ASPIRA is an organized Hispanic heritage and service club that stands by its motto: excellence through education, leadership and enrichment. They meet once a week on Thursday from 2 to 4. When I visited the club, there were many members who looked to be having the utmost enjoyable time at the club with their friends embracing their culture. Don’t take it just from me, others too had much to say about the club and its greatness.
I spoke with one of the co-presidents of the club, Erik Melgar, and he spoke highly of the impact ASPIRA has on not only the Latino community but entirety of the City of Long Beach . He talked about his plethora of responsibilities due to him being president, but in the end, the joy the club brings him outweighs his many duties. Erik mentioned how the club helps make him a better person and how he has met many new and interesting people by not only being a part of the club, but by being one of it’s presidents he says that he wouldn’t have met the new people if not for the club. Erik’s favorite part of the club is the various interactions he made with others, whether in the club, or on a college trip. Multiple organizations make donations of food in providence for the club, including Whole Foods, who donated drinks for the event.
Another member of the club, Abigail, also spoke highly of the club and what it had to offer. She told me that the club endowed her with leadership and inspirational qualities, and that she learned how to stand up for herself and her beliefs through the club. She specifically said this in addition to her newly empowered qualities, “I feel this brings me a step higher in life.”
The supervisor of ASPIRA is Kelly Dass, and she has been very fond of the club and everything it stands for since the beginnings of her involvement. Her greatest joy in being supervisor of the club is the time she spends with the students and being embraced with them. She explained that this is an inspiration to herself and few would not be motivated by it. Kelly explained how every aspect was nearly as dear to her as the previous one. Kelly specifically mentioned how the students are so willing to go the extra effort in embracing their own heritage, their own culture, and being beckons of positivity, despite the hardships they have faced in their young lives.
Kelly spoke about the college trips and the enriching experience it is to be a part of the trips, not only for herself, but for the club members as well. A profound sense of happiness comes to Kelly in seeing the kids embracing their culture and heritage and being a part of their journey in doing so.
ASPIRA takes place every Thursday from 2 to 4 in the cafeteria, so if you are looking to embrace your own culture and meet others with that very same desire, check it out.