By: Angela Maure
Since 1961, ASPIRA has served nearly half a million youth, in over 200 schools and 78 communities across the country. ASPIRA is now one of the largest national Hispanic organizations in the country with young people from all backgrounds. It’s the only national organization dedicated primarily to the education and development of Latino youth.
Long Beach High School’s diverse atmosphere inspires students to join ASPIRA. Many students fear their cultural backgrounds may be criticized; however, in the club students openly tell others about their nationalities, while they indulge to learn about different cultures. Today’s students struggle with the heavy weight of both school work and searching for colleges, so ASPIRA is the perfect after school activity that encourages students to gain educational experiences, explore college opportunities, and make friends!
Gabe Aristobal, the Pulpitarian of the ASPIRA club, states “the club embraces diversity and welcomes every students with open arms, The people are very nice, they don’t treat anyone like an outsider. It’s a very nice club.”
The club also holds field trips to universities that are holding college fairs. This gives seniors and juniors an opportunity to look for a college they want to apply for. Meanwhile, freshmen and sophomores can get a head-start and learn about colleges that they might be interested in.
ASPIRA’s President, Angel Gutierez, explained the events the the club holds, “During homecoming, we sell various cultural food and drinks.” Homecoming allows us to interact with other students are create awareness of our club.
“Culture Collision is the club’s biggest event of the year. We bring together food from all different cultures, and present them in a celebratory way. Also, we take time to appreciate other cultures besides our own,” Gabe said.
When asked to explain the club, ASPIRA secretary, Karla Umanzor, explained, “You get to meet a lot of people and see what their culture is.” This year, our culture collision will be larger, as, “We’re having the Asian culture Club and Israeli Culture Club join us. So, we’re getting a lot of different races and cultures in Long Beach connected together in this event.”
Overall, the ASPIRA club of Long Beach High School continues to influence students to learn to embrace diversity. Don’t forget to check The Tide for future details about the Culture Collision.