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ASPIRE News

FCAN Advocacy Spotlight

During the fall of 2021, FCAN kicked off its first Advocacy Fellowship, working with Local College Access Networks (LCANs) to bring student voices to Tallahassee and advocating for statewide policies to reach Florida’s SAIL to 60 Initiative and achieve a Talent Strong Florida. This is the sixth and final part of a spotlight series featuring the LCANs who participated and highlighting the real stories of their students who advocated for emergency financial aid and a universal FAFSA completion policy. Read Part 1 2 3 4 and 5.

ASPIRE and Student Fellow
Zenani Johnson

Formed in 2018, ASPIRE is the LCAN serving Leon, Gadsden, and Wakulla counties. ASPIRE works to ensure that all of its students are college and career ready — based on their desired pathway — with the necessary skills to positively impact their communities. ASPIRE recognizes that certain labor shifts in demand could adversely impact traditionally underserved communities. With this in mind, this LCAN leverages the assets of partner organizations and community stakeholders in order to best scale educational and workforce opportunities appropriately.

Last year, ASPIRE participated in FCAN’s Advocacy Fellowship — along with student fellow Zenani Johnson — to advocate for emergency aid and the need for universal FAFSA. (Click here to learn more about the current gaps Florida is facing in FAFSA completion and how a universal FAFSA policy could propel students on a path to success. During her time at the University of West Florida in 2017, Zenani was inspired to take action after learning that a close friend and fellow UWF student was homeless.

 

"I collaborated with university leadership and case management services to develop the Student Emergency Support Fund," Zenani said. "This is just one example of how critical it is to have programs available for students to help them complete their studies, regardless of their financial situation.”