The Aspire Story

For students, not for profit

Aspire Education Project was founded in 2005 by lifelong educator and tutor Matthew Hulse. Matt, who had been a Bay Area teacher for years and founded or worked in several more traditional tutoring companies, created Aspire on a radical yet simple idea:

 

Just put students first, and serve everyone with equity.

 

Aspire Education Project is now the only non-profit tutoring and educational services organization in the East Bay, and fights for preK-12 educational equity with the highest quality services available. Our unique achievement is the social return of our ‘Robin Hood’ organizational model, which reaches Bay Area families of all backgrounds and income levels. Our program actively promotes educational equity: for families that can afford it, we provide paid tutoring services of the finest quality to support their children’s educational achievement; we then take that income and use it to support a wide range of free and low-cost educational services for children from low-income families.

With this model, over half of our clients are eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, and on scholarship. We help all students succeed, whether that means reaching the Ivy League, being a first generation community college student, or entering school ready for kindergarten. It’s all made possible by maintaining a singular focus on each student’s best interest.

We’ve helped make early childhood literacy, one-on-one tutoring, and ACT/SAT test-prep accessible for everyone.  Read more about our early childhood literacy Community Reading Buddies program, our custom solutions for test-prep, and our sliding scale one-on-one tutoring and mentoring, which has earned a 98% satisfaction rate from customers. And don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to learn more.

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More About Aspire

What We Do

We work with PreK-12 students, without regard to economic status, to improve their academic performance, increase standardized test scores, and encourage lifelong learning. Our tutors are experts in a wide-variety of subjects and work with students to create an individualized plan to maximize their potential. Since our founding in 2005, our dozens of professional educators and over 1,800 volunteer “Youth Mentors” have served over 8,200 students in the greater Bay Area.

So is Aspire a tutoring company?

In part – Aspire Education Project is actually an educational nonprofit that advances educational equity in the Bay Area with direct services to students, partners, and schools. We tutor, we do test prep, and we make early literacy a community endeavor.

During the school year, we provide high-quality tutoring and test prep for Bay Area students of every income level and background. This happens in homes, libraries, and partner orgs like the Boys & Girls Club. Here, we work to out-compete the for-profit tutoring companies with the quality of our educators and staff, and our singular mission to help all students succeed.

Then, during the summer, we flip the equation and empower our Youth to become teachers themselves. The root of educational inequality lies largely in early childhood experiences, so Aspire mobilizes our city to provide deep and rich school-readiness experiences to underserved children via our Community Reading Buddies program. With Community Reading Buddies, youth step into a leadership role with one-on-one literacy and mentorship for our next generation of students.

It looks like this:

aspire model

So yes, we tutor, assisting kids into both the Ivy League and the Peralta system. But like everything we do, our tutoring is in service of high-quality education for all. (In fact, we think serving everybody makes us better at serving anybody.)

What is your mission?

Simply put, our mission is to advance educational equity in the Bay Area by delivering high-quality academic services to our youth and through our youth.

Our Mission Statement:

Aspire Education Project dedicates itself to the academic excellence of students in the San Francisco Bay Area through building relationships, encouraging academic engagement, and empowering those we teach to educate others.

How do you achieve your mission?

A relationship with a skilled and caring academic mentor can be incredibly impactful. Mentors meet students exactly where they are, and impart not just academic content, but organizational prowess and even the motivation to succeed. Since its founding, Aspire has helped thousands of Bay Area students from every background, with everything from a tough subject to the SAT/ACT. It works.

Everyone deserves access to this transformational work, and for marginalized students it can be the deciding factor to ensure they succeed in school.

That’s why we invite any Aspire client to apply for a needs-based Tutoring Scholarship. That’s why we team up with dozens of schools and sister nonprofits to provide tutoring to underserved students at a cost that makes it possible and a quality that makes it effective.

And that’s why, each summer, we culminate the year’s work with a large-scale, volunteer-based early literacy program, where we pass the baton to our youth and empower them to tutor Oakland’s very youngest by doing what experts say helps most: reading together.

Our mission to serve every student is part of what makes our tutoring service the best one for any student. Simply put, there is strength in diversity, and competitive advantage in knowing how to help all students succeed, not just a narrow subset.

Are you affiliated with Aspire Public Schools, the charter school network?

No. We are Aspire Education Project, a nonprofit tutoring company serving the Bay Area region. We have no relationship with Aspire Public Schools.

 

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First Graduate

Aspire Education Project created a custom 10-week ACT class for two groups of First Graduate students, juniors in high school who plan on being the first in their families to attend college. Over the span of the course students increased their ACT scores across all sections of the test. They applied new content knowledge and test-taking strategies to grow their confidence and abilities.
Partner since 2016

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SHE-CAN

SHE-CAN works to equip and empower young women from post-conflict countries to become leaders who change their nations. These young women are passionate about attending a U.S. college or university but need guidance in the application process. In 2018, our instructor led tailored small-group video classes for scholars in Rwanda and Cambodia working on SAT and ACT prep. With Aspire’s support these dedicated scholars increased their SAT scores by an average of 125 points
Partner since 2015

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Bentley School

Aspire tutors have worked on Bentley’s Upper School campus for more than a decade providing one on one academic support. This long history means that our tutors are very familiar with the challenges of the Bentley curriculum from Honors Chemistry to the toughest English Seminars. We are proud to be one of the only tutoring organizations that Bentley works with.
Partner since 2005

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Met West High School

Aspire Education Project has partnered with Met West to support over ten SAT classes for Juniors in the past five years. In our most recent program, instructors met with students on campus during the school day twice a week to maximize attendance and accountability.
Partner since 2013

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Head Royce School

Aspire Education Project works closely with Head Royce School to provide their students on tuition assistance with affordable one-on-one academic tutoring. Our tutors meet with students on campus during their free periods to provide support in all academic subjects. We are proud to be Head Royce School’s most recommended tutoring service.
Partner since 2006

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Girls Inc.

Girls Inc. of Alameda County equips girls to defy limitations and stereotypes, attend college, break the cycle of poverty, and move into a thriving future. Aspire Education Project works with the Girls Inc. middle school program to prepare students for the High School Placement Test (HSPT). Students who are applying to private parochial schools on academic and athletic scholarships take this test as part of their application process.
Partner since 2013

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Lighthouse Community Charter School

Aspire’s SAT Class at Lighthouse Community Charter School was so popular, we added an additional instructor to ensure a low student to teacher ratio. This class featured two full length practice tests, proctored on campus, for students to practice applying strategies and concepts to the real test taking environment.
Partner since 2018

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Rising Sun Energy Center

Rising Sun Energy Center has served the Bay Area for more than 20 years. Their Green Energy Training Services (GETS) program provides job training, case management, and job placement support to low-income adults who enter the program with barriers to successful employment. Participants pay nothing to participate and gain the skills they need to enter careers in construction and solar industries. Aspire Education Project connected with Rising Sun to create a holistic applied math for construction curriculum. We also provide math instructors for the applied math course that give participants the skills they need to pass trades tests and use math on the job.
Partner since 2017

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One Treasure Island

One Treasure Island is a nonprofit focused on eliminating barriers for low-income or formerly homeless individuals and families. Aspire Education Project provides a tailored math course for the One TI Construction Jobs Program that focuses on measuring tape math skills necessary for all new construction workers.
Partner since 2018

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San Francisco Conservation Corps

Aspire Education Project led the applied math course for SFCC’s Apprenticeship Readiness Construction Training Program. As part of the California Workforce Development Board, participants in this program go through a 4-week intensive training that prepares them for a career in the building trades. This class focused on measuring tape skills, geometry for construction, and algebra.
Partner since 2018

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Oakland Public Library

Aspire Education Project works with the Oakland Public Library- Diamond Branch to offer drop in tutoring services free of charge for the community. This program ran on a small scale in the spring of 2018 and we are hopeful that we may be able to expand it in the future.
Partner since 2018

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