ASPIRE Initiative

aspire (verb): To have a powerful or ambitious plan, desire, or hope to do or be something
What do you aspire to? To go to college? To own your own car or home? To be successful?

If you’re a young person currently or formerly in foster care in Rhode Island, then Foster Forward’s ASPIRE Initiative (formerly the Rhode Island Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative) can help you achieve your goals.

Launched with funding from the National Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, ASPIRE (Aligning Savings, Permanency, Information, Resources, and Empowerment) is a collaboration among Foster Forward, DCYF, and local community agencies. ASPIRE helps young people impacted by foster care get on the path to financial independence. Through financial education and support in saving toward a purchase goal, the ASPIRE Initiative empowers youth-ages 14-24 who have spent at least one day after their 14th birthday in an out-of-home DCYF placement to manage and save their money and become successful adults.

ASPIRE participants receive the following:

  • Eight hours of classroom-based, comprehensive financial education, tailored to the unique needs of young people in foster care
  • Assistance with setting goals for saving money
  • $100 toward the opening of an Individual Development Account (IDA) with Citizens Bank, and a dollar-for-dollar match, up to $1,000 per year, toward the purchase of such items as cars, education expenses, housing expenses, health expenses, and investments
  • Access to community resources and supports  
  • Additional financial education specific to transportation, housing, saving and investing, and education and training
  • Access to financial coaching

For more information, please contact Victoria Ferrara at 401.438.3900 ext. 105 or Tiffanie Barbosa at ext. 114.

See Also

This program is supported through a Consolidated Youth Services contract with the Department of Children, Youth and Families. Part of Consolidated Youth Services (CYS), ASPIRE is one of many services designed to ensure the successful transition of young people from the Rhode Island foster care system to adulthood.
ASPIRE is also supported through generous contracts with the National Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative,  the United Way of Rhode Island, and Bank of America.

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