Youth organization fills gap for local education services in Colerain

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COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Ashley Kinamore has already been raising marginalized children at her organization, High Achievers Aim High (HAAH) for five years, through a host of tutoring, wellness and entrepreneurship programs.

But now that the organization is moving from its old location in Evanston to a larger facility in Colerain Township, it looks like Kinamore is just getting started.

“I really want to make sure that our underrepresented youth can compete fairly,” Kinamore said. “Their better-off counterparts have the resources and materials they need, without a doubt. And that’s what I want our establishment to be. “

Kinamore is not alone in her mission. His co-founders, Jazmin Smith and Alexandra Bell, have been with him from the start, working to strengthen the education of vulnerable children who are struggling in the classroom.

Kinamore, once a Cincinnati public school teacher for nearly a decade, saw with his own eyes how dramatically unprepared some children were for higher education.

“There were so many students coming in that were like overdue grades,” she said. Do that proper planning. So I think that really got me saying we need something. , that we can be a support system for schools Schools cannot do everything themselves.

Parents WCPO spoke to said how desperate they were for more youth education programs in the Colerain Township area.

Gentrification in neighborhoods such as Over-the-Rhine has pushed low- to middle-income families – especially black residents – to the suburbs of the West Side and northern parts of Hamilton County. Local schools now have more diverse student populations with greater socio-economic needs.

However, parents say their children are being neglected and there must be more options in the suburbs.

“If you’re in the downtown area, you’ve got the Boys and Girls Club,” said Brandy Sow, a resident of Colerain Township. “You have different after-school programs to help, summer programs to help these kids. You go up this way and there is nothing.

Sow’s daughter was enrolled in HAAH’s tutoring program last year while still at her location on Durrell Avenue in the Village 3060 Center. Sow says she had to take her out of the program because the ride was too long. But she is thrilled that she can now re-enroll her daughter for the current school year, as the ride to HAAH’s new facilities on Galbraith Road is only three minutes from her home.

“Something like this is much needed,” said Carmen Poellnitz, another resident of Colerain township. Poellnitz has enrolled his 12-year-old son in HAAH programs for the past three years. She has also taught the organization’s fitness program.

“Having high performing students here, I felt like it (will help), you know, some kids where they can just come and learn and have fun with other kids in the community. ”

On Friday October 1, HAAH will organize a major fundraiser to furnish and complete the renovation of its facility. He is looking to raise $ 300,000; the organization’s community partners such as United Way, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and FC Cincinnati are expected to be in attendance.

Anyone interested in donating to HAAH is encouraged to text “Aiming High” to 44321. Customers can also send donations by mail to its new facility at 2475 W. Galbraith Rd, Cincinnati, Ohio 45239.

Monique John covers gentrification for WCPO 9. She is part of our donor-supported journalism program Report For America. Learn more about RFA here.

If there are any stories about gentrification in the Greater Cincinnati area that you think we should cover, let us know. Send us your tips at [email protected]


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