ASPIRA of Florida Main Office

email-icon-vector6100 Blue Lagoon Drive, Suite 460

Miami, FL 33126

                   Voice: (305) 269-6767

                   Fax: (305) 269-6722

 

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ASPIRA of Florida Implements Solution for Online Testing

A time when students will no longer use pencil and paper to take their exams is fast approaching.

As the Florida Department of Education begins to shift its focus to a complete online assessment testing format, IT-WorkingOnComputersASPIRA of Florida and its IT Department are preparing to meet the challenge of providing its students with the necessary technology.

In times of budget cuts and financial restraints, the state is requiring an expansion of costly technology, while the amount of existing resources and staffing remains the same, essentially requiring schools to do more with the same amount of money.

For this 2011-2012 school year, the state is mandating that all sixth graders take the reading portion of their FCAT online. The following year will require that these sixth graders take both reading and math solely online.

The ultimate goal is to have students nationwide taking exams virtually by 2015, with these tests being measured against the Common Core Standards, which provide benchmarks for gauging student success.

The beginning of such changes began last year, when ASPIRA's eighth grade Algebra 1 students were required to use computers to practice for and complete their End-Of Course tests, along with various other Interim Assessments. This year, however, the number will increase drastically from a small group, to an estimated 470 sixth graders required to participate in online testing.

"Another challenge we face is that the students have to forget the old strategies they used for taking written exams, and learn new techniques to be prepared for the online assessments," said Principal Fernando Lopez, who is the Director of Academic Programs and oversees all three of ASPIRA's charter schools.

As a proactive measure, a meeting was held in May among ASPIRA's key decision makers to discuss the impact of this educational shift and technological advancement. ASPIRA's IT Department proposed a solution that maximized the use of the instructional space by eliminating the need to create dedicated computer testing labs. As suggested, ASPIRA will be implementing an innovative program, which centers on the idea of mobile testing units.

ComputerCartThe concept behind the mobile testing units is to have carts with laptops for each student in a class, so they can take the online assessments in their own classroom.

"When these carts of computers are rolled into the classroom, we are essentially transforming each room into an individual testing lab," explained Gilberto Conde-Genot, ASPIRA's Chief Information Officer.

At roughly $18,000, each computer cart contains 26 laptops, a laser printer, a dual band wireless access point, a mini switch, and capabilities for secured storage and charging, along with extended warranty on all parts.

Through technology school budget allocations and private donations, ASPIRA Raul Arnaldo Martinez Charter School and Eugenio Maria De Hostos Charter School have acquired three carts each and ASPIRA South Charter School two, thus expanding the technological infrastructure of the organization by an additional 208 computers at once, without increasing IT support staff or funding.

The impact on ASPIRA is one that will require arduous labor by the IT Department staff to deploy and maintain the current project, and the commitment of additional private donors to invest in the 2015 technology goals.

IT-LoadingCartA collaborative effort has been made to prepare the students with the skills to succeed by providing them with the necessary technological and educational tools in a timely manner.

"We've been ahead of schedule in meeting the timeline for this project and are very pleased and proud of the results," said Conde-Genot.

"There's a lot of work still to do, but it's been a huge accomplishment," he added as the IT Department delivered the first mobile testing unit to the De Hostos Charter School.

FirstBank Florida Donates $10,000 to ASPIRA of Florida, Inc.

FirstBank-WebHLIn helping to provide youth with a solid educational foundation, FirstBank Florida has chosen ASPIRA of Florida, Inc. as the recipient of a generous $10,000 donation.

"We are proud to support ASPIRA in developing the next generation of community leaders," said Hernando Novoa, regional branch administrator and member of ASPIRA's Board of Directors. "Through weekly leadership club meetings, guided by a strong curriculum, ASPIRA helps young adults build skills they need for the future."

FirstBank Florida is led by Calixto Garcia-Velez, EVP, Florida Region, who added, "We are highly involved in the communities and our support of ASPIRA is an important aspect of our bank's commitment to Florida."

In addition to ASPIRA, FirstBank Florida supports local organizations like United Way, Florida International University's "First Generation Scholarship Fund," Habitat for Humanity, March of Dimes, Centro Mater, Autism Speaks and Autism Charter School, His House, and the American Bankers Association's "Teach Children to Save Day."

For the past 30 years, ASPIRA of Florida has served approximately 60,000 students in the South Florida area, with long-term positive impact on their families and communities.

With this type of charitable donation from FirstBank Florida, ASPIRA is able to continue to provide youth with a variety of academic opportunities through its charter schools and Youth Leadership Development programs.

About First BanCorp

First BanCorp is the parent corporation of FirstBank Puerto Rico, a state-chartered commercial bank with operations in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Florida, and of FirstBank Insurance Agency. First BanCorp and FirstBank Puerto Rico operate within U.S. banking laws and regulations. The Corporation operates a total of 161 branches, stand-alone offices and in-branch service centers throughout Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and Florida. Among the subsidiaries of FirstBank Puerto Rico are First Federal Finance Corp., a small loan company; FirstBank Puerto Rico Securities, a broker-dealer subsidiary; First Management of Puerto Rico; and FirstMortgage, Inc., a mortgage origination company. In the U.S. Virgin Islands, FirstBank operates First Express, a small loan company. First BanCorp's common and publicly-held preferred shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols FBP, FBPPrA, FBPPrB, FBPPrC, FBPPrD and FBPPrE. Additional information about First BanCorp may be found at www.firstbankpr.com.

ASPIRA of Florida's 1st Quarter Agency Report for FY 11-12

ASPIRA of Florida's demographics and service information, as of September, 2011, is available in this report.  Access it here.

SFLHCC & ASPIRA of Florida Co-Host Reception

The South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and ASPIRA of Florida invite you to a general membership networking reception on Thursday, October 20, 2011.

Please, click here to read all details.

ASPIRA of Florida Selects Luis M. Artime as its President and CEO

 

LuisASPIRA of Florida's Board of Directors and its Chair Edward Hernandez announces the appointment of Luis M. Artime, Esq. as President and CEO. After an eight-month national search, the Board selected Mr. Artime from a pool of more than 300 applicants. ASPIRA is a non-profit organization that has served thousands of underprivileged students in Florida for thirty years. Its youth leadership development programs and charter schools have positively transformed the lives of these students and their families. ASPIRA currently serves approximately 3,000 students statewide.

Read complete Press Release here.

IT Department Releases Agency's Year-End Report for FY 10-11

ASPIRA of Florida's demographics and service information, as of June 30th, 2011, is available in this report.  Access it here.

2011 Graduation and Youth Awards Ceremonies

Graduation-WebHL

Charter Schools' Graduations Youth Awards Ceremonies
ASPIRA Raul Arnaldo Martinez
8th Grade Graduation
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
6:00 pm
Julius Littman Performing Art Theater
17011 NE 19th Ave
North Miami Beach, FL  33317
Palm Beach Division
Saturday, May 7, 2011
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Atlantis Country Club
190 Atlantic Blvd
Lantana, FL  33462
ASPIRA Eugenio Maria de Hostos
8th Grade Graduation
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
7:00 pm
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
464 NE 16th St
Miami, FL  33132
Miami-Dade Division
Friday, May 13, 2011
7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Hilton Miami Downtown
1601 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL  33132
ASPIRA South Leadership
8th Grade Graduation
Thursday, June 9, 2011
12:00 pm
Keys Gate Golf Club
2300 Palm Drive
Homestead, FL  33033
Broward Division
Friday, June 3, 2011
7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Signature Grand
6900 W State Road 84
Davie, FL  33317

IT Department Releases Agency's 3rd Quarter YTD Report for FY 10-11

ASPIRA of Florida's demographics and service information, as of March, 2011, is available in this report.  Access it here.

Dorothy Quintana Passed Away At Age 101

We have learned of the sad news that Dorothy Quintana passed away on Monday, March 14, 2011, peacefully in her home at the age of 101. Dorothy will be greatly missed.

DorothyQuintana-WebHLDorothy "Dotty" Quintana was a special resident of Wynwood for over 50 years. She had a long history of community activism, particularly on issues concerning the elderly and Puerto Rican community. She was always a strong advocate and friend to ASPIRA of Florida and its youth leadership development program. Dorothy Quintana was an example for all to follow.

"Her tireless energy and selflessness impacted our whole community and made our city a better place for all Miami residents," said former Mayor Manny Diaz on the occasion of her 100th birthday.

Following her 101st birthday, the City of Miami honored Ms. Quintana by naming a new Community Center at Roberto Clemente Park after her. Dorothy was named the 2010 Woman of Achievement Award at the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women's Conference last November, where she shared with local and national Puerto Rican female leaders from around the country.

The Dorothy Quintana Center houses the offices for the Parks Department and the Wynwood Edgewater Enhancement Team, in addition to acting as a social hall used for community and family functions. ASPIRA currently runs its after school program at the adjacent Roberto Clemente Park.

Dorothy leaves behind a stronger community and her sense of urgency regarding the need for social services. Her voice was heard and her opinion respected by politicians, community leaders and the community at large. She was a true example of civic activism.

Let's celebrate her life by continuing to get involved in the issues that matter in our communities. There will be an all night viewing tomorrow, Tuesday, March 15, beginning at 6 p.m., at Corpus Christi Church, NW 7 Ave. and 32 St., Miami. A mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 16, at 10 a.m., at Corpus Christi Church. Cremation services will follow.

Aymet Chaples, M.S.
Interim President & CEO
ASPIRA of Florida, Inc.
4100 NE 2 Avenue, Suite 302
Miami, FL 33137

Phone 305.576.8494
Fax 305.576.6217

 

ASPIRA of Florida: Thirty Years Empowering Youth

Today, March 2nd, 2011, we celebrate ASPIRA of Florida's 30th Anniversary. Thirty years empowering youth to graduate from high school, to go to college and to become leaders. In thirty years ASPIRA has served approximately 60,000 students in the South Florida area, positively impacting not only them, but also their families and their communities.

It is important that today we stop to recognize those community leaders who had the vision to bring the ASPIRA movement to Florida. The articles of incorporation were signed by Ernesto Ramos, Rosa Raymundi-Brown, Rafael Urrutia, Alicia Baro, Ariel Zayas, Jose Mendez and Lilia Pascual. Although some of these leaders have passed away, their legacy is alive in the successful work of a vibrant and thriving organization. They were able to instill in the community the need to get together in support of the advancement of our youth and by doing so, ASPIRA became a magnet for leaders and supporters of the caliber of the late Dr. Ivette Arteaga-Morgan, Dr. Rosie Castro-Feinberg, Alan and Barbara Pareira, Lemuel Ramos, Fernando Figueredo, Joe Pinon and many more.

30th_Anniversary

Also ASPIRA has been the home of many professionals that throughout the years had tuned their skills and either went on to continue to make an impact in social services and education in other areas, or had stayed with the organization keeping up the mission and vision of the organization alive. In the veteran group we have Iris Corchado, Milagros Torres, Aymet Chaples, Gilberto Conde-Genot and Cathy Anaya with more that 20 years of service each. This group lost a member last year, our late President Raul A. Martinez, who dedicated twenty-four years of his professional career to ASPIRA. His legacy is also present in every young life that is ready to take on the future and be an agent of change.

Congratulations to our Board of Directors for their dedication and commitment to ASPIRA. We know that ASPIRA is in your heart and the hours that you, and those before you, volunteer to this worthy cause are invaluable.

Congratulations to the many friends and supporters of ASPIRA. Your help has made us stronger.

Congratulations to the staff who everyday makes a commitment to put forth maximum effort and deliver quality youth programs and education at ASPIRA's Youth Leadership Development and Charter Schools divisions.

Congratulations to the students and families who are an example of improvement and advancement in our communities.

Congratulations Florida for supporting ASPIRA throughout these 30 years. There is still plenty of work to do. We will be done the day that all disadvantaged youth graduate from High School and attend college.


Aymet Chaples, M.S.
Interim President & CEO
ASPIRA of Florida, Inc.
4100 NE 2 Avenue, Suite 302
Miami, FL 33137

Phone 305.576.8494
Fax 305.576.6217

ASPIRA of Florida's CEO Recognized by Business Leader Magazine

Jan11-Pic3Every year, Business Leader magazine honors notable up-and coming business people who have demonstrated successful management of their organization by nominating them for the Movers and Shakers Award.

ASPIRA of Florida is proud to announce that Aymet Chaples, Interim President/CEO, has been named for this award for the South Florida area and will be published in the January edition of the magazine.

Jan11-Pic2"I am honored to receive this award and am grateful to be thought of as a Mover and Shaker in our area," Ms. Chaples said.

Business Leader magazine's South Florida edition provides critical local market intelligence to CEOs and other business leaders. Published monthly since 1998, the magazine covers the companies, leaders and business happenings in the Miami, Broward, and West Palm Beach areas.

The magazine features editorial on the legal, financial, technology, management, marketing and business services industries and highlights top women in business, up-and coming leaders, top 500 small businesses and top entrepreneurs.

Ms. Chaples, and other winners of the seventh annual Movers and Shakers Award, was honored at a ceremony on Monday, January 31, 2011.