AIM Institute received funding through the U.S. Department of Education TRIO Upward Bound grant that will help high school students prepare for successful graduation from high school and successful enrollment in postsecondary education. Â Â This grant will serve high school students who are low-income, first-generation students attending Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The investment through the AIM TRIO Upward Bound Grant at Abraham Lincoln totals more than $1 million over the next five years. This grant is 100% fully funded by the U.S. Department of Education in the amount of $257,500.00 per year for five years.
AIM, a nonprofit that supports the development of the tech workforce throughout communities in the Silicon Prairie with technology training, career development and education services, saw a special need at Abraham Lincoln High School, which has a student body that experiences poverty at rates significantly higher than the state and nation. The grant puts special emphasis on building proficiency in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills, a critical requirement for students to graduate college-ready and aligned with current and future workforce demands.
Dr. Kandace Miller, President and CEO of AIM, said she’s looking forward to the impact the Upward Bound grant will make in the lives of eligible students, the majority of whom would be the first in their families to pursue post-secondary education.
“The activities laid out in this program will engage and inspire students to learn about technology and encourage them to pursue opportunities they might not have thought were possible before,” Dr. Miller said. “Seeing students develop the skills to be ready for college and supporting them along the way is not only a great process to be involved with, but a great asset for the communities in which these students reside.”
Activities implemented by the grant will include:
- Hands-on technology and STEM-related activities designed to strengthen knowledge and proficiency in critical technology, as well as awareness of the opportunities in related high-demand career fields;
- Skills academies that focus on time management; study skills, technology and computer skills;
- A six-week summer program through AIM Brain Exchange that continues to build on tech and STEM related skills through activities, mentoring and building career awareness; as well as instruction in mathematics through precalculus, laboratory science, foreign language, composition and literature; Â
- Academic tutoring, mentoring and advising;
- Monthly networking events hosted by AIM for students to learn about one another and how to operate as a team;
- Field trips to AIM partner businesses and organizations to learn about high-skill, high-demand careers in tech;
- College planning and career exploration;
- Financial aid, financial literacy, and scholarship searches and submissions; and
- College visits and support services for entrance exams and admissions applications.
In addition, AIM has received a continuation of U.S. Department of Education TRIO funding for three other grants serving low-income/first generation students at Thomas Jefferson High School in Council Bluffs, as well as Omaha Bryan and Papillion-La Vista high schools.