We keep them safe. Learn together. Explore careers. Try new things. Bond. Mentor. Exercise. Play. At ASAS, we do all these things – and we do even more: we prepare our students to find jobs they love and build the skills that will match the jobs of the future. We strive to figure out what 6th graders today will need to know to enter the workforce ten years from now. To do this, we ask a myriad of questions, including:
What are employers telling us they need? Employers are calling for skilled, qualified graduates. But the definition of “skilled” isn’t limited to hard/technical skills. A recent study of Google’s top talent by Project Oxygen found that soft skills were the most coveted. They found that top performers communicate and listen well, have empathy, are critical thinkers, and make connections across complex ideas – and this is what employers are looking for across the board.
How are our alums succeeding? Our alums consistently talk about the mentors they encountered. These caring adults didn’t just coach their jump shots or introduce them to robotics but helped them navigate the tumultuous waters of middle school and build a strong emotional backbone.
Olivia and Malia, current ASAS students are working with ASAS staff to build lifelong social-emotional fitness. Ti’Andre and Ashley, two alums, share how the strong relationships they built gave them the courage to follow their passions: Ti’Andre is now a police officer who brings tremendous empathy to his job, and Ashley, who returned to ASAS and advocates for youth like herself.
Our work is about so much more than simply keeping a student safe and productive. It’s about building up students to make positive decisions; to foster meaningful relationships; to find self-motivation to succeed academically and in the real world; and to lead, serve and advocate.
We want to thank our board and founders, our many partners, our dedicated staff in the field every day, our volunteers and supporters who share our mission on social media. But mostly, we want to celebrate our students for their incredible spirit, who are the reason we get up every day and fight for them.
President & CEO