The Aspires Program was founded in Detroit, Michigan in 1992.  The program was later introduced in Pasadena, California by Dr. Cornish Rogers, former Professor at Claremont Theological Seminary, as the Role Models for Youth Program, and was subsequently named Aspires West, Pasadena (AWP).  The program seeks to harness the vast resources of wisdom, knowledge and experience available in the community and apply those resources to the needs of local students.  It is driven by a common vision that all people are of infinite worth and deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential.

AWP is a cooperative partnership between Scott United Methodist Church and other local faith-based organizations, the Pasadena Unified School District, Pasadena City College and other local academic institutions, and the local business community. 


AWP is committed to a vision that all people are of infinite worth.  This vision compels us to live as ambassadors in the world and to ignite a spirit of hope and inspiration in our youth by preparing them for academic success and aiding them in acquiring the life skills necessary for a purposeful and productive life.


AWP seeks to instill positive social values and provide training in fundamental academic and social skills for students and parents by promoting the following components:

  • Mentorship - AWP recruits mentors from Pasadena and surrounding communities by way oflocal congregations, organizations and academic institutions.  Mentors provide tutoring, training in employment skills, counseling, and other resources that will enable students to complete their high school education, to be fully prepared for entrance into higher education, and to successfully pursue careers of their choice.
  • Family - AWP strives to cultivate meaningful relationships with parents and to provide a support system for families.  Parents, guardians, and other significant adults are offered classes in Early Childhood Development, are provided assistance with creating resumes and practicing mock interviews, and are assisted with development of social skills and grooming as needed.  Students are provided training in Youth Advocacy, informing them of their rights (including Kids and the Law).
  • Education - Provide resources, opportunities, and support to enable students to succeed in school.  Academic assistance is provided for elementary, middle and high school courses by way of Personalized Education Methods (PEM).  Students are exposed to career opportunities by way of field trips and adult Role Model assignments.  95% of past AWP high school student participants have either graduated or are currently attending college.
  • Service - Develop and maintain contact with schools and teachers, and provide support, counseling and assistance with the student’s academic experience.  AWP works directly with schools, churches, social/civic organizations and businesses in the local Pasadena area and neighboring communities.


AWP needs volunteers to assist in this important effort to rescue our youth from the dangers of educational failure. We urge you to contact a member of the Board of Directors or sign up here on our website and volunteer your services.  Every individual can contribute to the success of this community-based program in some way.


  • President / CEO: Dr. Jacqueline W. Jacobs
  • Vice President: Ms. Megan Pinnock
  • Secretary: Ms. Andrea Billue
  • Assistant Secretary: Ms. Patricia Simms
  • Fiscal Services / Human Resources: Ms. Odessa Walker
  • Program Director: Dr. David Jacobs, Jr.


      • Mr. Rodney Braxton
      • Dr. Mae P. Cowan
      • Ms. Betty J. Ford
      • Dr. Ardra Grubbs
      • Mr. Archie Hayes
      • Mr. Curtis Horton
      • Ms. Labarbara Madison
      • Ms. Irene McGowan
      • Dr. Ayesha Randall
      • Ms. Anne Traylor
      • Ms. Barbara Waffer


        • Mr. Truman T. Brown, Jr.
        • Dr. Cornish Rogers
        • Rev. Dr. James E. Stevenson, Sr.


        • Ms. Jeanette Garcia


        • Chair: Ms. Charlotte Gardner
        • Co-Chair: Mr. Willie "Skip" Robinson
        • Mr. Joe Barnes
        • Ms. Celeste Coleman
        • Ms. Herbertean Morris
        • Ms. Katy Townsend
        • Mr. Luke Walker