High expectations, high support, and incredibly high returns – that’s the story of Higher Achievement, a rigorous year-round academic intervention program for middle school students. Committed to closing the opportunity gap during the pivotal middle school years, Higher Achievement serves 570 youngsters who are academically motivated but economically disadvantaged. All scholars participate in the program’s three components – a serious commitment that delivers outstanding results. Three days a week during the school year, the Afterschool Academy offers homework help and small-group academic instruction through dedicated volunteer mentors, paired with an arts or recreation elective and a healthy supper. A six-week Summer Academy includes core academic classes as well as field trips and college visits, ensuring that children stay engaged in learning during the summer months. And finally, high school placement services help scholars advance to college-preparatory schools (86% in 2014 to top choice schools like Banneker, Gonzaga, and Sidwell). 95% of Higher Achievement scholars graduate from high school on time (compared with 64% citywide). Your help means success, and a real future, for these determined scholars.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 6

Where They Operate: DC-Ward 1; DC-Ward 4; DC-Ward 6; DC-Ward 7; DC-Ward 8; VA-City of Alexandria; Ward 1, DC; Ward 4, DC; Ward 6, DC; Ward 7, DC; Ward 8, DC; Alexandria, VA

Age Groups Served: Youth; Adolescence; Grades 6-12

Ethnic Groups Served: African American, 81%; Asian American, 1%; Caucasian, 1%; Latino/Hispanic, 10%; Multicultural, 2%; Native American, 1%; Other, 4%

Population(s) Served: Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students

Schools They Work In: Marie Reed Elementary; Brightwood Education Campus; Eliot-Hine Middle School; Kelly Miller Middle School; Achievement Prep Academy; Kramer Middle School; Cesar Chavez - Parkside Middle School; Hammond Middle School (Alexandria, VA)

Combined Federal Campaign Number: 33770

United Way Agency Number: 8949

Awards & Recognition

2014 - Recipient of $12 million Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the U.S. Department of Education

2013 - Charity Navigator Four-Star Rating

2012 - Social Impact Exchange S&I 100: Named one of the top 100 most impactful nonprofits in the United States

2011 - MetLife Afterschool Innovator Award from the Afterschool Alliance

2009 - White House: Coming Up Taller Award from the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities

2006 - Johns Hopkins University: Excellence in Summer Learning Award


Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

Budget (FY2014)

  • $3 million or higher
  • The current budget for Higher Achievement is: $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

The Catalogue selected us as one of its featured charities! Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $29 million for charities across Greater Washington.

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