High Jump Graduation on Monday, May 16th, 2022. Photos by Jasmin Shah

The Essential Impact of the Sustaining Leaders Fund 

The Sustaining Leaders Fund is an essential group of donors dedicated to supporting High Jump’s mission to equalize educational opportunities in Chicago. The members of this community are pillars that strengthen High Jump’s ability to provide impactful programming to students who need it most. The Sustaining Leaders Fund donors provide a foundation for growth resulting…


The Lasting Impact of High Jump

After hearing from two students and a teaching assistant currently in High Jump, we want to share with you once again the real and powerful impact of the program as told from the perspective of students who went through it. But this time, we wanted you to hear from two of our alumni who graduated…

High Jump Graduation on Monday, May 16th, 2022. Photos by Jasmin Shah

Vision of the future of High Jump

For over 30 years, High Jump has changed the lives of more than 2,500 middle school students in Chicago. While our first cohort in 1989 had just 16 students enrolled, High Jump has grown over the years and now serves more than 285 new students each year through our programs.  After three decades of honing…

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Students Share a Glimpse of What’s Possible with High Jump

When we talk about the critical work that High Jump does and the impact that we have on the educational landscape in Chicago, there is of course the cold hard data that backs up the power and success of our work including: 87% of High Jump Scholars graduate from college (compared to 41% of all…


Rebuilding Confidence, Rebuilding Community

More than 3,400 high-achieving, low-income students in Chicago enter sixth grade each year. These students have limited means to invest in their education, with long-term implications; middle school performance is highly predictive of a student’s future high school achievement. And research from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute shows that the middle school years are critical…


Change Comes to Chicago’s Selective Enrollment Application Process– is it enough?

Chicago’s 11 Selective Enrollment high schools rank among the best in the city; however, by design not all students who apply get to attend one of them. Of the 26,000 applicants last year, fewer than 5,000 were offered spots. Last week, High Jump Executive Director Nate Pietrini spoke with Sasha-Ann Simons of WBEZ’s Reset about…


Xiomara (High Jump Cohort 19) on #MyPathToGoogle

In the latest #MyPathToGoogle product marketing manager, Xiomara Contreras, shares her best career tips and insights on what it’s like to find a role at the intersection of social justice issues, education, youth mentorship, and tech.


What is High Jump?

It’s academic enrichment, social-emotional learning, and high school choice support. And, it’s one of the few enrichment programs that Chicago middle school students of limited economic means can access.  The program, designed to help students develop skills to get to and through college, is tuition-free and occurs during a student’s seventh and eighth-grade years.  Each…


What They Carry with Them

You wouldn’t be wrong in describing High Jump as an academic program, but time and time again, our students tell us that it’s more than that.  While not the program’s primary goal, community, and long-lasting friendships are just a couple of the added benefits that alumni proclaim. Extended support and networking opportunities with others who…


Moving Up! and on to New Things

Moving Up is the culmination of two years of hard work for students ready to embark on their high school journey. Cohort 31 began the program in 2019, the summer following their 6th-grade year. After putting in the 700 hours of challenging but rewarding work, 157 students graduated from the program this year. Held at…