Leadership program empowers DU’s women of color

Davenport University’s new ASPIRE program — Achieving Success through Positive Interaction, Reflection and Empowerment — helps women of color achieve academic success, develop as leaders, and foster strong interpersonal skills and relationships.

Justine Shelton, assistant director of Student Life, recognized a need to support minority women in her first month at DU.

“I met with many of the students to gain their perspective on what additional opportunities could be given to ensure students felt supported during their time here at DU,” said Shelton, who serves as lead mentor and advisor of ASPIRE.

“All of the minority women I was able to speak with initiated a conversation of sisterhood, mentorship and support for opportunities to assist with their career choices.”

ASPIRE provides mentorship and opportunities to women of color throughout their journey at DU.

“ASPIRE is very new and we are working on building the ASPIRE community further,” said Disha Roddy, president of ASPIRE. “We have women — both living on campus and commuters — who come from all different backgrounds, looking for support.”

ASPIRE hosts two meetings per month during the school year.

“During one of the meetings each month, we usually have a speaker who gives words of encouragement, teaches leadership skills or gives career advice,” Roddy said. “Already, I’ve seen a sense of self-esteem develop in the women involved.”

Get Involved with ASPIRE

Serve as a resource and help encourage women of color through their journeys at DU. Email Justine.Shelton@davenport.edu to learn more about how you can get involved.


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