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 96% 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 300 professional educators and over 1600 volunteer “Youth Mentors” have served over 7000 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 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.

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