Better Futures Begin in 6th Grade



Aim High empowers motivated middle school students from high-risk environments to strengthen their character, self-confidence, determination, and initiative through a challenging and engaging academic and personal enrichment program.


Inspire the desire to learn, to stay in school, and to become respected leaders of the community.


Aim High was founded in 1991 by John Burroughs School faculty members, Ellen Moceri and Richard Sandler, with the support of then headmaster, Keith Shahan. They sought to support student success despite the systemic and social barriers that exist in St. Louis. They began with 50 fifth grade students attending a summer academic program at John Burroughs School. 

The program quickly grew and in the summer of 1993, St. Louis Priory School became a host campus. By the summer of 2000, Aim High was serving more than 250 students each year and included Saturday sessions to provide year-round programming for Aim High students.

Today, Aim High provides opportunities for educational and social development for approximately 400 middle school students in the St. Louis area from over 60 different elementary schools tuition-free!


Aim High is made possible through the work of our multiple partnerships. From our partnering school districts to our host campuses, Aim High would not be possible without them.



Founded in 1923, Burroughs is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 7-12. Faculty, parents and students share a commitment to a liberal arts education which strikes a balance of emphasis among academics, arts, athletics and activities. Graduates enter leading colleges throughout the country.


Washington University in St Louis is recognized worldwide as a top-notch educational institution. Founded in 1853, WashU offers outstanding experiences for college students and boasts innovative research facilities on their sprawling campus.  


Aim High partners primarily with area public schools, but also committed charter and private schools, where the student population needs reflect Aim High’s intended goals for partnership. Primary recruitment districts include:

    • St. Louis Public Schools
    • Normandy Schools Collaborative
    • Ritenour Public Schools
    • University City Schools
    • Hazelwood Public Schools
    • Ferguson-Florissant Public Schools
    • Jennings Public Schools
    • Riverview Public Schools



Aim High is one of just a few area non-profits who are proud members of this nationally recognized character development institution. With annual staff training opportunities and curriculum support, Aim High’s Achievers benefit from the knowledge of the brightest and most in-tuned minds when it comes to helping students develop the character traits and values that will drive them to lifetime success.


Geoff Ratliff

Board President
Merrill Lynch

Holly Butka

Immediate Past President
Community Volunteer

David Hagee

Commerce Bank

Jackie Graves

Lewis Rice

Aaron Daugherty

Washington University in St. Louis

Kimberly Moody

St. Louis Public Schools

Marie Holmes


Chris Front

John Burroughs School

Chris Kilbride

Ritenour School District

Deena Goran

John Burroughs Biology Teacher

Jarrett Young

City Academy

Justin Ladendorf

Lewis Rice

Sara Howard

Radius Creative, LLC


The purpose of the Leadership Council is to engage the expertise and support of former board members, donors, and community leaders in advancing the Aim High Boards’ strategic initiatives and in providing requested input on matters presented by The Board’s liaisons to the Council. Members include:
  • Andy Abbott
  • Father Cuthbert Elliott, O.S.B.
  • Pat Esserman
  • Right Reverend Thomas Frerking
  • Ellen Moceri
  • Abbot Gregory Mohrman
  • David Molho
  • Tom Ruwitch

The Road to Aim High


Aim High is committed to the highest level of transparency. Our organization earned a 2020 Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, showcasing the progress and results we’re making toward our mission in addition to in-depth financial information. You will find our Annual Reports and Form 990s below and you can review our profile on Guidestar.

Annual Report

Form 990

Annual Report

Form 990

Annual Report

Form 990

Annual Report

Form 990


Tamila Taylor

Tamila (Tammy) Taylor, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Tammy joined Aim High in January 2022 and brings significant knowledge in the DEI space, as she was Director of Parent Programming for John Burroughs School in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity.  She is currently board chair for the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation, which serves the largest school district in the St. Louis metropolitan area. She brings a wealth of experience in strategic planning, governance and finance to the Aim High Team.

Staci Buckels, DIRector of operations

Staci joined Aim High in June 2023 as Director of Operations. Staci has a Bachelor’s degree from St. Louis University in Communication. Her masters degree is from Lindenwood where she also taught Marketing. Staci has a strong background in retail marketing and operations. Her career started in nonprofit, working with programs that teach social growth and development skills through after school and summer camps. She brings a passion for educational equity to our team.


Lisa Ann summers, Executive Development Assistant

Lisa joined Aim High in October 2022 after retiring from Insurance Defense and Litigation Management for Major Insurance Carriers both with national and international presence.  She recently earned her DEI Certificate from the University of South Florida Muma College of Business and is looking to incorporate valuable knowledge and skills while working part time in her neighboring community.  At Aim High, she assists in the development and execution of Aim High’s annual fundraising plans, securing financial support from individuals, foundations and corporations.  As a former Youth Pastor/Student Minister she enjoys working with Achievers enlightening all to soar beyond expectations to give their best to their family and to their community.


Simon cozzens, DIRector of data and communications

Simon joined Aim high in October 2022. He earned his BA in Cognitive Science from Yale University and his Masters Degree in Social Work from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. He has a strong focus on tracking Achiever data and managing newsletter and email communications at Aim High, and they are fueled by a passion for social system design and social sustainability. As a generalist, Simon takes pride in bringing a diversity of personal and professional experience to the Aim High team.

Madison Angell, Development Coordinator

Madison joined Aim High St. Louis in the spring of 2023. She graduated from the University of Illinois in Springfield with an interdisciplinary B.A. of Sociology and Anthropology. As a research assistant, Madison focused on the outcomes of youth entering foster care, including relocation and placement procedures. She went on to receive a M.A. of Public Affairs Reporting and worked as an editorial intern and reporter for Illinois Times. 

Madison has developed a strong passion for youth advocacy. In the past, she served as a youth and college educator. As a research lead for AmeriCorps, she helped hybridize youth programming at the height of COVID-19. Her areas of focus include youth programming and education, juvenile and reproductive justice, digital and social media, marketing, and communication. 

Joelle mw Mcintosh, Site Director at Washington university

Joelle has been with AIM High St. Louis for 15 years and has served in several capacities at Priory, Villa Duschene, and John Burroughs. She returns year after year because to see the students grow and to grow as a teacher. During the school year, Joelle serves as a Career and Technical Educator (CTE) for University City High School in the District of University City. She teaches Entrepreneurship, Marketing, and Personal Finance. She previously served as a CTE teacher at Ritenour High School.

Andranique ellis, Site Director at john burroughs school

Andranique joined Aim High in 2008 as a 6th grade English teacher. After a period of teaching, she paused her Aim High teaching career in order to give more time to her two wonderful children. In her new role as Site Director, she looks forward to being a pillar of support for all teachers and Achievers. During the school year, Ms. Ellis teaches Spanish at John Burroughs School. She earned her BA in Spanish and Education from Washington University in St. Louis, and she holds a MA in Education and Innovation from Webster University.


Amy is a CPA with a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Accounting from Bentley University in Waltham, MA. She has spent over 10 years working with a variety of organizations including both non-profits and Fortune 100 companies. She is passionate about kids and education so she is excited to be on the Aim High team.

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