July 5, 2018

Aim High Kids Give Back This Summer

David Sanders knows first hand the impact Aim High St Louis has. He was a middle school student there, and now as a 30 year-old teacher living in Charlotte NC, he comes back to St. Louis each summer to to teach science. This is his ninth summer, and this year Givable is part of his morning routine with his 9th grade class.

"Kids don’t know how they can make a difference,” says Sanders. "Givable is a tool for them to get in the habit and knowing what is going on in the community and it teaches them empathy."

One hundred ninth grade Aim High STL students are using Givable this summer. twenty-five of them at the John Burrows campus where Sanders is teaching. Aim High is a tuition-free personal and academic enrichment program for middle school students grades six through nine, most of whom come from challenging circumstances or environments. The program is a 5-week summer academic enrichment program, with almost five hundred students participating overall.

Sanders says Givable allows him to dive into some of the issues that students didn’t know about. Last week, we was able to discuss ALS with his students, a disease they didn’t know much about. He says students were moved by the Givable's Animal Rights Awareness Day because they didn’t realize there were different kinds of shelters. Learning about kill and no-kill shelters was very moving for them.

All of these discussions, says Sanders, allows the ninth graders to expand their knowledge of the world around them. That, says Aim High Executive Director Julie Angelica, is the exact reason why Givable fits so nicely into Aim High's current approach. The goal for the ninth graders is to give them a platform to explore the world around them. Angelica says Givable gives them a sense of empowerment. "The students view of the world is changing and becoming more outwardly focused. Givable helps then see this." she says.

The ninth graders will give more than a $1000 this summer to local non profits through the generous underwriting of our Givable donors. And more than just the financial donation, Sanders says his students are learning that there are others going through similar issues, and that both financial support and volunteering can make a real difference.

Getting ninth graders to focus can be a challenge, Sanders explains. “But when I tell them about the impact they are making through Givable, they pay attention.” For a teenager, that is a huge compliment. He recalls that the most profound moment came one day when he told the class how their Giving is making a difference, there was silence, and the entire group erupted in applause.

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