The Aspire Foundation recently hosted the “Give Back to School Night” fundraiser, an extraordinary evening celebrating our scholars, alumni, and the incredible impact of collective action. Thanks to our supporters, we raised over $300,000! These funds will directly benefit scholars and teachers across Aspire’s 36 schools.
Read on below for a few highlights from this unforgettable occasion.
The Giving Tree Experience
“Give Back to School Night” unfolded at a stunning venue that set the stage for an evening of purpose and promise. The event began with our guests coming together for the opportunity to explore the Giving Tree—a way to directly fund the projects that support our school communities.
Sara Lopez’s Inspirational Story
Sara Lopez, an alumna and current teacher at her alma mater, Aspire Vincent Shalvey Academy, took the stage to share her personal journey. Sara is a testament to the impact of schools that are responsive to the communities Aspire serves. She spoke passionately about the impact Aspire had on her life and her community, sharing:
“Aspire built my growth mindset, my love of learning, and my self-confidence…it shaped me into the person and educator I am standing here today. And now, I am so honored to be a small part of this same journey with students of my own, as they fall in love with learning and eventually, better the lives of their families and community.”
Keynote by Van Jones
Van Jones, an advocate for social change, delivered a powerful keynote address. He addressed the disparities faced by students of color and emphasized the transformative power of education. He commended Aspire for its role in disrupting systemic inequities and shifting outcomes. Van’s words resonated with the audience when he stated, “Every adult has a responsibility to make sure that every kid has a ladder to climb… that’s what Aspire is [doing], they’re building ladders for kids.”
Ways to Give
As the evening progressed, guests were invited to re-engage with the Giving Tree. Supporters and guests buzzed with excitement as they explored opportunities to support scholars in changing their trajectories. Thanks to their generosity:
100 5th graders will experience a sleepaway science camp.
30 high school students will have books and materials to complete early college courses.
$28,000 in post-secondary scholarships will be awarded to our most deserving seniors.
“Give Back to School Night” was a shared vision of positive change. It reminded us that through education, partnership, and collective action, we can break down barriers, uplift communities, and transform futures.
You can still share your support—see ways to give directly to our school communities here. Together, we can continue to empower minds and transform futures, ensuring a brighter tomorrow for all.