Objectives

The Aspire Program is designed to empower adolescent girls to imagine new possibilities for themselves, their education, and their community.
  • By targeting intelligent and self-motivated middle school girls who may be limited in opportunity because of low family income or lack of exposure to higher education.
  • By developing partnerships with under-resourced Cleveland-area public schools.
  • By offering a tuition-free program that consists of core academic classes, innovative workshops, and leadership training.
  • By designing high school level programming that increases college access.
Aspire empowers remarkable high school, college and graduate school students to become effective advocates for education.
  • By targeting talented young people who are passionate for their subjects and care about students' learning.
  • By building a network with leading colleges and high schools.
  • By offering mentorship to prospective teachers and supporting innovation and creativity in the classroom.

Rationale

A challenged educational landscape leaves many bright students in our region behind and allows achievement gaps to persist. High rates of poverty, food insecurity, and violence in Cleveland mean many more students are likely to drop out of high school and are less likely to enroll in college.  Students often do not see how success in school will translate to success in life, so a new commitment to personalized learning experiences and supportive learning communities is needed.  Due to a lack of adequate funding, many urban students do not have access to rigorous courses of study or college counseling in their high schools.  Despite some growth, graduate rates for low income students remain low and the gap between urban and suburban school districts is alarming.  Despite the fact that a new job economy calls for more college degrees, Ohio’s education attainment rates are low, ranking 37th in the nation with respect to the percentage of adults (ages 25 through 64) with a bachelor’s degree.

How Aspire Addresses Needs

The challenges are significant and the solutions are difficult to pinpoint.  At Aspire, we believe that there is a pressing need for innovation and talent in our schools and we seek to address these needs in the following ways:

    Concerns     Solutions offered by Aspire    
  Achievement/ Preparation Gap  
  • Focus on low-income communities and minority students.
  • Target girls who lack exposure to higher education.
  • Offer a tuition-free program and access to nutritious meals.
 
  Risks to Adolescent Girls  
  • Provide an all-girls educational environment.
  • Emphasis on personal development and social-emotional wellness competencies.
  • Offer Leadership training and opportunities to practice formal and informal leadership.
  • Provide access to healthy role models.
 
  Crowded Schools and Large Classes  
  • Low student-teacher ratio.
  • Small school setting.
  • Small group opportunities and differentiated instruction when possible.
 
  Lack of Educational Summer Opportunities  
  • Offer four summer sessions focused on academic skill development.
  • Provide experiental year round activities for exposure to new places and ideas.
 
  Shortage of Quality Teachers  
  • Provide an internship experience for students interested in careers in education.
  • Support new teachers through mentorship and guidance from professional educators.
  • Target diverse college and high school students interested in education
 

 

Shaker Heights, Ohio Girls K-12 Coed Early Childhood

19600 North Park Boulevard Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122 P: 216.932.4214
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