Dear Aim Higher Scholars of the Class of 2023,
Congratulations! As you begin this next stage of your educational journey, we eagerly await to see all that you will bring to your high schools next year. We await to learn about who you will become, how you will challenge yourselves, what you will dream, and who you will inspire.
You probably don’t realize this, but you have inspired us already by getting to where you are today.
It is unlikely you have met us, although you might have seen us visiting your school. Perhaps you came to our Back to School Ice Cream Celebration? Maybe you sang or volunteered at the Night of Light?
We are the Aim Higher Foundation. We are the Foundation’s staff, board, and committee members. We are its supporters and benefactors. You don’t know us, but for the better part of your education, we have been your quiet champions—your cheerleaders.
At some point in the last nine years, we awarded you and your family a scholarship to help pay for your Catholic school tuition. The decision to award your scholarships was based upon financial circumstances. The desire to award your scholarship was grounded in the belief of your potential. When your parents or guardians chose to send you to a Catholic school, they aspired to give you what they believed would be best for your future. They wanted you to succeed. To push yourself. To Aim Higher.
We wanted to make sure that was possible.
We represent a community who believes in the power of a Catholic education to change lives for the better—to help children like you discover who you’re called to be. Like those around you, be it your family, your community, or your Church, we are looking for partners to build a better future, and we need you. We need you to rise to the challenge of making our sliver of this country a better place. A kinder place. A place that encourages others to be their best, that provides for those less fortunate, and creates hope.
We know your Catholic school had high expectations for you. We know your school challenged you to be resilient in your values. We know it fostered an environment where your spiritual growth could be nurtured and cherished. Hold on to these lessons. Be bold in expressing them. Push yourself to deepen your understanding of them.
As you venture forward, your Catholic education will serve as an unwavering anchor, providing solace during times of adversity, and strength during moments of triumph. It is this very foundation that will sustain you in high school, college, your career, and throughout your entire life’s journey. Use your education, your gifts, and your values as the fuel to uplift and inspire others, and to drive you towards excellence. As you go forward, keep aiming higher and then higher still.
When in doubt, know we will still be here: believing in you, encouraging you, praying for you, and doing the same for others like you for years to come.
The Aim Higher Foundation
Ricky Austin is the President of the Aim Higher Foundation and has served the Foundation in a variety of roles since 2017. The Aim Higher Foundation provides $1,000 needs-based scholarships to scholars in 81 Catholic schools serving grades K-8. Once awarded, the Aim Higher Scholarship follows the student through 8th Grade. This year, 186 Aim Higher Scholars are graduating from 8th Grade. On behalf of these scholars and their families, we extend our most sincere appreciation to Aim Higher Foundation supporters who made this life-transforming opportunity possible.