Aspire’s Post-Secondary Access & Success team has worked alongside college counselors, teammates, and external partners to launch Aspire Higher, a new program to best prepare scholars with the necessary knowledge, skills, and tools to achieve their full potential in their post-secondary education. The program is specifically for scholars who are competitive applicants and share an interest in going directly to a 4-year college.
As of today, 40 scholars from three of our high schools are active in Aspire Higher. All scholars who are participating have maintained a GPA of 3.0 and above with an ACT score of 21 and above, or a GPA of 3.5 and above with any ACT score they have achieved.
Aspire Higher began in the summer of 2020 and connected its 40 scholars with 1:1 sessions furthering scholars’ awareness of scholarship opportunities, and provided summer assignments exploring their career options, future aspirations, essay preparation, and more.
Post-Secondary Access & Success Manager, Rhiannon Killian, shared why Aspire Higher is another example of how we best support our scholars by amplifying their agency and determination in fulfilling their postsecondary dreams.
“Aspire Higher is another opportunity of how we can best provide our high school scholars with not only the knowledge but the resources they can utilize as they prepare to attend their choice schools ready to learn and grow,” Killian said.
“The goal is to ensure success with our current pilot schools and continue scaling to offer this program to our students who qualify across all of our high schools,” Killian continued.
Recently, Aspire Higher held its inaugural college fair, 2020-21 Aspire Higher Fall Institute. The virtual event featured college representatives from across the nation such as Cornell University, Hiram College, Fairfield University, UC Berkeley, and more!
Valerie Estrella, Associate Program Manager of Post-Secondary Access & Success, shared how the Fall Institute came together and what it entailed.
“We wanted to bring together our scholars and their families with college representatives from schools they may not normally apply for – raising their awareness of the vast variety of opportunities that are available for them to attend,” Estrella said.
Each college had the opportunity to highlight special programs or offerings, and share specifics about each institution’s admission policies, deadlines, and so on. From there, breakout rooms were held so each scholar had the opportunity to connect further with the representatives and ask specific questions about certain programs they may have been curious about.
“We designed the Aspire Higher Fall Institute with our scholars at the forefront. We did not want one scholar leaving the [virtual] event without understanding what each college rep’s offerings or programs were and may have highlighted for them and piqued their interest on,” Estrella explained.
To learn more about Aspire Higher, contact Valerie Estrella at firstname.lastname@example.org.