High Achievers Program

Our mission as the High Achievers Program is to prepare future leaders. We believe every young person has the potential to become a leader. The High Achievers Program aims to foster that leadership mentality and prepare students through various activities, programming and community outreach to enable them to one day lead in a global society.

The High Achievers Program is a unique, highly-structured and comprehensive youth development program designed to help young people reach their full potential and have a solid base for learning and growing. By participating in high quality educational programming, exposure to different countries and cultures, and leadership development/enrichment activities that include employment knowledge and experience— youth are encouraged to become effective and participatory future leaders.   

Activities run after school, during summers and school holidays and we serve the Milledgeville/Baldwin communities. There are four components that make up the High Achievers Program: 

Throughout the academic year, youth are “matched” to a region in the world, a type of program (e.g., agriculture, business, education, health, environment), and even a specific Peace Corps volunteer. High Achievers, along with GC leaders, engage in discussions with their Peace Corps volunteers across the globe.   There are 169 schools in Georgia participate in the World Wise Schools partnership program; however, the High Achievers Program is the currently the only afterschool program to do so.

The Peace Corp component also helps to prepare youth for the spring break and summer camps. Youth use the different regions they learn about during Peace Corp component to create activities and learning activities for youth at the camps.  Because the camps are globally themed, the Peace Corp component is essential in providing the foundation for learning.
Throughout the year, the High Achievers participate in a weekly health-education class that is age-appropriate. Youth are taught how and when to make healthy lifestyle choices and to become advocates for healthy lifestyles, teamwork and interpersonal skills.  It is our hope that these skills and knowledge may inspire new career choices, and critical thinking skills, especially as they explore and experience the media. 

The High Achievers Program also partners with GC professors each semester which allows the High Achievers to interact with college students while they deliver health education components.  Youth not only learn about health issues but they have fun while doing so.

The High Achievers is a leadership based enrichment program that does not offer academic tutoring, however we do understand and value the importance of academic success.

The program partners with the Youth Enrichment Services (YES) program at Baldwin High School which provides the tutors. Academic support is offered five times a week, Monday- Friday for one hour.

YES is a collaborative project of Georgia College and State University, Baldwin County Schools, Baldwin County Parks and Recreation and local citizens. Its mission is to raise achievement and educational aspirations for students in grades 3-12 as well as their adult family members. YES seeks to raise graduation rates, to nurture and inspire curiosity and to realize deeper levels of literacy. YES collaborates with students and adults to increase confidence in their abilities to tackle new learning situations. Finally, YES works together to build a whole community that says “yes” to making promises come true. Programming supports elementary, middle and high school students and their adult family members.

YES Provides weekday academic help with bus transportation home. Program activities include:

  • homework assistance
  • tutorial support
  • credit recovery using computer-assisted technology (at BHS)
  • small class sizes with a ratio of 1 certified teacher to 8 - 10 students

Schedule: YES is operated Mondays through Fridays with bus transportation provided home. All youth participate in academic and enrichment programming that includes:

  • Science, technology, engineering, and math studies (STEM studies), including building robotics, chess, gardening, science discovery
  • Creative self-expression, including digital black and white photography, journalism, print and bookmaking, mural art, scrap booking, ceramics, and violin (at Eagle Ridge)
  • Lifetime recreational activities, including tennis, golf, canoeing aerobics, dance, disc golf, basketball, volleyball, karate
  • Job club, officiating lessons
  • Power group, including leadership programs, ropes courses, public achievement courses
  • College readiness

Enrichment programming is fun and purposeful, and activities are supported by specialists.

Programming for adult family members of participating students:  All family members of participating students who are over age 19 and not in school are included in literacy programming, including financial literacy, computer literacy, nutrition and wellness literacy.

For more information, contact YES Afterschool Director Julie Cook at julie.cook@gcsu.edu

 The career exploration component includes both career exploration activities as well as a speaker series.  The component prepares youth for careers in the real world and teaches them an array of topics that include money management, entrepreneurship, resume writing, interviewing, etc. These skills are then used by the youth when they apply for positions for the spring break and summer camps.

The speaker series is a way for the program to expose youth to different careers and professions.  Professionals are ask to use the Speaker Series Guidelines to help youth gain a clear understanding of what it is they do and what it takes to get there. 

Students in the High Achievers Program are taught to prepare for the world of work when they join the High Achievers Program. During the academic year, the High Achievers participate in a career exploration component. During spring break and summer, they work up to 32 hours per week as camp counselors. Youth are taught how to apply for jobs as well as complete the interviewing process. Before positions are assigned for these camps, youth are giving the opportunity to apply for management positions as well.

Before running their own summer camp, the High Achievers have volunteered for "summers of service" at the following locations: Oconee, Habitat for Humanity, Pro-Cuts Barber Shop, the Antebellum Inn, the Office of Institutional Equity at Georgia College, Milledgeville Mainstreet Authority, Green Acres Nursing Home, Vicky's Beauty Salon, Baldwin County Parks and Recreation Department, Kroger and Piggly Wiggly. 

The Mayor's Commission program incorporates civic agency goals where the students develop civic knowledge of their county and community (i.e. a sophisticated knowledge of the community and how it works); learn and apply the civic skills of organizing, communicating, and working with others; and value civic efficacy where the students understand their capacity to be change agents among their peers and throughout the community. Representatives of the High Achievers are the “core” of the Mayor’s Commission on Youth Development in Milledgeville, a project Mayor Bentley established with the High Achievers. Other representatives from afterschool programs in the community also participate. All of the participating students were chosen by their adult leaders and recognized as young people who have the potential to make a difference in the community.
The purpose of the Mayor’s Commission on Youth Leadership is for youth to:

(1) learn about the issues that affect them,think critically about them, make informed opinions, know that they can make a difference and share informed opinions with others

(2)Incorporate civic agency goals so that the students develop civic knowledge of their county and community; learn and apply the civic skills of organizing, communicating, and working with others; and value civic efficacy where the students understand their capacity to be change agents among their peers and throughout the community 

(3) Prepare students to become future leaders by helping them to understand that individuals and collaborative groups can make a difference. It does so by exposing them to effective civic agents, including legislative representatives and city and county leaders.

If you are interested in having your youth join The Mayor's Commission on Youth leadership, please contact isaac.cleveland@gcsu.edu to learn more about the Mayors Commission, please see our brochure.


  • Assist with Speaker Series: where a person with specific expertise/knowledge comes in to talk to youth about their profession. View Speaker Guidelines here.
  • Serve on the advisory committee: we meet once a month to advise on issues and problem solve for the program
  • Assist us with building relationships in the community (food, supplies, etc)
  • Sponsor a once a month “outing” (dinner, activity, etc.) for the High Achievers (outing could include hosting a dinner, sponsoring bowling/skating/movie etc.)
  • Co-sponsor, facilitate, and/or participate with parent programming activities
  • Help provide a “hot meal” once a week for the program
  • Donate or help find funders who can provide raffles at banquets, dinners, etc..
  • Volunteer as a tutor


Contact Us

The High Achievers Program
Georgia College
231 W. Hancock St.
Campus Box 075
Milledgeville, Georgia 31061
Phone: 478-445-5613
Fax: 478-445-0147