Aspiring Youth Academy
More than half of Arizona children (51%) live-in low-income families and nearly half (48%) of their parents do not have full time employment. Our mission is to end the cycle of poverty for Arizona families by cultivating the entrepreneurial spirit in Arizona youth. By promoting an entrepreneurial mindset, leadership training and strong community connections and mentorship, our students have a far greater opportunity for success. In turn, their children and families will be better positioned to not only be successful but help others in their community to achieve similar levels of success.
We offer a robust series of educational and growth experiences to match every student’s level of interest and ability. Our curriculum has been carefully curated through partnerships with organizations with great expertise in for-profit entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, leadership and personal growth. Our goal is not to grow student businesses, but to grow students themselves by meeting them where they are at and offering a variety of programs and experiences through an entrepreneurial and personal leadership lens. We believe that entrepreneurship is not a skill, but a mindset. One that requires creativity, collaboration, personal responsibility, and innovation. We teach that anyone can learn how to start a business but bringing out the qualities of entrepreneurship increases capacity to create solutions, build relationships, increase creativity and persistence towards meaningful goals, whether you are a student, business owner, musician, coder, doctor, social worker or anything else!
Students who attend Aspiring Youth Academy programs, over 1186 to date, learn skills ranging from business solution ideation to planning to critical thinking to peer leadership and collaborative teamwork, all while maintaining a focus on giving back to their community. Just as important, students discover their own personal strengths to bring greater confidence in all areas of life. Our social entrepreneurship Spring Break Camp links students to the world through solving global and humanitarian issues through business; Making the world a better place is at the core of all of our programs.
While our greater goal is to help end poverty for Arizona families, it's important to note that our students do not come exclusively from low-income households. We strive for socioeconomic, racial and gender balance in our programs. We believe that our students will learn as much from each other as they do from us. Having experience in working together and solving problems with people who are unlike themselves will help setup any student for long term success.
Please take a moment to explore the rest of our site and find a way to get involved. Our aspirations are big, and our vision is bold. We need your help to achieve them.
President, Aspiring Youth Academy
Aspiring Youth Academy invests over $400 in each student we serve by providing entrepreneurship and financial education and leadership opportunities for teens throughout Maricopa County.