Part of ASPIRA’s mission is to cultivate leadership so that today’s students can become the leaders of tomorrow and really make a difference in their communities. We accomplish this by focusing on public, civic and community advocacy. ABCCS provides opportunities for students to develop specialized leadership skills in public policy, entrepreneurship, and community-based initiatives.
We base our leadership education on the following principles:
- It is important to build meaningful relationships across race, class, gender, sexual identity and generations to strengthen the existing social capital of young people of low-income communities.
- Youth leadership development takes a long time—it is a process. Caring adults need to invest in young people over a period of years in order to provide consistency.
- Young people need to be actively engaged in the process of community change at all levels, from the street corner to the board room, including involvement in politics or the political process.
- Society must acknowledge and embrace the idea that youth are talented and capable of leading community change in a wide range of areas from economic hardships to immigration.
- Young people must lead the positive change themselves in order to be successful in the new technological world.
- Leadership programs must identify, nurture and support more than talented elite and encourage all to embrace their culture and ethnical identity.
- The process of developing young leaders begins with learning how to analyze themselves and evaluate their own traits and values.
As ABCCS, these essential leadership skills are interwoven into everyday life by having students participate in community service, extracurricular activities, and social events as well as exposing these topics into the content, discussions and assignments of the courses.
We hope that through this leadership development our students learn to recognize problems, brainstorm solutions, delegate responsibilities, take accountability, speak their opinions and stand up for what is right and fair. They will know how to identify essential leadership skills and how to best make decisions that not only affect themselves but the world around them.