Character and Leadership Development

Every single person must, at the very least, learn how to lead themselves. Our aim is to center our instruction for both children and adults alike, growing self sufficiency, self management, self discipline, and self efficacy. Upon achievement of a higher sense of self mastery, we can then focus outward, contributing our leadership in a way that creates capacity for others. Rooted in universal principles dating back to the earliest of thinkers, Future Holders (previously Aspen Youth Leadership Institute) content proves relevant to participants of every age and walk of life. Providing a comprehensive and sequenced daily curriculum, Future Holders embodies an innovative vision that challenges the constraints of traditional education, preparing students to change the world. 

Future Holders has first of its kind, and the only Pre-K through 8th grade school-based program in the nation that is explicitly devoted to the development of emotional and social intelligence as well as community and civic leadership. Daily leadership classes focus on the development of concepts and skills in the following categories:

  • Personal Effectiveness
  • Intra and Interpersonal Awareness
  • Character
  • Leadership


Bear Student Enterprises

Through a 30-minute daily leadership class, students complete Aspen Leadership Institute curriculum coursework in the following areas:

Character & Leadership Development

  • Personal Values, Worth, & Potential
  • Managing Mindset
  • Effective Goal Setting
  • Positive Influence in Community

Social Emotional Learning

  • Emotional Recognition
  • Stress Management & Resilience 
  • Positive Relationship Building
  • Responsible Decision Making

Cultural Competency

  • Understand Cultural Identity
  • Recognize & Celebrate Differences
  • Equity & Inclusion
  • Respectful Discourse

Jennifer Gravlee

Director of Programs, Interim

Looking for a speaker for an upcoming event?


We're available to provide engaging and actionable tips for parents from workplace lunch and learns and Mom's groups, to community groups and more! Sample topics include:

Teaching Leadership to 4-Year Olds
Studies show the increasing need for leadership of self to begin at even earlier ages to foster resilience and positive and productive approaches to the world. Learn strategies for supporting your child!

Building Resilient Teens: How Focus on Character & Leadership Development Supports Students and Brings Out Their Best
Tweens and Teens suffer from increasing depression and anxiety. Learn productive ways to respond to your child and foster resilience as a positive and productive response to challenges.

Values Aligned: Creating Your Day to Day Life to Reflect What You Value
With constant demands on our time, we often overlook our values and prioritize on the urgent vs. the important. Learn how strategies to create space for more of your values in your daily life.

Power of Optimism and Positivity in Your Home or Workplace
Maintaining a positive outlook can add years to your life. Learn about research in positive psychology and it’s impact on our day-to-day approach to living longer and with more optimism.

Click here to schedule a speaker

learn more about future holders


How to Teach Resilience: 6 Lessons

Resilience is a trait that some believe comes naturally, but modern research is showing that it actually needs to be taught. The world we live in continually brings new problems to light and can cause confusion for young, developing minds. As parents and educators, it is our responsibility to give students the skills to “bounce back” from tough conversations and situations and to understand those are a part of life, but they can be overcome. Learn more in this blog!

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After School Car Conversations

We all know that moment. That moment, adult picks up kid, kid shuts the door. Adult says, “how was your day?” Then the one-word answer comes, “fine, good, boring, or bad.” Tips for questions to ask your students on the way home to learn more about their day!

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10 Practices for Everyday Leadership for Kids

It has been nearly two years of our world’s experience of unprecedented intensity, change, adaptation, and a heightened sense of the difficulty that surrounds us. While we are so desperately clinging to hope and optimism in these challenging times, as parents, grandparents, and educators, it can be very difficult to practice ourselves, let alone model for our children. Learn more about the 10 Practices that serve as a beacon for leadership for students at Aspen Academy in this blog.

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8th Grade Kicks Off Service Learning Projects for 2021-2022

During the first week of school, with apple tree branches filled with apples, 8th graders set to work harvesting. The class then donated the majority of our apple harvest to a local food bank in Littleton that serves 350 individuals in our community weekly. Read on for more about the important work our students are doing as leaders in the community.

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2021 Shark Tank: 8th Grade Students Compete in Final Round

Students at Aspen Academy continue learning and fueling the future with new ventures despite the pandemic. After making it through two rounds of “shark tanks,” pitching their businesses to successful entrepreneurs, six Eighth Grade students were selected for the final round of pitching on Friday, May 7th.

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