Project Aspire

What is Aspire?

Our objective for project Aspire is to empower disadvantaged individuals through formal post- secondary education. To empower these individuals, Aspire is eliminating the barriers between poverty and education – These barriers are primarily due to a lack of finances and academic prerequisites. 

Our team focuses on individuals that typically do not have the prerequisites expected of them to join a post-secondary credit program. These individuals often become discouraged when they see the number of classes they must attend and the time commitments required to qualify for a credit program. On the other hand, the non-credit programs require minimal to no prerequisites. In our research, we found that post-secondary non-credit courses are perfect for the individuals that we are targeting. The programs are relatively short, are offered at convenient times, and require almost no prerequisites. 

Additionally, by having our Enactus team supporting these individuals and assisting them financially, they will be able to provide for their families while completing their studies. Our team recognized that inefficiency exists with the way funding is distributed by the government in terms of post-secondary education. Credited students, such as BBA students, have access to government funding, allowing them to begin their program without the concern of accessing monetary funds. However, non-credit students do not have access to the same luxury of applying for government funding, resulting in a need for financial security as they pursue their education. These barriers are why Aspire pays for the tuition upfront through funding from various sponsors or grants, and then uses a pay it forward program to ensure long-term sustainability. 

Enactus NAIT has partnered with like-minded organizations such as Boyle Street Community Services and YESS to identify and empower individuals in Edmonton that are seeking to attain higher education and break the cycle of poverty. 

Project Leadership

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