Student Programs

One of the best ways to learn is through experience, and that's why LiFE student programs include a host of ways students experience and develop their leadership, financial acumen, and entrepreneurial mindset first-hand. Each of these programs contribute to the one-of-a-kind community of students that lead themselves and have the capacity and inclination to lead others.

Bear’s Student Enterprises (BSE):

What happens when 7th and 8th graders are given a chance to own and operate small businesses on campus? Aspen Academy decided to find out! Middle schoolers learn how to operate, market and finance fully functioning businesses on campus. The opportunities that Aspen Academy provides prepares our graduates for real world expectations.

Bear’s Student Enterprises, which began in 2008, is comprised of business divisions including:

Highlights of Bear’s Student Enterprises:

  • Provide special orders to community members
  • Order and manage inventory
  • Develop and implement marketing strategies
  • Prepare financial statements, including profit and loss statements, cash flow statements and balance sheets
  • Present an annual report to the Board of Trustees
  • Use the Entrepreneurial Operating System Traction model to run efficient and productive meetings
  • Over 40 leadership opportunities within Bear’s Student Enterprises

Mentor Project


  • Gain leadership attributes and understanding of leadership as it relates to professional and personal development.
  • Learn the meaning and application of leadership skills in a variety of environments such as the workplace and public through the eyes and experiences of leaders with diverse backgrounds.
  • Gain access to the experiences of professionals for guidance in time management, communication and networking skills.
  • Develop skills and knowledge to become future mentors.



  • Gain personal satisfaction from enriching the student’s experience through leadership development.
  • Give back to Aspen Academy and the Aspen Youth Leadership Institute through development of students as leaders for the future by personally and professionally supporting their growth.
  • Enhance coaching, feedback and existing leadership skills.
  • Exposure to new and different thinking styles, knowledge and perspectives.
  • Opportunity to establish or revisit your personal mission, vision and values statements as well as your ten year life plan.

Aspen Morning Program (AMP’d)

Every two weeks the students write, produce, and perform a variety - type show for our entire Aspen Community. We pack the house to share our community celebration. As Aspen Morning Program (AMP'd) is gearing up to begin, our audience is enjoying a coffee or refreshment from our Student run Bear’s Café. Kids and families are excitedly awaiting the doors to open at 8:15. If you were to walk into our Theater, you would see the 8th grade students staging the performers, running the sound and lighting board, our performers of the day preparing; which consists of two grade levels, the BSE news anchors, National Anthem performance and a couple of acts in our talent corner. The community and camaraderie is electrifying. We invite our community to visit and join our Program regularly.

Learn more

AMP'd Performances

Service Learning

Service learning connects academic learning with civic engagement and creates an opportunity for experiential learning. Every grade will have the opportunity to take part in an effective service-learning project that meets an authentic need in their community. Our students develop strong decision-making and problem-solving capabilities within the project that fosters a sense of ownership. Aspen Academy students are involved with the following service learning experiences:

Grade Level Service Projects

Student Civic Organization (SCO):

The intent of our Student Civic Organization (SCO) exists to create an edifying experience that inspires continued civic and community leadership. SCO is modeled after the United States Federal Government

SCO Structure

Student Ambassador:

No one tells Aspen Academy’s story better than our students. Our Student Ambassador Program provides leadership development opportunities for 3rd through 8th grade students. Student ambassadors are selected based on their commitment to the school’s mission and vision and strong academic and social skills. Participation in this program is through faculty selection and involves an application process, an interview, and extensive training. Students selected for this program spend a day with new students, serve as greeters and campus hosts at Aspen Academy events, and represent Aspen Academy in our community.


7 Reasons Aspen Academy is the Best
(Chase G., Student Ambassador Video) 

8th Grade Shark Tank

As an 8th grade student, you have the opportunity to participate in a real-life Shark Tank competition. Each individual student creates their own business where they come up with an idea, create a product or service, a business plan, and then a go-to market strategy. The students then present their business plan to a panel of “sharks”, competing against their peers for a winning title and a check presented to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

Goals of the Shark Tank Competition

  • Students are able to turn their thoughts into things
  • Students learn how to seek out a proper market for their business
  • Students develop revenue and experience through their active business
  • Students face business challenges with knowledge and strength

8th Grade Businesses & Pitch Examples