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 Future Holders 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


Katie Becker

Executive Director, Future Holders

Jennifer Gravlee

Aspen Youth Leadership Institute & Aspen Entrepreneurial Institute Coach

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


Transforming Education: Future Holders Launches Nationally

We hope that your receipt of the back to school plan brought you some comfort and clarity for what school will look like this fall. Your student is our priority. We remain steadfast in our commitment to the health and safety of all of our community members, while also ensuring that phenomenal programming continues each day. 

On a separate note (as many of you already know), our Aspen Youth Leadership Institute (AYLI) and Aspen Entrepreneurial Institute (AEI) curricula have been rebranded, expanded and moved online! We are thrilled to be launching Future Holders nationally. This is one more way that we will expand the reach of our Aspen Academy vision, continuing to be a national leader in innovative and transformative education. 

Read More about Transforming Education: Future Holders Launches Nationally
Make the World Better: A Community Comes Together Through Service Learning

In February, walking through the halls of Aspen Academy, you would have seen giant cardboard boxes decorated outside classrooms, overflowing with items identified for our annual community service project. This year’s partner, Packs of Hope, provides backpacks filled with essential clothing items to children and youth who are transitioning into out-of-home or foster care. The organization serves 8 counties in 10 locations, delivering more than 300 packs a month to children ages newborn to 18 years-old.

Read More about Make the World Better: A Community Comes Together Through Service Learning
The Simple Guide to Teaching Life Skills

Over the years we have embarked on the process of explicit teaching of concepts that are often assumed to be “absorbed” in the context of home or school. Concepts including: attitude, emotions, responsibility, listening, etc. In today’s world, we cannot assume that these skills naturally develop -- we have to teach them.

Read More about The Simple Guide to Teaching Life Skills