FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Aim Higher Foundation’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce Ricky Austin as its next President, effective August 26, 2022. Austin will succeed Jean Houghton, who has served as President since 2017.
“The Board is excited for Ricky to assume the role of President and continue advancing Aim Higher Foundation’s mission,” said Don Mulligan, chair of the Aim Higher Foundation’s Board of Directors. “His commitment to and understanding of what it takes to ensure all children can access the benefits of a Catholic education is unmatched. Over the last five years, he has worked closely with Jean, the Board, school leaders, and our donors, helping to catalyze an inspiring period of growth for Aim Higher.”
Houghton, who has accepted the new position of Director of Mission Advancement for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, led Aim Higher to new heights. Jean successfully oversaw the organization’s recently concluded Aim Ever Higher Campaign, which raised more than $13.5 million and added over 500 new donors. Most importantly, during Jean’s tenure, the number of students benefitting from Aim Higher Foundation scholarships tripled to 2,151.
“We are indebted to Jean for her leadership, her expertise, and her passion to build a better future for the children and schools we serve,” said Mulligan. “We are also looking forward to collaborating with Jean in her new role. Aim Higher is proud to partner with the Archdiocese to play our role in the Roadmap for Excellence in Catholic Education.”
Austin joined the Aim Higher Foundation in 2017 and has held increasingly important roles, most recently Vice President of Advancement and Operations. Prior to Aim Higher, Austin spent nearly twenty years working for Catholic schools. He began his career as a teacher and administrator and later served the nationally recognized Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame and the Partnership Schools, a network of nine urban Catholic schools in New York City and Cleveland.
“I am honored and humbled to serve the Aim Higher Foundation as President,” said Austin. “And I am grateful for the Board’s confidence in me and, even more so, for their unwavering focus on this mission. I am especially grateful to Jean for her guidance and partnership. The Aim Higher Foundation is strong today because of her tireless efforts. I look forward to expanding the work we started together to ensure all children, regardless of their family’s financial circumstance, can access a Catholic school.”
Austin lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with his wife, Megan Austin, Ph.D., and their two children, both of whom attend Catholic schools.
About the Aim Higher Foundation
The Aim Higher Foundation provides student-based, tuition-assistance scholarships so that more children in the twelve-county metro area can experience the life-changing benefits of a Catholic education at one of the Archdiocese’s 82 schools serving grades K-8. Since 2011, the foundation has awarded more than 12,000 scholarships worth over $10 million to students to attend a Catholic school.