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ASPIRA aspires for greatness in Latino community

Offering educational helping hand to students

January 24, 2011
SOUTHBRIDGE — Southbridge's Latino students have a chance to achieve more of their goals in school and in the community thanks to ASPIRA.

The program, which helps Latino students with homework, college preparation and community work, runs on the three A's — awareness, analysis and action. Awareness deals with cultural and self-awareness and the discovery of self-value and the value of others.

Analysis deals with critical thinking and the process of finding out about one's self, other cultures and the world. Action deals with social action, putting the knowledge and skills one has acquired to use for the benefit of self and others, especially in one's family and community.

"It sprung out of what Luz Espino and Elsa Rivera did years ago when they had this organization called, 'Citizens for Latino Education Excellence (CLEE),'" said Town Councilor Richard Logan. "They went before the Southbridge School Committee and said they were a parent group that was working to promote educational improvement in the Latino students."

CLEE decided that in order to get more recognition and attention, they would have to join the national ASPIRA program. The Saturday program that ASPIRA runs helps roughly 10 students and a youth group that meets once a week at the Southbridge High School. In 2010, three $500 scholarships were awarded to three Southbridge High School Latino students.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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