Today, Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP) announced a $930,000 investment in Higher Achievement to help support its mission to close the opportunity gap for students during the critical middle school years. The investment will specifically strengthen Higher Achievement’s evidence-based middle school academic enrichment program to produce even stronger academic and socio-emotional outcomes for youth.
This investment will leverage Higher Achievement’s recent U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation (i3) award and provide strategic assistance, in addition to funding, to increase Higher Achievement’s capacity to engage in a range of sophisticated data analyses. VPP’s support will not only help Higher Achievement enhance its program offerings, but will also help the organization design a program model that will be more efficient to scale throughout the region.
“There is so much potential that exists for young people in their middle school years and Higher Achievement taps into that potential,” said Carol Thompson Cole, President and CEO of Venture Philanthropy Partners. “I’m excited that this partnership will help more young people develop the skills and knowledge to successfully transition from middle to high school.”
Research has shown that 75 percent of vulnerable sixth graders will not graduate high school if they have low school attendance, fail math or reading or exhibit unsatisfactory behaviors in school. Higher Achievement’s approach has been proven to increase the math and reading proficiency rates and help middle school students successfully transition to a high school that best meets their needs.
Over the next few years and with VPP’s support, Higher Achievement aims to increase the number of students served; highlight the importance of socio-emotional learning; maximize the impact of mentors; and continue to raise its current on-time graduation rate of 95 percent.
“This generous investment from VPP will strengthen Higher Achievement’s muscles for using data to improve our practice with our scholars,” said Lynsey Jeffries, CEO of Higher Achievement. “Support from VPP is a strong endorsement for our strategy and growth plan.”
VPP invested in Higher Achievement because of its bold, yet achievable data infrastructure and program model evaluation goals to support its strategic vision for the future. Read more about VPP’s investment in Higher Achievement.
About Venture Philanthropy Partners
Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP) is a philanthropic investment organization that builds strong nonprofits and strategic networks that measurably improve the lives of children and youth throughout Greater Washington. Since its founding, VPP has raised and deployed more than $100 million to help vulnerable young people gain access to quality education, health care, career training and a better chance at a brighter future. To learn more, visit www.vppartners.org.
About Higher Achievement
Talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. Higher Achievement’s rigorous after-school and summer academic program connects middle school students to opportunities ranging from a year-round learning environment to caring mentors to a culture of high expectations. As a result, 95 percent of Higher Achievement scholars graduate high school on time with the character, confidence, and skills to succeed. Founded in 1975, Higher Achievement provides award-winning academic enrichment to motivated middle school students from underserved communities in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Richmond and Washington, DC. For more information, please visit www.higherachievement.org.