Mission & History

Mission & History

Our Mission

ASPIRE’s mission is to engage, educate, and empower Asian American girls and women to become effective lifelong leaders.

Our History

Established in 2001, Asian Sisters Participating In Reaching Excellence, Inc. (ASPIRE) is a Boston-based, volunteer-run, non-profit organization that supports the professional and personal growth of Asian American girls and women. Our mission is to engage, educate, and empower Asian American girls and women to become effective lifelong leaders.
 
ASPIRE acknowledges the specific socio-cultural pressures faced by Asian American girls and women, and targets these issues to develop their leadership and career skills, as well as support their social, intellectual, and psychological development. The Asian American community faces stereotypes thought to be characteristic of a “model minority,” an ethnic group that is high-achieving, successful, and needs little support or mentorship throughout their educational and professional lives. They also struggle with navigating and mastering two sets of cultural norms, values, beliefs, and expectations in order to succeed. Due to these cultural and societal pressures, Asian American girls are often pigeonholed into traditional careers before exploring all options. Many Asian American women believe that becoming a leader only occurs once they have attained a certain age, level of experience, or threshold of success in their academic or professional lives. We recognize the need to develop leadership programs for women and youth, but also to address leadership through the lens of an Asian American female in America. Our programs are tailored for girls and women in Boston’s diverse and growing Asian communities.
 
With a strong membership base of more than 1,700 members nationwide and more than 150 volunteers, ASPIRE aims to create a cross-generational community of Asian American girls and women that fosters dialogue, learning, support, mentoring, self-exploration, and relationships beyond ASPIRE. By strengthening our own sense of community and connectedness, we hope to provide women of all ages with programs that serve as a vehicle to learn from each other, inspire social change, and encourage and promote leadership in Asian American girls and women.

Press

“Career advice for teenagers can often be forgettable and unreliable. This is especially true when it comes from an out-of-touch high school guidance counselor or parents who want their kids to follow a path that they never did.
     
But Boston resident Anita Yip, 24, still vividly remembers career advice she got while in high school seven years ago, thanks to a local mentoring group for Asian-American teen girls called ASPIRE, or Asian Sisters Participating in Reaching Excellence.

“It was very inspiring to see strong women who broke through barriers,” Yip recalled. The panel further stirred in her interest in a media and marketing career, and she went on to volunteer at local newspapers, take on public relations roles at nonprofit groups, and pursue a master's degree in corporate and organizational communication at Northeastern University.
     
The nonprofit ASPIRE was founded in 2001 by a couple of young Asian-American female professionals who worked at Arnold Worldwide and wanted to give Asian teen girls a broader perspective on career opportunities available to them. Nearly 10 years later, it has evolved to include a structured mentoring program.”
- Asian ASPIRE-ations Group's mentors assist teens with career choices"
Adam Smith
April 26, 2010


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