A dynamic youth development program, A Cut Above (ACA) works with 400 public middle-school students after school, on weekends, and throughout the summer. In order to help students successfully make their way through the difficult middle school years and transition to high school, ACA supports students in several areas of growth—foremost their academic growth.
Excelling in middle school and preparing for high school are top priorities. ACA offers professional tutoring, help with homework, and standardized test preparation. Our dedicated staff organizes trips to high-school information fairs and helps students identify top-performing high schools, study for entrance exams, and complete applications for admissions and scholarships.
Parent involvement is also a key feature of ACA programming. ACA holds regular workshops to help parents better understand the particular academic and social emotional challenges faced by middle-school youth and how to help their kids confront them, as well as what to expect when their kids get to high school.
ACA students participate in Boys to Men and Her World—gender-specific discussion groups aimed at fostering their social and emotional development by helping them develop both a strong sense of identity and sensitivity to the feelings of their peers. ACA staff work closely with both groups to impress upon our young men and women the importance of avoiding risky behaviors, and to help them develop the confidence, character, and life skills they need to succeed in and beyond middle school. Students also participate in monthly community service projects and choose from a variety of enrichment activities in the arts and culture, health and wellness, and athletics and recreation to supplement the education they receive during the day, fuel their passions, and keep them engaged.
While getting to and through high school is the immediate goal for ACA students, college is never far from their minds. In taking our students on trips to college campuses, ACA staff help build their expectations and, even more importantly, their excitement for what lies ahead.