||ASPIRE: Worthwhile volunteerism has rewards for life
Program Developer, Ainslie says that connecting school to the outside world makes it more relevant for students and that ASPIRE is the missing link to provide that connection. Tireless in her efforts to find a way for all kids to have the option of a post secondary education, Ainslie has sought mentor volunteers through her connections with International Rotary, the Parkrose Business Association and the Gateway Area Business Association. She has made presentations at the annual school Open House and Back- to -School nights and counts on teachers and students to spread the word.
|Camrun Arkills (left) searches for information on the Internet with his ASPIRE mentor Bruce Dransfeldt during their recent session.
MEMO PHOTO: TIM CURRAN
Ainslie says the appropriate person to become an ASPIRE mentor is any adult willing go through the training process and make a time commitment to a student. A college education is not a pre-requisite. She finds that parents and guardians are good candidates as they have a vested interest in the results. Professionals and business people are another valuable resource. Often it is the professional or business leader who was the first in their own families to attend college who are quick to see the need of this program. And lastly, she says retired schoolteachers and administrators are another group with direct knowledge as to the challenges faced by students seeking to go on beyond high school.
Currently, 53 high schools in Oregon can offer their students the benefits of an ASPIRE mentor. David Douglas and Reynolds, the other two Mid-Multnomah County High Schools, will be invited to apply this spring according to Oregon ASPIRE Program Manager Vickie Merkel.
|ASPIRE advisor position description
Meet on a regular basis with 1 to 10 assigned students and commit to 2-4 hours per week for the school year
Assist students to define their goals and the activities with which they need help
Attend volunteer meetings and training
Become familiar with the ASPIRE curriculum materials, web site and other web resources
Follow ASPIRE guidelines, school policies and regulations regarding confidentiality, meeting times, safety, etc.
Desire and ability to work with teenage
Sensitivity to challenges faced by teenage
Interest in being trained in the college financial aid process
Dependability and a strong sense of
Ability to maintain patient, non-judgmental
To become an ASPIRE mentor at Parkrose High School, contact Teena Ainslie at 503-408-2642 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the ASPIRE program, visit the website at www.aspireoregon.org.