ASPIRA of Florida Main Office

email-icon-vector6100 Blue Lagoon Drive, Suite 460

Miami, FL 33126

                   Voice: (305) 269-6767

                   Fax: (305) 269-6722


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ASPIRA of Florida



Latest News

ASPIRA of Florida Featured in Comcast Newsmakers Live

ASPIRA of Florida's President/CEO, George Cabrera, shares his thoughts on the digital divide that still affects our communities and how to bridge it by providing free internet access at home to all our students and their families.

Ford Driving Dreams Tour Announces Contest Winners

FordDrivingDreams ScholarshipGroup JoeAvilaFord Motor Company Fund and four Miami-area high schools have launched online voting for the "What Drives Your Dream" contest, which is part of the Ford Driving Dreams Tour. The grand prize winner, determined by public vote, will receive a $5,000 scholarship and $4,000 grant for a school program of his or her choice.

"The Ford Driving Dreams Tour is giving our students a wealth of resources to motivate them to successfully complete high school on time and move on to college," said Alberto Carvalho, superintendent, Miami-Dade County Public Schools. "We are so proud of our students for sharing their essays about their future dreams and goals, and we congratulate our four finalists."

The 20 essay winners were honored by Ford Fund and the four participating high schools at a community luncheon held Feb. 21 at Miami Dade College.

More than 1,000 high school students wrote essays describing what drives their dreams. The contest incentivizes students to visualize a successful future, with the essay serving as an initial step toward achieving their goals. The essays were evaluated by an external panel of educators and community leaders. The essay winners and their respective schools are:

• Liurys AlvareFordDrivingDreams ScholarshipGroup MDCz, Kay Edwards, Demetrius Jackson, Michelle Lawrence, Cecilia Morales – Booker T. Washington Senior High School
• Jorge Caraballo, Jessica Hernandez, Rey Hernandez, Nicole Johnson, David Santos – Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School
• Sabrina Brutus, Vanzell Dupont, Tiarrah Ingles, Pedro Padrón, Jessica Rodriguez – Miami Jackson Senior High School
• Tran La, Fabuola Pierre, Dianelys Requena, Yulonda Richards, Abiel Rojas – Miami Senior High School

"Education has been a top priority for Ford Fund since its start more than 60 years ago," said Joe Avila, community outreach manager, Ford Motor Company Fund. "With the Ford Driving Dreams Tour, we go further with local groups to positively impact the lives of thousands of students."

Cuban American Council, ASPIRA of Florida and Miami-Dade County Public Schools are working with Ford Fund on the program.

The voting period for the online video portion of the contest can be done here and is open through March 21. Members of the public can vote after registering online or logging in using Facebook. Individuals can vote once per day.

Students from the four high schools also can apply for a Ford scholarship at Congresssional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Inc. (CHCI). The deadline to apply is April 16.

The Ford Driving Dreams Tour provides scholarships, motivational student assemFordDrivingDreams ScholarshipGroup Principalsblies, leadership and academic support, and an innovative contest to motivate students to graduate from high school on time and enroll in college.

Launched in 2012, the program targets schools with significant Latino student populations. It has visited 15 high schools in Florida and Texas, reaching nearly 25,000 students. For more information on the Ford Driving Dreams Tour and the "What Drives Your Dream" contest, click here.

ASPIRA's "Swing Like The Pros" Golf Tournament

ASPIRA of Swing Like thepros-Tall-webFlorida Inc., Palm Beach Division, and its Local Advisory Council would like to invite you to its first annual "Swing Like The Pros" Golf Tournament to be held on June 20, 2014 at Atlantis Country Club.

Proceeds raised will go to benefit the ASPIRA scholarship fund, helping to empower youth in the pursuit of educational excellence through leadership development programs that emphasize a commitment to the community.

With sponsorships, the golf classic, tee signs, copter drop and silent auction, we're aiming to raise a significant amount of money for this great cause. This can only be accomplished with your generous help. We ask you to join us as a contributor, either by being a sponsor or donating an item for our silent auction. All donations are welcome!

Click here to access the registration and sponsorship package!

For information on the "Swing Like The Pros" Golf Tournament contact Jorge Goyanes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

ASPIRA Ceremoniously Breaks Ground!

EMH-Groundbreaking-StudentsIt's official!

ASPIRA ceremoniously began to break ground for the construction of its new ASPIRA Arts DE/CO Charter School building on Wednesday, February 12. Attendees gathered together on a beautiful Miami morning in the heart of the Wynwood District to celebrate the actualization of the long awaited project.

"This is a day filled with many emotions," said George Cabrera, ASPIRA's President/CEO. "We are seeing a dream finally come true," he explained.

EMH-Groundbreaking-GuestsThe Groundbreaking Ceremony featured guest speakers such as City of Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, Ronald Blackburn, President of the ASPIRA National Association, Manuel Orosa, City of Miami Chief of Police, as well as representatives from the offices of Commissioner Audrey Edmonson and Senator Marco Rubio.

In the audience were many community leaders and supporters of ASPIRA who have contributed to its success for over 30 years.

Special tribute was paid to one such devotee, the late Dr. Alicia Baró, who was one of the original founders of ASPIRA of Florida in 1981. Dr. Baró dedicated her life to the fight for social justice and the political and educational equality for all minorities. In order to preserve her legacy, the ceremony included the unveiling of a street sign, named Dr. Alicia Baró Way in her honor, to be placed at North Miami Avenue and NW 34th Street.

EMH-Groundbreaking-BaroStreetSignThe event was a celebration of the organization's future and the honoring of Alicia Baró, a woman whose past paved the road for institutions, such as ASPIRA, that share her mission and vision.

"The beginning of construction on our new building is the fulfillment of our longstanding promise and commitment to the Wynwood community to always be an educational beacon for youth and families," said George Cabrera, President/CEO of ASPIRA of Florida. "We're excited to see our plans come to life and give our students the best possible academic resources, a cause for which Alicia Baró was a great advocate," Cabrera added.

The ASPIRA Eugenio Maria De Hostos Charter School building is tentatively set to be completed by 2015 and will boast a new, modern look, as well as an educational program focused on technology, communications, arts and media. In addition, the school building will be home to a new City of Miami Police Net Office, offering students, parents and the community safety and security.

"It was ASPIRA that taught me the correct path to follow in life," said ASPIRA Board Chair, Edward Hernandez, when sharing the impact ASPIRA had on his own life years ago.

"This is what we hope to offer our students, a future," he added.

New Year, New Look: ASPIRA of Florida Launches New Website

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NewWebsiteWith a new year comes many exciting changes. For ASPIRA, 2014 brings the launch of a newly redesigned website with a fresh look and user-friendly navigation, updated with the latest information about our students, community and services.

Our website's modern look, accessible navigation and simplified search functionality are some of the features you will enjoy. The new site has several easy to use drop-down menus with up-to-date information, allowing users to quickly find the contents thanks to the use of new techniques.

As with all modern websites, this one is best viewed with a modern browser such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Internet Explorer 11. If you’re using an older version of Internet Explorer, and for some reason, can’t or don’t want to update it, you should install Google’s Chrome Frame Plug-in, which will bring your browser up to speed and allow you to view the site as intended.  This is a free plug-in and it can be obtained here.

We hope that you will enjoy browsing our new website, finding more options and information each time, and that it will be yet another tool for strengthening our communication with our youth, their families and the community.

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Enroll Now!

ASPIRA of Florida, Inc. is on the front lines of the school reform movement to provide greater educational opportunity for youth in our community. We believe that parents must be given a choice in public education to send their children to small schools operated by community-based organizations that have the credibility in their neighborhoods to deliver services to youth and their families. Our mission is to cultivate leadership through education, paving the way for success!

Click here to access our enrollment form.

2nd Annual FirstBank Golf Classic

GolfClassic-WebHLYou're invited to tee off with us!

Made possible through sponsorship from FirstBank Florida, all proceeds from our annual charity golf tournament will go to benefit ASPIRA of Florida, Inc. and the community youth at large.

We have shared a link below including further details and have outlined the various sponsorship levels. We welcome your consideration of any or all of these requests. As you can see, we are well on our way but still need your help; so please join FirstBank Florida and ASPIRA of Florida, Inc. in helping our future leaders get a head start in life.

Click here to find out how you can get involved. We look forward to your sponsorship!

ASPIRA of Florida and AVANCE Celebrate First Graduating Class


The room was filled with first time graduates, parent and child alike.

AVANCE and ASPIRA of Florida staff gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of the Parent-Child Education Program participants. The graduation was held at ASPIRA's South Leadership Charter School and featured a presentation ceremony awarding mothers and their young children the very first diploma either has ever received.

"It was such an honor to be an attendee at the graduation, seeing the confidence and happiness in the parent and child graduates left me speechless," said Jennifer Flores, EHS Director/Training Specialist, AVANCE, Inc.

This milestone marked the completion of a nine month program dedicated to early childhood development and parent education. For the mothers of these children who never graduated from high school or college, receiving this diploma alongside their child was a poignant moment. Sharing this "first" together fostered a deep sense of accomplishment and pride.

The Parent-Child Education Program (PCEP) is a collaborative effort by ASPIRA and AVANCE, Inc., a San Antonio based nonprofit organization, to strengthening families in at-risk communities through effective parent education and support programs.

"I am so grateful to have been involved in a program that has given me and my child a great first step in the right direction," said Narcheli Casanova.

Targeting the hardest to reach families, the nine-month PCEP consists of weekly parent education classes, instructional toy making, home visits, and also includes an early childhood education component. The goal of the program is to empower families to break the cycle of poverty by fostering parenting knowledge and skills that directly impact children's development, while also providing the early education necessary for children's long-term academic and personal success. In addition, the PCEP encourages parents to achieve their own educational and professional goals, which leads to financial independence and personal growth.

"When a parent is proactive and is given support in helping their children become prepared and engaged students, families are strengthened," explained George Cabrera, President and CEO of ASPIRA of Florida, Inc.

Both ASPIRA and AVANCE are working towards a future where all children and parents are given access to the tools needed to develop to their full potential, transforming the communities in which they live. Through this program and partnership, communities in Florida will be offered another valuable resource to assist them in achieving their goals.Avance Award-WebHL

"We are honored to be partnering with such a progressive and energetic organization, such as ASPIRA of Florida. The first group of graduates is a strong testament to the commitment ASPIRA has toward the families they serve. We look forward to many more successes and collaboration opportunities as together we continue to Unlock America's Potential, one family at a time," said Magdalena Santos, AVANCE's Project Director.

To view full photo gallery, click here.

ASPIRA of Florida and the U.S. Army Partner to Bring Education to Military Families

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On Tuesday, May 21, ASPIRA of Florida formalized a newfound partnership with the U.S. Army to give back to those who serve our country.

armymou signing-WebHLThis collaboration will give the children of military parents priority at our ASPIRA schools. Data indicates that there are over 175,000 secondary school aged children of military personnel who, on average, transition to new locations at least twice during their high school years and need assistance acclimating to the community.
ASPIRA of Florida is privileged to provide the children of service men and women with the guarantee that they will receive exceptional educational opportunities and a strong support system.

In addition to the traditional academic services, ASPIRA of Florida will also develop procedures to help military children transition into our community, foster access to extracurricular activities and provide guidance and counseling services.

"It is a great honor to be considered a partnerarmymou handshake-WebHL of the U.S. Army and I am very excited to be able to give something back to the men and women who sacrifice so much for us every day," said George Cabrera, ASPIRA of Florida's President / CEO, who attended the event along Garrick Keidan, Principal of ASPIRA South Charter School.

This unique venture was made official during a ceremonial announcement at the U.S. Army Garrison base with the signing of a memorandum of understanding.

You can see more pictures from the ceremony by clicking here.  

Annual "Young Muchachos and Muchachas Conference"

MuchachosConf-2013 hands-WebHLIt was the first day of Spring Break and the young students in attendance decided to forgo the usual vacation activities for a unique educational experience.

ASPIRA's annual "Young Muchachos and Muchachas Conference", held at Broward College's South Campus on Friday, March 22, featured a variety of guest speakers who shared their experience and insight regarding the social, economic, and cultural issues youth face today.

The overall purpose of the event was to provide students with the knowledge necessary to emerge as the leaders of tomorrow with the belief that given the right tools and opportunities, anyone can learn to recognize and utilize their own potential.

More than 100 students representing middle and high schools throughout Miami-Dade and Broward Counties attendMuchachosConf-2013 writinged the all-day event.

The students were divided into gender specific groups and received personalized attention as they discussed the effects of bullying, finance management, substance abuse prevention, HIV/AIDS awareness, self-esteem and its relation to the dangers of human trafficking, college preparedness and acceptance of cultural diversity.

Among the distinguished guests and represented community organizations were Dr. Jose Macias, Assistant Dean of English Department, Broward College, Eduardo Santiago, Senior Accountant, Carnival Cruise Lines, Lieutenant Rafael Lopez, Broward Sheriff's Office, Maria Clara Rodriguez, Kristi House, Mary Rivera-Jean, Program Specialist, DFYIT, Karen Creary and Samantha Kuryla, Children's Diagnostic and Treatment Center, and April Bell, Director of Online College Planning, College Board.

One of the most impactful moments came when Karen Creary and Samantha Kuryla spoke to the teenage girls about the realities of HIV and AIDS. The lecture was blunt, riveting and very real. Together they dispelled the misconceptions concerning the disease and educated the girls about how it can be contracted and spread. Kuryla put a face to the disease, her own, and emphasized the message that just one decision can alter your life forever. Having contracted the disease from her former husband 14 year ago, she shattered stereotypes and reached the students with an unforgettable, eye-opening message.

The speakers were given 45 minute time periods to address each group of students and share their message. Although the topics varied, the theme was the same: how to prepare for the future and avoid the obstacles that stand in the way of success.

"What do you love most about your job? What do I need to study to pursue a career like yours? What is the best piece of advice you can give us?"

MuchachosConf-2013 panelThe day closed with a leadership career carousel featuring a 'question and answer' session which allowed the guest speaker panel to answer questions like these from the students.

Having had the opportunity to truly experience the meaning of leadership through education, the students left the conference equipped with the most powerful tool of all, knowledge.

To view full picture gallery, click here.

Staying on the Right Track

CrimePreventionSamuel Durham and Omar Rosete talk and text at least once a month about school, sports, and life in general.

It's hard to imagine how far the relationship between this young student and his mentor has come in just four years.

As a freshman at Booker T. Washington High School, Durham, now 20 years old, was court ordered to enter Rosete's Crime Prevention Program after an error in judgment landed him in legal trouble. 

The Crime Prevention Program, operated by ASPIRA of Florida, Inc. and run by Rosete, focuses on taking youth diverted from the Juvenile Justice System and providing them with stay in school support, academic and personal counseling and family intervention.

"In the beginning it was hard; I always had someone after me about my grades and attendance, but now looking back I see how important it was and I'm thankful for what Omar has done," said Durham.

"Now we have an excellent relationship, Sam is part of the ASPIRA family," added Rosete.

ASPIRA's Crime Prevention Program is funded through the Miami Dade County Office of Grants Coordination and its success can be attributed to the support and resources Booker T. Washington High School has provided.

Acting as a liaison between the youth in the program, their parents and the school faculty, Rosete is constantly involved in all aspects of the students' lives. He keeps track of their whereabouts, grades, classroom attendance, family life and extracurricular activities. He keeps his cell phone close by at all hours of the day and night, just in case one of his students might need him.

Their success is his success.

"At first they refuse to be in the program, but over time they see the benefit of it and they really start to change," Rosete said.

Rosete has a proven record of helping his students make such positive life changes and Samuel's story is no different.

After much persistence, dedication and focus, Durham graduated from Booker T. Washington High School and received a scholarship from ASPIRA that covers his housing costs, admission fees and tuition at William Pen University in Iowa. He was also awarded financial aid and an athletic scholarship from William Penn University for his outstanding performance as a Track and Field star.

He plans to let his track career take him as far as it will go, maybe even the Olympics, but Samuel's first priority is continuing to put into practice everything he learned from Omar and his four years in ASPIRA's Crime Prevention Program.

"My focus is on studying – it's my future," said Durham.

"Samuel's story embodies ASPIRA's primary purpose of giving youth the tools and opportunities that allow them to overcome obstacles and be successful," said George Cabrera, President and CEO of ASPIRA of Florida, Inc.

A dramatic contrast can be drawn between who Durham was his freshman year in high school and who he has become as he finishes his freshman year in college.

"Everyone makes mistakes, the important thing is to not repeat them," said Rosete, who is always just a call or text away from his students, helping them stay on track.