- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Reaching higher

The award-winning Higher Achievement Program is a finalist for the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities’ Coming Up Taller Award, which honors outstanding after- and out-of-school programs.

The 15 finalists, which will be honored today by first lady Michelle Obama at the White House, beat out hundreds of applicants for the prestigious award.

Higher Achievement, a nonprofit that serves middle school students year-round, began in 1966 at Gonzaga College High School in Northwest Washington.

“We are truly honored to receive this award as a symbol of the commitment that our scholars, staff and volunteers dedicate to the pursuit of academic excellence. Receiving the Coming Up Taller Award is living proof that Higher Achievement’s core philosophy still rings true: Talent is everywhere, intellect is built through effort, and opportunities matter. This recognition from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities will allow Higher Achievement to continue its life-changing work for the most underserved communities in the nation’s capital,” said Lynsey Wood Jeffries, executive director for the D.C. area.

“This year’s Coming Up Taller awardees exemplify how arts and humanities programs outside of the school setting can impact on the lives of our young people,” said Margo Lion, co-chairman of the president’s committee. “By exciting imaginations and providing opportunities for self-expression through the disciplines of theater, dance, music and literature, these exceptional projects offer their participants windows on possibility and a belief in a more positive future.”

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