Thirty years ago, Aim High opened its doors for the first time to 50 students. Today, we’re the largest summer academic program in the Bay Area, with 2019 enrollment exceeding 2,300 students.

We’re proud of our enduring presence in the area. And we plan to remain an important fixture in the community by reaching more students and teachers each year. Take a stroll down our historical—and life-changing—lane, with nearly 10,000 students served since 1986.



Led by Alec Lee and Eleanor McBride, Aim High is founded at Lick Wilmerding High School in San Francisco with a grant from the San Francisco Foundation.

Fifty students attend Aim High’s first program.

1988 Aim High celebrates its first graduating class with 30 ninth graders.
1990 Aim High opens its second site at the Urban School in San Francisco.
2000 Summer enrollment exceeds 500 middle school students.
2001 East Bay expansion: Aim High opens a campus in Oakland.

Peninsula expansion: Aim High opens a campus in East Palo Alto.

Bank of America honors Aim High with the Neighborhood Builders Award.


Summer enrollment exceeds 1,000 middle school students.

Johns Hopkins University names Aim High “one of the nation’s best summer programs” and awards the Excellence in Summer Learning Award

2010 Marin expansion: Aim High opens a campus in San Rafael.

Tahoe/Truckee expansion: Aim High opens a campus in Kings Beach.

The San Francisco Foundation honors Aim High with the Community Leadership Award.

2013 National Partnership for Educational Access honors Aim High with the prestigious Excellence in Collaboration Award.
2015 Aim High celebrates 30 summers, 15 campuses and the 9,000 students served since celebrate its founding in 1986.

Summer enrollment exceeds 2,000 middle school students. Aim High celebrates its 30th anniversary and extends to Napa.

Co-founder Alec Lee awarded White House Champions of Change for distinguished service to the field of summer learning.

2019 Aim High, now at 18 campuses across the Bay Area and Tahoe-Truckee, launches an endowment ensuring its impact will continue to grow for years to come and kicks off Vision 2025, its next strategic planning process. In June of 2020, its 35th summer of operation, Aim High will open its doors to 2,400 middle school students.