Alec Lee ’80 will be honored by the White House this week as a so-called “Champion of Change” for his work in helping under-privileged youth. Champions of Change is an Obama administration initiative to honor Americans who make significant contributions to their community. Lee will receive the award February 26.
Lee is co-founder and Executive Director of Aim High, a San Francisco-based educational non-profit that provides under-resourced middle school youth in the Bay Area with free summer learning programs. According to a press release issued by Aim High, the latest round of awards “highlights individuals who are narrowing the opportunity gap by strengthening summer learning, improving access to meals, and expanding summer job opportunities for young people.”
More than 450 individuals across the nation were nominated but just nine were selected. Lee, who was the 1998 Bowdoin College Distinguished Educator, was nominated by Sandra Fewer of the San Francisco School Board, and Laura Brown of the Tahoe/Truckee Excellence in Education Foundation.
“I believe the Aim High model can and should be replicated across California,” says Fewer. “Honoring Alec with this award is the catapult he needs to take Aim High to communities across the state.”
According to its website, Aim High is the Bay Area’s largest provider of free summer learning. This year the organization expects to serve 2,000 middle school students and hire 500 teachers across its 17 campuses. Since it was founded 30 years ago, Aim High has offered a “five-week, multi-year program that blends academics and enrichment, preparing students for the transition into high school and setting them on the path to college.”