Ellen Moceri and Richard Sandler, faculty members at John Burroughs school, started the Aim High middle school program in June of 1991 with support from then headmaster, Keith Shahan. Taking note from the original Aim High in San Francisco and similar successful programs on the East Coast, Moceri and Sandler sought to increase the academic and personal potential of students from disadvantaged backgrounds in St. Louis. The program began with one 5th grade class of 50 students and operated solely at John Burroughs for four years. In 1994, Saint Louis Priory School joined Aim High, and by June of 1997, Aim High was serving 5th – 8th grade students on two campuses. Three years later, the program had grown to serve more than 250 students each summer and included cultural and academic enhancement activities, such as field trips and guest speakers. In 2015, Aim High expanded to Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School. The program currently serves over 400 students annually.
Long known for exceptional service and partnership with our middle school students and families, Aim High has been recognized by the following organizations:
- 2003 – “What’s Right with the Region” award from FOCUS St. Louis,
- 2008 – Investment Partner with Social Venture Partners (an offshoot of the Regional Business Council)
- 2010 -“New Light Award for Innovative Programs” presented by St. Louis for Kids (now United for Children with the CDCA)
- 2012 – Finalists – Deaconess Impact Partnership
- 2013 – Finalists – Ladue News Charity Awards