During the past 50 years ASPIRA has provided the Puerto Rican and Latino community in the USA mainland and Puerto Rico with informal and formal educational activities delivering a significant number of programs recognized by their excellence and impact. During the first three decades of institutional history ASPIRA excelled as an advocate for quality education for Latinos; youth leadership development, in the delivery of informal education programs and in designing and delivery intervention strategies designed to lower the dropout rate of Latino students. A significant transformation of our structure and function evolved during the past fifteen years. We evolved from providing solely informal education and intervention programs to a provider of formal education programs in addition to informal educational and intervention services.
For decades we were challenging the educational systems requesting better and more services to the Latino communities we served and to become a formal educational services organization that operates schools and other formal education services. Approximately ten years ago, ASPIRA associates taking advantage of the school reform process’s opportunities were approached by school districts to operate alternative schools. As the reform process continued, our Associates proposed implementing charter schools to demonstrate how schools should be operated to provide quality education for Latinos in inner cities.
Currently the ASPIRA associates are operating fourteen (14) charter schools, three alternative school, one (1) pre-school program, one (1) post-secondary education institution, two (2) GED programs and potentially there are plans for the next two years to double the number of formal educational institutions operated by the Association members. Currently the formal education institutions operated by ASPIRA associates are as follows:
We hold a national scope. One of the advantages of the ASPIRA Association is its widespread reach, with offices in seven states and Puerto Rico. At these locations ASPIRA maintains its long-standing relationship with the community. In addition, ASPIRA has hundreds of partners nationally through which it has delivered ASPIRA-originated programming.
ASPIRA currently serves over 85,000 students each year through our schools, ASPIRA Clubs, and after-school education and guidance programs. In the coming years, we will expand our network of 10 charter schools with the addition of four new campuses. We also hope to include a virtual high school as part of our system in the future.