01 ASPIRA Fundamentals: What is ASPIRA?

General Goal: As school-age students, we test our own potential at forming friendship and influencing others. Later in school, church, and the community, we join or form groups, clubs, and organizations, and we begin to learn the art of weaving relationships as we work with others toward common goals. This is the foundation from which leadership develops. Students will develop knowledge of ASPIRA’s mission, vision and history and the ASPIRA Process. Students will also interpret the importance of ASPIRA in the development of the Puerto Rican and U.S Latino community. The overall aim is that they will use ASPIRA’s principles as a guide for their future actions and development.

Objectives: Upon the completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Understand ASPIRA’s mission, vision, goals and history.
  • RecognizeASPIRA’s accomplishments.
  • Recognize ASPIRA’s symbol, the “Pitirre”.
  • Recognize Dr. Pantoja's efforts to build ASPIRA and other institutions.
  • Understand the ASPIRA Process and Aspirante expectations;


  • Watch the YouTube video : Introduction to ASPIRA (8:10 min)

  • Reflect upon what you have learned about ASPIRA. Take notes on your computer or journal and discuss them with your program facilitator or counselor.
  • Read the following handouts  (to access the readings click on the following links):
  • Answer the following questions:

1. Why was ASPIRA started?

2. What is the mission of ASPIRA?

3. How many offices does it have today and in what locations?

4. Who was the primary founder of ASPIRA?