Developing Leadership Potential in Girls
The Aspire Program of Hathaway Brown School helps girls to develop a greater excitement for learning, keen self awareness, a deeper understanding of community, and an increased ability to communicate effectively.
After completing the Aspire program, girls:
- become proactive decision makers
- are more likely to assume leadership roles at school
- pursuing challenging coursework
- have a greater likelihood of pursuing higher education
Aspire supports motivated middle school girls who are limited in opportunity because of low family income and lack of exposure to higher education. The program recruits fifth-grade girls from public and charter schools in Greater Cleveland where students face challenges prevalent in many urban schools today such as:
- insufficiently challenging coursework
- large class sizes
- lower academic achievement among peers
- insufficient college guidance
Over the course of a three-year commitment in the summers of sixth through eighth grades, Aspire girls participate in a variety of leadership-building activities in academic classes and exploratory workshops. Aspire increases a girl’s awareness and investment in her learning, leadership, and choices. Through participation in Aspire, girls develop as learners, leaders, and decision makers.
During high school, Aspire alumnae are offered programs designed to make college more accessible. Beginning with our fourth-year summer session, the Ninth Grade Academy, graduates are offered opportunities to participate in workshops and support programming through the Aspire Alumnae Association to prepare them for rigorous high school coursework and equip them with the tools necessary to access, persist through, and graduate from college.
Creating Advocates for Education
Aspire also offers high school, college, and graduate students an introduction to teaching and educational leadership. Early career educators with zero to three years experience also have a chance to further hone their skills in a supportive environment where they receive mentorship from veteran educators. By serving as mentors at Aspire, veteran teachers practice their skills as teacher-leaders, mentors and school administrators. This diverse group of teachers work together to implement creative, engaging classes for Aspire girls.
At Aspire, teachers develop an awareness of the components of high-quality education, explore the many challenges facing the field of education, and engage in reflective teaching practice. The time spent working at Aspire leads them to be effective advocates for education and to consider pursuing teaching as a career. Teachers at Aspire are given opportunities to build their teaching skills by serving as the lead teacher in the classroom, developing their own curriculum and practicing important skills such as classroom management, differentiated instruction, culturally competent teaching, and student assessment. Aspire teachers represent multiple levels of experience and are constantly given constructive criticism that enriches their craft as educators.