group photo of Aspire graduates dressed in white

The Aspire Program of Hathaway Brown School is a tuition-free academic enrichment and leadership program. Over a multi-year commitment, Aspire girls develop greater excitement for learning, self-awareness, a deeper understanding of community, and an increased ability to communicate effectively.

Aspire recruits fifth-grade girls from public and charter schools in Greater Cleveland. Students attend three consecutive summer sessions (prior to entering sixth, seventh, and eighth grades) and also participate in occasional Saturday events and online programming throughout the school year.

Once Aspire girls graduate from the program, they become part of the Aspire Alumnae Association, which provides resources and programming at critical moments in their educational journeys.

“[What I like best about Aspire is…] that everyone is part of the community and everyone can fit in. I also love that Aspire helps empower girls and prepare them while having lots and lots of fun."

Rana, Seventh Grader

The Advantage

Aspire girls are exposed to interesting academic concepts, health and wellness workshops, college and career exploration opportunities, and other experiences that:

  • supplement their learning

  • help close the achievement gap

  • and increase their ability to navigate diverse social, academic, and professional environments

After completing The Aspire Program, girls: 

  • become proactive decision makers
  • are more likely to assume leadership roles at school

  • pursue challenging coursework

  • and have a greater likelihood of pursuing higher education

The commitment

In the summers of sixth through eighth grades, Aspire girls participate in a variety of activities, academic classes, and exploratory workshops. Through a three-year commitment, girls develop as learners, leaders, and decision makers. 

After the third year, girls graduate and become part of the Aspire Alumnae Association, which makes resources and programming available at critical moments in their educational journeys. 

Learners & Leaders

Aspire increases a girl’s awareness and investment in her learning, leadership, and decision-making. In the program, girls engage in the following: 

Academic Classes

In small classes taught by college students, girls learn strategies for effective learning in Reading, Writing, Math, Science, and Social Studies. 


Aspire girls attend daily workshops to explore interests such as performing or visual arts, journalism, public speaking, technology, and athletics. 

Leadership Seminar

At Aspire, lessons about leadership are transparent and accessible. Girls are encouraged to identify leadership traits in themselves and their peers. They practice and refine leadership skills through role plays and simulations and are taught what they need to know to position themselves as leaders in the future.

Activity & Choice Periods

Aspire offers daily activity and choice periods. Girls select from:

  • visual and performing arts
  • athletics 
  • music
  • diversity exercises
  • adventure learning
  • community-building activities
  • yoga
  • and more

Field Trips

Field trips increase a girl's exposure and connections to the Greater Cleveland community. Aspire students explore the professional, cultural, and outdoor experiences of the area.

Year-Round Events

Aspire year-round activities, held on occasional Saturdays, offer enrichment workshops and special events during the school year. Aspire also offers online programming.

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