While all social outreach programs have good intentions at the core of their mission, some fail to reach far enough into the lives of those they serve to make a truly life-changing difference. The Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection (HW-SC), an innovative program for at-risk youth in New York and Maryland, avoids this pitfall by taking a holistic approach to community outreach.
Low-income students have a higher likelihood of dropping out of school, in part because they are not exposed to the same resources as their more affluent peers. The fact is that all students, no matter their socioeconomic status, should be given the means to excel in school and held to the same high standards. In 1975, Greg Gannon, a math teacher from a Washington, D.C. high school, founded the educational program, Higher Achievement. The program’s original purpose was to address the growing achievement gap faced by students in underrepresented communities and create equal learning opportunities. Thirty-seven years later, Higher Achievement provides tangible results focused on data-driven program quality, academic rigor, and student accountability.
As the fifth largest school system in Maryland and the 41st largest school system in the nation, AACPS serves a diverse population of students that spans urban, suburban, and rural portions of the county.