Aligned with Head-Royce School’s core values of Scholarship, Diversity and Citizenship, the mission of Heads Up is to provide first-generation college bound students of color from Oakland public schools with challenging and enriching programming to cultivate socially responsible leaders.

Piloted in 1986 and launched in 1987, Heads Up is a 35+ year partnership between Head-Royce School and the Oakland Unified School District. Since its founding, Heads Up has served more than 1,000 students from Oakland.

On an annual basis, we enroll more than 110 students in our program—83% from low-income households—and on average students report the following:

  • 91% reported that their academics improved since joining the program.

  • 79% feel that they would have an advantage over their classmates when they returned to their regular school.



Our Students


Read at or Above Grade Level


Hold an Excellent Average GPA


Are the First to Go to College in their Family