Aim High's mission is to inspire a life long love of learning and instill a sense of community, opportunity and respect so that students are prepared for success in school and in life. For the past 27 years, Aim High has inspired under-served youth in the San Francisco Bay Area to achieve their dreams through innovative summer education opportunities.
Aim High was created by two teachers who recognized the significant impact summer programs could have in the lives of middle school youth. By giving urban middle school students a high-quality summer learning experience, they hoped to inspire a love of learning, help more youth graduate from high school, and motivate low-income students to enroll in college. Since the beginning, Aim High has celebrated progressive teaching and learning, and created a safe place for youth to learn, make new friends, take risks, and try new things. What students now call the Aim High Magic was present from the beginning.
Aim High has grown from 50 students on one campus in 1986 to more than 1,300 students at fourteen campuses in 2012. Aim High is now the largest summer academic program in the Bay Area. Recognized nationally for our model, Aim High received the 2008 Excellence in Summer Learning Award from Johns Hopkins University. We also earned the highly competitive Bank of America Neighborhood Builders Award in 2006. In 2010, Aim High was recognized for excellence by a group of experts assembled by Philanthropedia. Aim High was recently chosen by The San Francisco Foundation as one of it prestigious Community Leadership Award recipients in 2012.
Tansy Mak is an alumnus of Aim High at Lick-Wilmerding (03) and recently graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Architecture. She attributes her awareness of resources and opportunities for high school and college to her experience at Aim High. After graduating from Aim High, Tansy was accepted at Lick-Wilmerding High School and immediately took an interest in the Drafting and Design class. This class was the first to inspire her to pursue architecture as a career. Tansy is now working in Boston at Choi & Shine, a small architecture firm, and hopes to return to San Francisco and open up her own practice. She wants to continue her involvement with Aim High, and hopes to become a mentor for new Aim High students.