About the ASPIRE Program
Administered by the Oregon Student Access Commission, ASPIRE (Access
to Student assistance Programs In
Reach of Everyone) helps middle and high school
students access education and training beyond high school.
Students receive information about college and career options, admission, and financial aid
from trained and supportive, ASPIRE volunteer mentors who work one-on-one with them
throughout the year. Beginning with just four pilot schools in 1998, ASPIRE will
expand to 145 sites across Oregon by June 2013. ASPIRE serves students by:
- Helping high schools build a sustainable community of volunteer mentors
- Educating students and families about the scholarship application process and other
options for paying for postsecondary education
- Providing mentoring, resources, and encouragement to help students access education
and training beyond high school
ASPIRE is for all students. It is an all-comer's program and serves the entire student
body. Any student who believes they can benefit from an ASPIRE mentor is welcomed
and encouraged to participate. By being inclusive, ASPIRE ensures that all of Oregon's
students have many options for a fulfilling future beyond high school.
Volunteer ASPIRE mentors are assigned to work one-on-one with students, guiding
them through important steps toward postsecondary education. The ASPIRE mentor
position attracts a broad spectrum of adult volunteers. Many are parents/guardians
of students at the ASPIRE school, professionals, some of whom are the first in their
family to attend college, or retired community members. Volunteers do not have to
have attended college themselves to be effective ASPIRE mentors.
ASPIRE is a program that encourages students
who do not typically think of themselves as college bound, ASPIRE engages over 1,500
volunteers, and reaches over 8,000 students from all
walks of life. ASPIRE remains unique in the nation as a program offering volunteer
mentors to all types of student.
ASPIRE was developed as a collaborative project between the Oregon Student Access
Commission and the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF), a private nonprofit based
in Portland whose mission is to enhance nonprofit community development projects.
Since its inception, ASPIRE has expanded to include several partnerships, including
the state of Oregon. A complete list of partners can be found
ASPIRE Sites and Structure
The ASPIRE program is administered by the Oregon Student Access Commission's Grants
and Scholarships Division. Four Access Specialists work directly with ASPIRE
site coordinators and administrators to successfully manage the programs in Oregon.
Each participating site fits into one of four statewide regions,
2012-2013 ASPIRE Site List.
ASPIRE staff (Click here)
Interested in finding out how to become an ASPIRE site? Click here
to find out more.