by George J Elbaum
The Achieve Program is a year-round, four-year high school scholarship and academic enrichment program for underserved students from low-income families. By providing tuition grants plus quality educational and extensive individual support, Achieve increases the options and opportunities for its students, all of whom are selected based on demonstrated academic excellence and high motivation to change and improve their lives.
Currently, achieve serves 94 students and has a staff of six, including three educators, all dedicated to supporting and mentoring the students. Although Achieve’s tuition grants enable students to attend private schools in the San Francisco Bay area, the most important aspect of the program is Achieve’s active support to students throughout their four years of high school. Mentoring, tutoring, cultural excursions, summer internships, community service programs, extensive college counseling, and parent support are some of the services provided to ensure that Achieve students are informed, educated, service-minded, and well-prepared to succeed in college and beyond. Achieve thus opens a world of possibilities for its students.
One of Achieve’s students, Mia, is also a participant in the JFCS Holocaust Center’s The Next Chapter program. She attended my talk to The Next Chapter last month and, through the JFCS Holocaust Center, she invited me to speak to her community at Achieve. Mia wrote, “I wanted to be able to share this wonderful experience with my other Achieve mates. I wanted to share (his) inspiring stories with all of them, to help them reflect on their own lives just like I have.” Starting with Mia’s invitation, Achieve’s Sarah Jiménez and Penny Savryn, the Center’s Education & Marketing Manager, organized my talk.