ASPIRA of New York is an Hispanic non-profit organization working to foster educational excellence and civic responsibility among young Latinos. ASPIRA youth development clubs, dropout prevention initiatives and after school programs each year serve more than 8,000 young people in the five boroughs of New York City and Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Former ASPIRA club members, or ASPIRANTES, as they are known, include Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union; former Bronx Borough President and New York City democratic mayoral nominee Fernando Ferrer; and the actor Jimmy Smits.


ASPIRA of New York was founded in New York City in 1961 by Dr. Antonia Pantoja to combat the exorbitant dropout rate among Puerto Rican high school youth. The ASPIRA movement and Dr. Pantoja’s ideals took root around the country, leading to the creation in 1968 of ASPIRA of America—today known as The ASPIRA Association—and the establishment of ASPIRA associate offices in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico.

ASPIRA of New York, with the support of ASPIRA of America and the representation of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, filed a suit against the New York City Board of Education in 1972 that led to the ASPIRA Consent Decree. The decree, signed August 29, 1974, established the right of New York City public school students with limited English proficiency to receive bilingual education.

The “Triple A Process”

At the core of ASPIRA’s work with youth is promoting adherence to the Triple A Process, which consists of:
*Awareness – Cultural and self-awareness; the discovery of self-value and the value of others.
*Analysis – Critical thinking; the process of finding out about one’s self, other cultures and the world.
*Action.— Social action; putting the knowledge and skills one has acquired to use for the benefit of self and others, especially one’s family and community.

External links

* [ Official ASPIRA Website]


*cite news|url=|title= Antonia Pantoja, Champion Of Bilingualism, Dies at 80|last=LAVIETES|first=STUART|date=2002-05-28|publisher=The New York Times|accessdate=2008-06-10
*cite web|url=|title=Puerto Rico Profile: Dr. Antonia Pantoja|date=2000-11-07|accessdate=2008-06-10

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