Our Mission

America SCORES inspires urban youth to lead healthy lives, be engaged students, and have the confidence and character to make a difference in the world.

America SCORES students—85 percent of whom live below the poverty line—improve academically, increase physical fitness, and have a greater sense of confidence and belonging.


Students reporting higher self-confidence, saying that “America SCORES makes me feel good about myself.”


Increase in classroom participation, according to teacher surveys, leading to a 77% improvement in academic performance.


Students starting SCORES in an “unhealthy” BMI category who ended the year in the “normal/healthy” category.

How We Work

America SCORES serves over 13,000 students at 311 public and charter schools in 12 major cities.


We Build Team Players. 

SCORES students get 10 times more exercise than the national average. Post-program running tests show that SCORES students improve their fitness levels no matter where they start.


We Inspire Self-Expression.

SCORES students write more than 50,000 original works each year. Many have published poems in magazines and participated in spoken-word events in front of audiences of hundreds.


We Create Community Change.

America SCORES teams designed and led over 300 service-learning projects to improve their communities. Student projects like ending hunger, creating sustainable gardens, and fighting illiteracy provided 200,000 hours of volunteer work last year.

Our Curriculum

America SCORES is the only urban youth development program with curriculum specifically aligned with the National Council of Teachers of English's 12 Standards for English Language Arts, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education's 5 Standards for Physical Education, and the National Youth Leadership Council's 8 K-12 Service-Learning Standards. In addition, our physical activity/health outcomes reach Tier I-III standards of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Julie Kennedy

Our History

The America SCORES model was developed in 1994 in Washington, D.C., by Julie Kennedy, a public school teacher concerned that her students, lacking constructive after-school options, were at risk of gang activity and other dangers after class. Turning to her experience as an athlete, she began teaching her class soccer after school. In bad weather, she turned to her other passion, poetry, and began teaching her students how to write and perform their own.

Soon, her students were more engaged in class, performing better academically, and being more active. By adding a service-learning element, Julie saw that her students developed confidence and learned that they could affect change in their community. Schools across D.C. took notice and the program expanded, becoming a national organization in 1999.

America SCORES lives today in 12 cities: Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New York, Portland (OR), San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Vancouver, and Washington, D.C. To date, America SCORES has touched the lives of more than 100,000 urban youth.

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America SCORES is a 501(c)3 registered non-profit organization. © America SCORES. All rights reserved.