Administered by the Oregon Student Access Commission, ASPIRE (Access to Student assistance Programs InReach of Everyone) helps 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.
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 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.