! We at Higher Achievement in Pittsburgh hope that you are doing very well and that you are getting the chance to (finally) enjoy some warmer weather.

Recently, sparked by the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, I have been reflecting on the increased importance of youth advocacy and activism to create social change in our communities. The oft-uttered phrase ‘our youth are our future’ has never really resonated well with me as it misses that youth are also our current, and can create a heck of a lot of change through their leadership! Recently, my friends at the University of Pittsburgh published a study examining Pittsburgh-area youth participation in activism out-of-school time programming. It was found that a desire to make social change and be connected to a larger whole were the two leading reasons for participation. Read the full study here.

At Higher Achievement, we build our youth programming around four pillars of social justice: voice, freedom, justice, and solidarity. We are pleased that Pittsburgh youth – as evident in many’s participation in the recent March for our Lives – and look forward to continued partnership in these areas. In the fine words of a 6th grade Homewood Achievement Center scholar:

…at every day break

I see the sunshine

As it’s piercing my eyes

But after all of this,

At the end of the day,

I rise and look in the mirror

I stand tall and declare, ‘I am resilient and strong!’

Thank you to our donors, volunteers, and friends in supporting advocacy, social justice, and strength in our scholars! If you are interested in learning more about all the ways that you can get involved with Higher Achievement in Pittsburgh, please contact info@higherachievement.org or 412-605-8448.