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Hand Holding a Plant

Aspire Higher

Time: 10:45 - 12:45


Age: 14+ 

Mentors:   Diann Ruesch, Kaylee Heninger 

Class Fee: $66 per semester

Class Description: 

This class is designed to empower your thinking, communication, and leadership skills so that in everything you do you will strive to aspire higher. The scholars will be met at their current skill levels and will expand them during the course of this class. As writing is a vital element of clear communication, thinking, and leadership, there will be a strong focus on expanding writing skills, including grammar, spelling, and flow. Scholars will participate in reading and group discussions in order to facilitate aspired thinking as they begin to understand the power of words while strengthening their vocabulary skills.  Scholars will also unlock their ability to find and express their purpose through the power of the spoken word as they prepare oral presentations on current events and vocabulary from the book, Aspire: Discovering Your Purpose Through the Power of Words. This class is for the scholar who is ready for greater growth in preparation for Apprentice Scholar Phase, and will require a significant time investment every week (10-15 hours).


*In return for these efforts, mentors will work with the scholar individually and be available for

extra help (within reason) should the scholar need it. 


We will also have an optional Aspire Retreat that scholars can choose to earn before class begins with some camping and a visit to Yellowstone National Park August 5-8. Requirements to earn this trip will be sent after registration. 

Expectations and Goals:


4-5 Sections per week (20-30 minutes per week)


Caught’Ya Vocabulary

All vocab words for the next week’s sections. Define simply in vocab. notebook. (10-20 minutes per week)


Perfect English Grammar Workbook

3 Sections per week (20-30 minutes per week)



One book every third class.  About 5 books each semester


Book Vocab

Due every book, 5+ words per book.



Spend a few hours each week working on the next essay due. Spring Semester will include a research paper.


Aspire book reading

One chapter every three weeks. The Foreword, Author’s Note, and Chapter 1 are due the first day of class. A one minute oral presentation will be due every three weeks.


Oral Presentations

Every week during Fall semester (except for Aspire weeks), we will have one or two scholars give a quick oral presentation on a current event of their choice. Scholars will be asked to source information from at least two opposing viewpoints. (2-3 first semester) Spring semester, the scholars will be asked to give longer, more complete speeches on a current event of their choice.


This class will include a midterm exam on the last day of Fall semester, and a final exam on the last day of Spring semester.


Required Materials and Text NOT INCLUDED in class fee:

  • 3 Ring Binder

  • College ruled paper for notes, writing, classwork (loose leaf or notebook)

  • The Perfect English Grammar Workbook by Lisa McLendon

  • Pens and pencils will be needed each class. Scholars might appreciate having a highlighter or two as

       well. All practice sheets and other content materials will be provided in class.

  • Books:


Aspire: Discovering your Purpose Through the Power of Words by Kevin Hall (both semesters)

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen

The Lonesome Gods by Louis L'amour

East by Edith Pattou



The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Tending Roses by Lisa Wingate

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Mother Teresa by Kathryn Spink

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

All of the books have audiobook options. However, it is highly recommended that even if audio is

used, a text version is used to accompany it so that spelling and vocabulary are easier to find. 


**Remember: “You are a WRITER, you are a SPEAKER, you have something IMPORTANT to share.**

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