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…


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…


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…


Grant Funding Helps Us Meet Goals, Improve Outcomes, and Grow

Foundation and Corporate Grants make up a significant part of High Jump’s revenue stream (1/6). Pursuit and access to institutional funding provide long-term financial sustainability and promote continued growth and development within our organization. Grants can pave the way to meeting organizational goals such as: Increasing reach of the High Jump program to serve more…

"High Jump has motivated me to do anything in my power to be successful in life and give back to my community.”

Alumni Spotlight: Jessica

Jessica is a High Jump alumna who was part of Cohort 22. “As I’ve grown up, I’ve realized how lucky I was to be part of High Jump. It was the beginning of where everything has happened for me. It’s where I learned the tools I still use today, and it’s where I found a…

“High Jump was the first step to all the greatness that has occurred in my life.”

Alumni Spotlight: Derrick

Cohort 22 alumnus Derrick grew up in Hyde Park with a mother who always taught him to value education and to constantly search for ways to move forward. When they learned about High Jump, they knew it was an opportunity for Derrick to receive the academic rigor he wasn’t getting at school. “High Jump was…