In 1961, Dr. Antonia Pantoja and a group of educators and professionals created ASPIRA (Spanish word for “aspire”), to address the exceedingly high dropout rate and low educational attainment of Puerto Rican youth. The ASPIRA Association is currently the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to Hispanic education in the United States, with nine (9) affiliates in the United States and Puerto Rico.
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At ASPIRA of NJ we strive to:
• Bring unity and empowerment to the community by challenging youth, parents, teachers and staff to serve that community with respect, commitment, and high expectations.
• Produce life-long learners dedicated to consistent reflection and critical examination of their world.
• Provide all students with a clear sense of their cultural identity, a critical approach to their cultural history, and the skills and experiences to empower them to develop a strong commitment to social change within their community.
• Be an educational resource for our teachers, students, parents, and community, embracing the notion that it takes a village to raise a child and that learning is a continual process requiring multi-level support.
• Develop youth equipped with 21st century skills prepared for our rapidly changing global society.
• Provide a rigorous curriculum that reflects the national and state standards in the content areas in addition to a serve and learn approach to challenge every student’s academic and citizenship potential.