The Aim Higher Foundation is pleased to announce the promotion of Laura Hester to Director of Scholarship Programs. In her new role, Hester will be responsible for the management and operations of the foundation’s five scholarship programs, serving as the liaison for school leaders and families.
“Laura’s passion for our mission and dedication to the families we serve will be a critical asset to the future of our work to provide even more children access to Catholic schools,” said Jean Houghton, President of the Aim Higher Foundation. “She has proven time and time again that she is committed not only to helping the foundation grow but also to providing world-class service to our stakeholders. We are excited to see the ways the core of our mission will grow under her leadership.”
Since beginning at the Aim Higher Foundation in January of 2020, Hester has served as the Development and Programs Associate. In this role, she managed the foundation’s first fundraising initiative, the Aim Ever Higher Campaign, and supported the day-to-day scholarship operations, with a special focus on serving Spanish-speaking families.
“I am humbled and grateful to serve a mission that is directly impacting the lives and futures of our next generation,” Hester said. “Having personally experienced the impact a Catholic school can have on my own education, I feel blessed to work more closely alongside school leaders to open that door for even more students.”
With ten years of experience working in schools and school systems, Hester brings extensive understanding and expertise to the position. Prior to the Aim Higher Foundation, she served in Catholic schools in Minnesota and Kentucky, working in admissions and enrollment and in the classroom. She has also worked closely on key research projects at Vanderbilt University and the Tennessee Department of Education.
“Laura is a champion of the children and families we serve,” said Ricky Austin, Vice President of Advancement and Operations. “Her contributions have been nothing short of essential to the more than 60% growth that our scholarship programs have experienced these last two and half years. It’s been and will continue to be a privilege to work closely with Laura and we are thrilled for her promotion.”
About the Aim Higher Foundation
The Aim Higher Foundation provides student-based, tuition-assistance scholarships so that more children in the twelve-county Twin Cities metro area can experience the life-changing benefits of a Catholic education. Since 2017, the foundation has tripled the number of scholarships it awards to children from families with financial need, supporting nearly 2,076 students for the 2021-2022 school year. Founded in 2011, the Aim Higher Foundation has provided more than 12,000 scholarships to children at every Catholic school serving grades K-8 in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.