Ase 15 for 15 Fundraiser

Ase Fam

Happy Thanksgiving! I am happy to announce that we at Ase have launched our fundraising page. We are encouraging donations in increments of $15 in honor of our 15th anniversary. Please consider donating this holiday season. We really appreciate your donations and they make a huge difference in resources available to our students. Please see the link above to donate. Thank you!

Heritage, Each One Teach One

Ase Academy had it’s third Saturday on November 9th. The day opened with a breakfast discussion about heritage guest lead Lucas O’Connor and the Ase mentors, Janel Alston and Elise Mitchell, members of the Onyx Senior Honors Society, which is also celebrating a 40th anniversary this spring. The conversation was both compelling and reverent as students and mentors contributed to defining heritage connecting it to the concept of Sankofa and themes from their Ase lessons. Following breakfast sixth and eighth grade students were invited to lead Harambee with dances and lively activities including a few high energy rounds of “Don’t Make Us Get Hype!”

Students then broke out into grade groups for lessons. High school students were introduced to standardized testing and processes for applying for scholarships, while the middle schools students worked through lessons on race, gender, and media representation in their respective grade groups. Following lessons the students all returned to Dubois College House for their first arts session lead by Penn’s undergraduate African dance and drumming troupe, African Rhythms. African Rhythms members taught our Ase students to drum and dance, leaving time for a quick showcase at the end.

Here is one priceless Ase moment when Chris Croft, a member of African Rhythms taught an Ase 8th grader how to drum.

Here is one priceless Ase moment when Chris Croft, a member of African Rhythms taught an Ase 8th grader how to drum.

And here is the same 8th grade student passing on the tradition by teaching a new 6th grader how to drum.

And here is the same 8th grade student passing on the tradition by teaching a new 6th grader how to drum.

Ase Academy Receives a Year of Sound Grant!

Ase Academy is proud to announce that we are recipients of one of the University of Pennsylvania’s 2013 Year of Sound Grants!


Every year the University of Pennsylvania allows student groups and departments to apply for small theme year grants to help defray the costs of programs relating to the them year. This year’s theme is “The Year of Sound.” Following this theme Ase students will be learning about the African Diaspora through sound by exploring the themes of music, media, dance, speech and oration, noise pollution, poetry, stepping, and more in the context of the African Diaspora. Ase will be using the $750 grant to defray the cost of classroom supplies and Saturday breakfast.

The hard work of our undergraduate board helped make this happen, however our fundraising is not done yet. With the help of the Makuu Black Cultural Center we will be launching a 15 for 15 fundraising campaign encouraging alumni and friends to donate in increments of $15 in honor of our 15th anniversary! We will have more information on the campaign soon.

15 Years Strong!

Ase Academy kicked off with our first Saturday on October 26th in the multi-purpose room in Dubois College House. The location was apropos given that the organization was first founded by Penn students in that very room almost fifteen years ago. Prior to our opening day, current undergraduate board members arranged interviews for an article with the Daily Pennsylvanian (check it out here) and held an afternoon retreat with new mentors, Brian Peterson, and former Ase mentors Kaneesha Parsard and Ryan Jobson in Harnwell College House. Mentors left the retreat, which has become an annual Ase tradition, inspired and ready for the first Saturday.

On October 26th Dubois college house was filled with 30 eager middle and high school students, mentors (new and returning), and an electric energy. The students enjoyed breakfast while getting acquainted with their new mentors. The remainder of the morning was filled with a lively Harambee welcome and active and educational icebreakers. Later that afternoon students broke out into grade groups with mentors for diagnostic essays and lessons ranging from college preparatory skills to tracing the history of Afro-American performance art. Needless to say it was an eventful Saturday!


Stay tuned for more posts on the coming weeks!