- INSPiRE is a grassroots nonprofit founded by Jesse Ramirez and Blanca Trejo. As first-generation college graduates, they know the power higher education can have on their own lives and the greater impact a college education can have on the larger community. They are both inspired by the power youth can have in not only identifying challenges in their communities, but most importantly as solution builders in making our communities stronger.
- The Mission of INSPiRE is to ignite, train, and invest in our youth to become social change agents. We strive for cross-generational impact in breaking the cycles of oppression in our families, schools and communities. We believe empowered Youth have the ability to construct innovative solutions and generate hope for an equitable future.
- The vision of INSPiRE is built upon the five core principles of LOVE, LEADERSHIP, COMMUNITY, POSSIBILITIES, and SOCIAL CHANGE working in unison to empower our youth as social change agents.
- Leadership Development
- INSPiRE will train a cohort of high school seniors as change agents to help shift culture in schools.
- INSPiRE will support cohorts once a week offering a leadership course during the school day or after school.
- INSPiRE will host a Change Agent Institute during the summer and three additional training days throughout the school year.
- Change agent will be assigned a professional mentor based on identified career cluster.
- Change agent will be assigned a college student mentor based on potential college or university they plan on attending.
- Mentors will correspond with change agents on a monthly basis.
- Civil Engagement
- Change agents will identify roadblocks facing their schools and larger community.
- Change agents will develop action plans to address these roadblocks.
- Change agents will navigate school and community infrastructures to implement their plans.
- College Access
- INSPiRE will support school host a college application/senior lock-in.
- INSPiRE will help host or support FAFSA nights.
- INSPiRE will help host or support Family Engagement Nights.
Partner School Snapshot
- Years in Partnership: 2
- Students Served: 85 seniors, 85 juniors, 120 sophomores, 120 freshman
- INSPiRE Change Agent Goal: 15
- INSPiRE Change Agent Completed: 11
- Free and Reduced Lunch Rate: 95%
- College Enrollment Rate (2013): 43%
- INSPiRE Implementation: Full model with one day a week support from INSPiRE Dream Director. All 9th-12th graders have a mandatory college seminar class. INSPiRE teaches the 12th college seminar once a week. Given the block schedules, INSPiRE is able to lead all seniors through a lesson every two weeks. We also help plan and execute their 11th grade retreat, which supports the transition to senior year.
- Year one highlights: Class of 2015 seniors completed 3-5 college applications and 5-10 scholarships. Senior change agents piloted a Freshman-Senior Peer Mentoring Program with 20 struggling freshman.