Friday, January 29, 2010

Higher Achievement Mentor Featured by Local University

Higher Achievement mentor Steve Fittery is featured by American University for the great work he is doing with his Higher Achievement scholars.

Click here to see the video!

Higher Achievement Alumni Accompanies Mrs. Obama!

Janell Holloway, Higher Achievement Alumna, sat with First Lady Michelle Obama during the recent State of the Union Address.

D.C. native Janell Holloway, a Higher Achievement scholar, attended Banneker Academic High School and interned with the White House Domestic Policy Council during the summer of 2009. Janell is now a freshman at Harvard.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Memoirs of a Mentor - Shared by Sarah Pitcock, of Higher Achievement Baltimore

I have mentioned a few times my love for mentoring at Higher Achievement and for my mentees. They have really brought so much joy into my life in such a short time. I am very blessed to spend time each week with Ta’Shawn Miles, a sixth grader at Collington Square with hopes and dreams that far exceed the small radius of East Baltimore he knows.

Since the first day I met him, Ta’Shawn has been talking about President Barack Obama (he always calls him by his full title). Seeing an African American man become President has truly changed Ta’Shawn’s concept of what he can do with his life. He talks about him ALL the time!

When I went to mentoring on Tuesday, the Center Director told me that Ta’Shawn’s mom had picked him up early that day to go buy him a suit because he was going to the White House to represent Higher Achievement and United Way for a National Mentoring Month event the next day. I nearly fell over, and I’ve had chills ever since just thinking about what the experience would be like for him.

I wasn’t sure if the President would actually be there or if Ta’Shawn would have any contact with him, but I got the full update this morning and the picture below says it all. Ta’Shawn is front row, second from left:

I am just bursting with pride today and wanted to share. Here is Ta’Shawn’s official quote about the experience, for historical record: “It was so exciting. I never thought a day in my life I’d get to meet the first Black President of the United States. It was an honor for me to walk into the White House, because so many people will never have that experience.”

You can watch the video of the President’s speech here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Remembering Who We Serve

Too often, not-for-profit organizations get so caught up in their day-to-day operations that they can forget what our hard work brings not just to the organization but also to the kids and families they serve. At Higher Achievement, I once described the business we are in as the creation of “hope.” We bring hope and opportunity to families who experience first-hand what it is like to move about amidst dysfunction and chaos in their community and in their schools. We provide their children with a broader perspective of what the world can offer them and that they do not have to settle for their current situations. Our rigorous curriculum, our mentors, field trips, competitions, and other activities are geared towards making them shine, confident, and excel. We cannot lose sight of any of that.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Higher Achievement Featured by the LCCR

Check out the video coverage that the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund recently posted about Higher Achievement. This video was created as a part of the Realize the Dream Campaign. Click here to see the video now!