ABOUT AIM HIGH
Better Futures Begin in 6th Grade
OUR MISSION & VISION
Aim High empowers motivated middle school students from high-risk environments to strengthen their character, self-confidence, determination, and initiative through a challenging, 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.
JOHN BURROUGHS SCHOOL
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.
ST. LOUIS PRIORY
Saint Louis Priory School is a Catholic secondary school for young men founded in 1956. Priory offers an outstanding preparatory experience guided by deeply rooted Catholic, Benedictine values that cultivate faith-centered, virtuous, educated young men.
PRIMARY RECRUITMENT DISTRICTS
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
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.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Immediate Past President
Washington University in St. Louis
Sons & Daughters of St. Louis
John Burroughs School
Ritenour School District
John Burroughs Biology Teacher
St. Louis Public Schools
- 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.
MEET OUR TEAM
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.
LEE FURNACE JR, DIRector of operations
Lee joined Aim High in June of 2022. He served as a science teacher and is also a parent of 3 Aim High Achievers. Lee has a passion for service, community outreach, education and youth advocacy. Lee is from St. Louis, Missouri and is a graduate of Lindenwood University where he earned a degree in Human Service Agency Management and his certification in physical education. Lee is a staff member at John Burroughs School in the physical education department and is the head wrestling coach.
William j. Manning, DIRector of data management
Manning joined Aim high in the summer of 2022. Equally innovative and strategic, he’s a leader with a passion for people and products. He comes to Aim High after receiving his Master of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University Mays Business School. He also has close to 10 years’ experience working with non-profits and fortune 500 companies.
Wade Mayham, Site Director
Wade has 17 years of experience as an administrator in St. Louis Public Schools and retired from Metro High. He taught high school and middle school the first 15 years of his career. Currently, Was works in the Ritenour District with “MO OPTIONS” students.
GINA WATKINS, Aim High Counselor
Gina joined Aim High in 2012. She most recently served as the guidance counselor at Crossroads College Preparatory Academy and has also worked in the Riverview Gardens district. Gina holds a Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Lindenwood University.
AMY GASCON, BUSINESS ACCOUNT MANAGER
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.