The ASPIRE Initiative

The ASPIRE Initiative: Building a stronger cradle-to-career pipeline in Austin

The ASPIRE Initiative mobilizes existing community assets with new investments to impact the growth in educational and economic opportunities for Austinites of all ages.

ASPIRE builds on the momentum of Austin’s quality-of-life plan called ‘Austin Forward. Together.’ (AFT) to create four investments strategically clustered around existing assets in an area bound by Madison, Chicago, Central, and Laramie Avenues. These investments will result in a state of the art early learning, health and recreation center, a vibrant neighborhood high school filled with students, an economic hub that connects low-income residents with real economic opportunity, and 60 units of new affordable housing for purchase so that low-income residents have an opportunity to build wealth. The ASPIRE Initiative is part of a collective vision for a powerful and highly collaborative community with the capacity to create a high quality cradle-to-career educational system and a revitalized economy by and for Austin residents.

These investments and the activity they catalyze, will address low education outcomes, rising rates of poverty, and lower rates of homeownership in Austin. Austin Coming Together will work with a third party evaluator to measure the long-term impact of Aspire on kindergarten readiness, high school graduation, income, and homeownership rates in the community by the year 2030.

ASPIRE is led by Westside Health Authority and Austin Coming Together while leveraging support from several other partners. By the Hand Club for Kids will lead the development of an early learning center and health and recreation facility. All partners will be provided with technical support by LISC Chicago, the United Way of Metro Chicago, IFF, the Lamar Johnson Collaborative, Purpose Built Communities, and Applegate Thorne-Thompsen.

Read more about ASPIRE in this AFT special newspaper section published int the Austin Weekly News and the Wednesday Journal newspapers.