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About Ashera Project

Ashera Project is an innovative, grassroots 501(c)3 incorporated non-profit organization founded in August 2002, and providing pregnancy prevention and youth development services for students in grades 9 through 12 at Reagan High School in Austin, Texas since 2004. Students are encouraged to participate in three years of group programming and select 12th grade students who have participated in all three years are hired as peer educators. Although each grade has a particular focus, all levels of the program incorporate topics related to healthy behaviors, including sexuality, community involvement and educational opportunities. As Ashera Project has grown in resources each year, we have expanded to reach more students, and the 2007-2008 school year will see our first fully-loaded program, with 9th-12th graders participating. Though our programs have been sought for other challenged area high schools, we focus first on success at Reagan High School, and plan to expand slowly for sustainability.

Why start with Reagan High School?

  • With 97% minority enrollment, this urban school has been historically under-resourced
  • Student mobility (transfer rate) can reach 40% due to family circumstances (jobs, housing, etc.)
  • It has been estimated that 2 out of 3 students do not graduate, for various reasons

Ashera Project's Vision

Ashera Project seeks to further equity and justice while fostering social change through providing youth and their families with the skills and education that promote healthy behaviors.

Ashera Project's Mission

Ashera Project is committed to providing youth with the skills, knowledge and support to become successful, healthy and active members of their communities.

Frequently Asked Questions about Ashera Project

Friends of Ashera Project

Ashera Project depends upon the support and generosity of the Austin community. We would like to thank the following individuals, businesses and organizations for contributing time, energy and resources to the Ashera Project:
2007 Program Supporters:
Austin Community Foundation
First UU Church of Austin
2006 Program Supporters:
Central Texas Women's Fund
The Benge-Hury Family Foundation
First UU Church of Austin
Owen Egerton and the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown (for The Best of Sex Ed)
Thundercloud Subs
Costco
Anna's Toy Depot
The Lovely Sparrows
The Heirs
Klier Channel
Things That Go Pop
Club de Ville
David Heath - Half Price Books
Beth Hurley and Brooke Shertzer - Communities in Schools
Emily Mathon - American YouthWorks
Dwan Adams - Caring Family Network
Joanna Johnson - Town Lake Animal Shelter
Susan Frentz-Robinson - Austin Groups for the Elderly
John Welton - Salvation Army
Cynthia Brown - Planned Parenthood
Shannon Sandrea - SafePlace
Youthlaunch: No Kidding - Straight Talk from Teen Parents
Kenya Masala - Source Consulting
Nurse Diana Dean - HTU HIV Peer Educators
Rachel Portnoy and Stephanie Hebert (Co-facilitators)
Jennifer Curtiss
Tina Anderson
2005 Have a latte'. Give a lot-te'. Donors:
A Thousand Petals
Alisa Miller
Allan Campbell
AmyDor Enterprises
Anne Hanrahan
Ararat
Austin Java
Austin Motel
Barnes & Noble
Book Woman
Christine Blaha-James
Courtney Hans
Daring Dog Domino
Dharma Yoga
Dr. Jay VanBavel
Dwan Adams
Eco-Wise
El Sol Y La Luna
Emily Dewees
Garden Spot
Gumbo's
I Rok Gems
Illumniation Spotlight
Javier Lopez-Cantu
Jennifer Curtiss
Jennifer Darrouzet
Karen Goldsum
Kate Clark
Keith Greenstein
Kenneth Bobo
Kevin Tijerina
King and Associates
LifeWorks Ben & Jerry’s PartnerShop
Lizzie Cain-Clark
Magnolia Café
Mary Beth Martini
Melissa B. Light
Michele Kenney
Moxie & the Compound
Nomadic Notions
Old Pecan St. Café
Plume
Rootin' Ridge Toymakers
Slaughter Lane Chiropractic
Spike Gillespie
Sun Dragon Martial Arts and Self Defense
Terra Biddleman
Teo’s Gelato
Trish's Delicious Organic Dishes
Vanessa Svihla
Waterloo Winds
2005 Have a latte'. Give a lot-te'. Volunteers:
Joseph Brantley
Kate Clark
Jennifer Curtiss
Jennifer Darrouzet
Sarah Evascu
Shana Ginsberg
Stephanie Green
Courtney Hans
Stephanie Hebert
Stephanie Kopka
Brianne Labauve
Jessica Mann
Melita Noel
Kim Petrilli
Rachel Portnoy
Kim Roche
Emily Rogers
Darcy Totten
Previous Supporters:
Alpha Graphics
Austin Community Foundation
AustinMamas
Austin Pizza
Carrie Clark
Club de Ville
State Representative Dawnna Dukes
Earl Vallery
Elizabeth McQueen
Grub Dog
Halley
James Mann
Keith Greenstein
KOOP
Mamis of Color radio show
Matt the Electrician
Panic Button
People United radio show
Radical Mother's Voice radio show
Red Eyed Fly
Ruta Maya Coffee Company
Show Place Lanes
Something Happened
Things That Go Pop
Three Pot Offy
Traci Rachal Reece
Visitors

Why Ashera?

Long-term problems need long-term solutions...

Our program follows at-risk youth through high school's critical four grades, laying a foundation for broader opportunities:
  1. GET THE FACTS - mastering reproductive health and relationship skills
  2. BE THE CHANGE - finding community resources and volunteering
  3. SET YOUR GOALS - job-skills and making life plans
  4. LEAD THE WAY - guiding younger students
Net result **STAY IN SCHOOL**

But what is an "Ashera"??
Back in the day when the most common way to lose a mother, sister, or daughter was in childbirth, tribal women looked to the goddess Ashera when they needed reproductive good fortune for the literal survival of their families. In Ashera's lore were the wise ways passed from generation to generation, just as it is our aim to provide our community's youth with lessons for a better life. We pronounce it "a-share-a".