Our Story

The First 15 Years

“Before Aspire, I was lost in my high school career. Aspire gave me the belief to push forward. Working with them has been a privilege and an unforgettable experience.”
- Dain, now a student at UCLA

For fifteen years, Aspire has been the Bay Area’s leader in effective supplemental education programming. By gathering a small community of educators stocked with content expertise and emotional intelligence, Aspire has been able to promise - and deliver - real results to thousands of Bay Area students. In our fifteen years, we’ve served over 15,400 students

Through our transformative tutoring program, we empower our students with the skills to become independent, active learners. Then we invite them to be trained in social-emotional skills and then mentor a younger student in literacy through Community Reading Buddies.

Our work is driven by the conviction that, while potential is equally distributed across lines of race and class, opportunity is not. As a result, we work with individual students on a sliding scale and have partnered with dozens of fellow nonprofits to design custom programs for underserved students, from math courses that empower low-income young adults to begin a career in construction to test prep courses that propel high school juniors to become the first in their families to attend college.

The Next 15 Years

Transforming the life of an individual student is an achievable goal. So is transforming the trajectory of communities through the shared fight for educational equity. Through flipping what’s typically a for-profit company into an engine of equity and building a community of people investing in the future of Bay Area children as a whole, Aspire has now reached a critical benchmark:

For every hour of tutoring, we provide a full hour to an underserved student.

We’re able to do that through the generosity of our partners and the commitment of our volunteers. Every year, we train and develop more and more tutors and volunteers to be part of that effort. More than that, we are working towards offering our Community Reading Buddies across the Bay, equipping high school students with the social-emotional skills they need to succeed and simultaneously closing the literacy gap that exists for tens of thousands of local students. But now there are also ways that you can get involved.

tutor and students smile at a table together
Teen girl reading a book to a young child.
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Teen and child read picture book together

Our Core Values

Two smiling young students

Students First

In everything we do, our top priority is to empower our students to grow in confidence, competence, and grit. We make every decision and measure every outcome based on how well it prepares our students for college, career, and a life of learning.

Teen student working with a tutor in a classroom

Continuous Learning

Education doesn’t stop with our students. As an organization, we seek out feedback from a diverse range of sources and take informed risks to improve our impact towards educational equity.

Young student in a classroom

Fighting for Equity

Aspire exists to fight for educational equity alongside our partners and community leaders. We are dedicated to interrupting patterns of inequity in our community, with the shared vision that all young people should have the opportunity for equally high outcomes without regard to where they start in life.

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