Our Story

Aspire Education Project was founded in 2005 to address the gap in access to educational resources for students in the Bay Area. Our founder Matthew Hulse strongly believed that all students deserve access to the best educational opportunities, regardless of financial means. We know that education builds communities, enhances economic potential, and enriches lives. We continue to partner with families, schools, community organizations, and the general public to provide access to high quality academic support for all students..

We believe quality education builds better futures

Parents and schools want their students to thrive, and so do we. We offer access to the best SAT/ACT and AP test prep, one-on-one tutoring, homework help, and so much more. More importantly, we define success beyond the numbers: our highly trained tutors instill academic excellence, confidence, self-sufficiency, and self-advocacy in our students so that they can be agents of change and take charge of their futures.

We believe in empowering students

When it comes to education, we are always personally invested in each and every student and family that comes our way. Helping a student achieve success means understanding what success means to the individual—whether it’s a 5 on the AP Physics Exam, being a first-generation college attendee, or entering kindergarten ready to read.

We believe in bridging divides through educational equity

Every student in our community deserves the best. We envision a world where all students have the opportunity and tools to succeed so we collaborate with partners to provide quality education for all. Through our Robin Hood model, the funds we receive from families that can afford paid tutoring services support students and families that cannot. To make an impact for our youth, we know that students, teachers, parents, and all members of the community need to band together.

Our Staff

Drew Sokol

Executive Director

Drew is the co-founder of the Lafayette Preparatory Academy schools in St. Louis. A former math teacher himself, Drew earned a BSM in Legal Studies in Business from Tulane University, a Masters in Teaching from Pace University, and a Masters in Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary.

"Everyone deserves a champion. At Aspire, we have a passionate team driven to connect academic champions with as many Bay Area students, across a range of backgrounds, as possible."

Alex Ford

Director of Learning and Partnerships

Alex graduated from Harding University with a degree in English (Teacher Licensure).

"I've always loved working in education. It's amazing to be a part of an organization that supports student learning and is serious about giving back to its community."

Genni Low

Director of Early Literacy

Genni earned her BA in International Development from UCLA and her MA in Education and International Development from University College London's Institute of Education.

“As an Oakland native, I’m proud to contribute to the Oakland community by inspiring the children and youth of my hometown through the Community Reading Buddies program. I love Aspire’s mission and our team’s passion to see all students have equitable educational opportunities.”

Anna Knezevic

Program Coordinator

Anna earned her BS from Wayne State College in Marketing and International Business and is currently working on her Masters of Business Administration through Wayne State College.

“I love being a part of an organization that shares the same values as me and works towards students having a brighter future. Aspire Education Project provides me the opportunity to share my love of helping others reach their highest potential and their educational goals."

Zoe Abrahamson

Boys & Girls Club SF Site Lead

Zoe earned her BS from the University of San Francisco in Biological Science and is currently working on obtaining a certificate from the Pre-Health Professions Formal-Post Baccalaureate Program through San Francisco State University.

“As a former student from an underperforming high school, I know what it is like to have unequal access to education. Aspire Education Project allows me to give back to my community in a way which I was not afforded during my adolescence. I am constantly amazed by what my students are able to accomplish through empowerment and access to after-school tutoring.”

Mario Maldonado

Tutor Mentor

Mario received his BS in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley.

“After more than 25 years as a tutor, the best part of my job is seeing the light bulb turn on for students when they are facing a challenge and I can help them 'get it.' The reason I continue to do this work is that it never gets old; I still have the same spark for what I do and for the students I work with.”

Plus 30+ academic content and test prep experts.

Our Board

Jack Woodruff

Board President

Tejaswi Doddapaneni

Board Member

Emmanuel Ezeagwula

Board Member

Nancy Glasenk


Michaele Hart

Board Member

Mona Shomali

Board Member

Aisa Villarosa

Board Member

Rebecca Keller

Board Member

Jessie Slafter

Board Member

Aleka Calsoyas

Board Member Emeritus (Co-Founder, COO)

Join Our Team!

Any educational program is only as good as those who provide it, so we strive to attract, develop, and reward the best, most effective educators. Interested?