Our Program

Heads Up has three primary, tuition-free program components:

Heads Up Hero

Summer Program

Our Summer Program is the “bread and butter” of Heads Up. Over four consecutive summers, students occupy the Head-Royce campus and participate in a four-week academic intensive that solidifies the core content from the previous grade, and helps to preview key material for the upcoming academic year.

During the summer, students attend four academic classes, including grade-level math, science, humanities, and Success is Now, a course that explicitly teaches study skills and learning strategies. In addition to their academic course load, Heads Up students can access various enrichment options. Enrichment classes are offered to expose students to new interests and hobbies. In the past, we’ve provided swim lessons, dance, tennis, photography, filmmaking, and fashion design.

Saturday Leadership Academy

While the Summer Program is intentional about addressing core, academic concepts and preventing “summer slide,” the Saturday Leadership Academy provides students with an opportunity to connect with a diverse group of instructors, their peers, and explore leadership development curriculum. 

Heads Up students return to Head-Royce during the academic year to participate in our monthly Saturday Leadership Academy. During Saturday Leadership Academy, we bring the entire cohort together for fun activities and field trips to enrich the student experience. We focus on community engagement, leadership development, and experiential learning. Saturdays are dedicated to conference-style learning and enrichment sessions led by local educators and program partners.

Workforce Development Program

Shifting from academic enrichment to workforce development, Heads Up provides dozens of underrepresented students from Oakland with their first employment opportunity.

Heads Up students graduate after completing four full summers of programming. Heads Up alums are eligible to apply to our Workforce Development Program. Within this framework, Heads Up graduates receive career readiness programming.