ASPIRA of Florida Main Office

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Miami, FL 33126

                   Voice: (305) 269-6767

                   Fax: (305) 269-6722


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ASPIRA of Florida



Latest News

2012 Graduation and Youth Awards Ceremonies


Charter Schools' Graduations Youth Awards Ceremonies
ASPIRA Raul Arnaldo Martinez
8th Grade Graduation
Friday, June 8, 2012
3:30 pm
Julius Littman Performing Art Theater
17011 NE 19th Ave
North Miami Beach, FL  33162
Palm Beach Division
Saturday, May 12, 2012
11:00 am
Atlantis Country Club
190 Atlantis Blvd
Lake Worth, FL  33462
ASPIRA Eugenio Maria de Hostos
8th Grade Graduation
Friday, June 1, 2012
7:00 pm
Teatro Manuel Artime
900 SW 1st Street
Miami, FL  33130
Miami-Dade Division
Friday, May 11, 2012
7:00 pm
Intercontinental Hotel Doral
2505 NW 87th Ave
Miami, FL  33172
ASPIRA South Leadership
8th Grade Graduation
Friday, June 8, 2012
8:30 am
Iglesia El Buen Samaritano Amphitheater
25795 SW 137th Ave.
Princeton, FL  33032
Broward Division
Friday, May 18, 2012
7:00 pm
Signature Grand
6900 W State Road 84
Davie, FL  33317

ASPIRA of Florida, Inc. Installs The New Board Leadership Team

BoardInstallation-2012ASPIRA of Florida's 31st Board Installation celebrated more than just its new board leadership team; it also installed the new President & CEO, former ASPIRA CFO, George Cabrera. The celebration took place in the historic Biltmore Hotel and the program, emceed by VP & COO, Aymet Chaples, included musical performances by ASPIRA's kids, testimonials from former ASPIRANTES, and messages from Mr. Cabrera and Chairman of the Board, Edward Hernandez, Esq.

To read the full press release click here.

Photo Gallery.

ASPIRA of Florida's 3rd Quarter Agency Report for FY 11-12

ASPIRA of Florida's demographics and service information, as of March, 2012, is available in this report.  Access it here.

ASPIRA of Florida and Coca-Cola Promote Recycling Efforts at Calle Ocho Festival

Calle8-Staff_StudentsOn Sunday, March 11, 2012, ASPIRA of Florida, Inc. and the Coca-Cola Company joined together to promote awareness about recycling at the Calle Ocho Festival.

Fifty of ASPIRA's brightest and most engaged high school students, from the Miami-Dade and Broward County Divisions, assisted Coca-Cola in driving home the fundamental message of protecting our environment by encouraging those who attended the event to clean up after themselves, and others, by recycling used products.Calle8-Volunteers

Thank you to Coca-Cola for inviting ASPIRA to join with them in this important initiative, and to the hard-working volunteers who helped make this event a great success.

ASPIRA is especially appreciative to Ed Diaz, Community Marketing Director, Coca-Cola South Florida Market Unit, who provided the resources and support necessary for the event.

ASPIRA looks forward to continuing this partnership and working together to care for our environment.

ASPIRA of Florida Featured in WSVN Channel 7's "Parent To Parent" Segment

ASPIRA of Florida Joins Miami Dade College in African American Read-In Day

On February 6, 2012, Miami Dade College North Campus and ASPIRA of Florida, Inc. joined together with elementary and secondary school students, parents, teachers, and community representatives all across the country to participate in the National African American Read-In chain.

Read-In_ASPIRANTES-WebHL"The Read-In Day was a great opportunity for our charter school students to hear from distinguished members of our community how reading books changed their lives, and helped make them successful. ASPIRA is very grateful to Miami Dade College for this collaborative effort," said Edward Hernandez, Board Chair of ASPIRA, who was present at the event.

The goal is to make the celebration of African American literacy a traditional part of Black History Month activities.

A live audience of over 400 community leaders, faculty and students, including those from ASPIRA's Eugenio Maria De Hostos and Raul Arnaldo Martinez Charter Schools, gathered at the North Campus to hear a panel of guests speak about their favorite African American authors and lessons learned from their literature.

Read-In_Panel-Web"The Read-In was an energizing experience! The books were wonderful and without even planning it, we (the panelists) each found something different in them that resonated with our souls. The students were engaged and I enjoyed sharing with them, how reading opened up new worlds for me that I would never have been exposed to, growing up in the South Bronx, NYC," explained Dr. Maria Vallejo, Provost, Palm Beach State College Lake Worth Campus, ASPIRA Board member, and event panelist.

ASPIRA's Vice Chair of Programs and Planning, Isabel Rodriguez-Dehmer, Associate Professor Senior, MDC North Campus, assisted in coordinating the event. George Cabrera, President and CEO, and Aymet Chaples, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer represented ASPIRA at the event as well.

The Twenty-Third National African American Read-In has been endorsed by the International Reading Association and sponsored by the Black Caucus of National Council of Teachers of English and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). They urge schools, communities, and churches to host and coordinate read-ins in their communities in a concerted effort to promote literacy and enhance participation.

Read-In_Group-WebOver a million readers of all ethnic groups from the United States, the District of Columbia, the West Indies, African countries, and more have participated.

"Reading is a cornerstone of learning, and North Campus is proud to present its African American Read-In as a permanent and active link in a national chain that promotes literacy and otherwise enriches students," said Dr. José Vicente, president of MDC's North Campus, in an article published on the university's website.


ASPIRA of Florida, Inc.'s Board of Directors Announces the Appointment of George Cabrera as President and CEO

GeorgeCabrera-WebHLASPIRA of Florida, Inc.'s Board of Directors announces the appointment of George Cabrera as President and CEO. ASPIRA is one of the largest youth agencies in the United States that serves thousands of Hispanic and other minority youth through innovative and creative youth leadership programs and charter schools. A landmark presence in Florida for over thirty years and nationally for more than fifty years, ASPIRA has helped transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of students, as well as their families and communities. Many successful and noteworthy individuals including politicians, teachers, scholars, doctors, lawyers, entertainers, engineers and other professionals are proud to call themselves ASPIRANTES-former students who have undergone the ASPIRA process and curriculum.

Mr. Cabrera possesses unique personal qualities and professional skills that have resulted in his very successful track record at ASPIRA. As Chief Financial Officer (CFO), he was primarily responsible for ensuring fiscal responsibility and discipline, strategic planning, and revenue and asset growth to ensure the financial stability of the organization. His business acumen, vision and creative business models resulted in an impressive growth in ASPIRA's revenue and a substantial increase in assets through the purchase of its charter school facilities.

His ability to successfully master the complex legal and financial transactions necessary to help ASPIRA grow earned him the respect of the Board, as well as the non profit, financial and legal communities. This expertise allowed Mr. Cabrera to become part of a small and prestigious group within the non-profit sector that is extremely knowledgeable about the New Market Tax Credit Program, which fosters investment in low income communities. Through this program, Mr. Cabrera was able to secure financing for the purchase of ASPIRA's charter school buildings. As a result, Mr. Cabrera was invited to a Congressional Briefing to speak on the impact of the New Market Tax Credit Program on the non-profit sector.

Mr. Cabrera is also a very passionate and caring individual who is deeply committed to ASPIRA's mission. The son of Cuban immigrants, he is intimately familiar with the plight of recently arrived immigrants, as well as with the struggles of those members of our community caught in the web of poverty. Over the years, he has engaged with local community leaders and has formed partnerships with other organizations to address the educational needs of our youth.

Mr. Cabrera holds other leadership positions in the community. He is a member of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Advisory Board, the Florida Community Loan Fund Board of Directors and the City of Miami Education Advisory Board.


He received a Bachelor's Degree in International Business Administration from the American Intercontinental University in Florida, and his Master's Degree in International Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

Notable Accomplishments:

  • Secured nationally recognized $7.5M New Market Tax Credit loan to renovate purchased charter school property, creating $1.7M in additional equity funding.
  • Briefed Congress, at their invitation, to present the charter school project and its impact on community.
  • Secured $4.7M loan to construct and renovate our charter school in 2009 notwithstanding economic recession.
  • Secured $8.4M New Market Tax Credit loan to purchase and renovate charter school property, creating $3.2M in additional equity funding.
  • Developed Master Facility Plan that led incremental 5%-15% annual agency revenue growth over a six-year period.
  • Played key role in strategic planning process by providing expense forecasting and cash management/investment strategies.
  • Maintained positive financial ratios and audited financial statements throughout agency expansion initiative.
  • Established foundation for successful fundraising by producing and hosting diverse events, including two concerts featuring well known musicians and artists.
  • Selected by lending institutions to conduct workshops in "Creative Funding Source Development" at the National and Florida Charter School Conferences.
  • Invited by Miami Dade County's Office of the Mayor to serve as panelist for project management workshops attended by 95 community-based organizations.

Mr. Cabrera also brings a wealth of experience in the for profit sector. As the Forecasting & Capacity Planning Manager at Nortel Networks, he coordinated business objectives, which contributed to $600M in revenues across all lines of business region-wide. He also provided oversight and direction for six direct reporting locations in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Chile, and the Caribbean.

In these exciting and challenging times for non-profits across the nation, the Board feels very confident that under Mr. Cabrera's leadership and guidance, ASPIRA will yield the next generation of successful ASPIRANTES.

ASPIRA of Florida's Mid-Year Agency Report for FY 11-12

ASPIRA of Florida's demographics and service information, as of December, 2011, is available in this report.  Access it here.

ASPIRA of Florida's Website Reaches 200,000 Visitors Mark

200KCounterAs ASPIRA of Florida, Inc. continues to expand, a rapidly increasing amount of people are visiting the website to learn more about our organization. On January 11, 2012, we reached our 200,000th hit! The website, created just three years ago, has set an incredible pace with an average of approximately 66,667 visitors a year and 5,556 monthly.

ASPIRA debuted the redesigned site in an effort to increase user friendliness and accessibility, with this result in mind. Our goal is to build upon this success and engage more readers. Thank you to all who visited our website. We are proud to reach this milestone and hope to continue to provide all readers with insight into who ASPIRA is and what we do.

Alicia Baró: An ASPIRA Icon Passes Away at 93


aliciabaro_webReflections of the eulogist symbolizing the life work of Alicia Baró during her service: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7). Alicia Baró, born in San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico on August 1, 1918, dedicated her life to the fight for social justice and the betterment of her community. She finished the race as an icon and pioneer in ensuring rights for women, Hispanics and other minorities in political representation, education, health and employment. She remained faithful to her mission of public service and activism. Her tireless efforts opened many doors for others to follow and succeed.

In 1981, Alicia Baró established and led ASPIRA of Florida with these same guiding principles. Among her many notable awards, she was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. She instilled a sense of pride in Hispanics and set a precedent for ASPIRA to become a leader in education and youth development. Let us continue her fight and the race she began, staying faithful in the work we are doing.

ASPIRA of Florida Purchases EMH Charter School Building

ASPIRA of Florida had one more reason to celebrate over this holiday season.

As the new year brings many changes, it welcomes ASPIRA as the proud owner of the Eugenio Maria De Hostos Charter School building. The purchase of the Wynwood property will allow ASPIRA to increase enrollment and further impact the community by reaching more students in need of a solid academic foundation.

"This milestone allows ASPIRA to continue developing our educational program and provides a permanent home for our students," said George Cabrera, Chief Financial Officer. We couldn't think of a better way to usher in a new decade than with this major accomplishment that will enable us to carry on our vision as the academic village in the Wynwood community, offering transformative education and excellence in youth leadership development," he added.

Together, with the dedicated efforts of financial partners Fifth Third Bank, Florida Community Loan Fund, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, and Stonehenge Capital, ASPIRA was able to secure the $8.4 million purchase of the charter school.

Building upon its 30 years of service to approximately 60,000 students and their families, ASPIRA is taking significant steps towards defining itself as an expanding academic institution that motivates children to pursue their dreams.

"ASPIRA's mission is to positively transform the lives of our students through the means of an education," said Edward Hernandez, Board Chairman of ASPIRA of Florida, Inc.

Setting its standards high with the acquisition of the Eugenio Maria De Hostos Charter School, ASPIRA is looking ahead to the future with new opportunities to establish its commitment to the community and its youth.

"Our school has been the best kept secret in Wynwood and Miami-Dade for far too long. It has been a dream come true for the parents, children, faculty and staff alike to soon be able to come to a school of our own. We look forward to seeing the name of our school proudly displayed on our renovation location," said Fernando Lopez, Principal of EMH Charter School and ASPIRA Director of Academic Programs.