Ho, ho, ho! It is officially THAT time of the year! 🎅🏻 Are you ready for our Aspire Christmas Reunion?
The notification that pops up in your Facebook feed and takes you back in the shoes of the person that you were when you first joined Aspire. The event that brings back some of your most cherished memories, all while being the epitome of fun. The tingling excitement of seeing people that have become so close to your heart in such short notice. The pleasant burden of having to choose the perfect gift for the Secret Santa tradition and the childish curiosity to see what it is that you’re getting this year.
Despite needing to adapt to a tumultuous context and having suffered a few (unnoticeable) changes, the Aspire Christmas Reunion is getting close here once again. So, sit comfortably and buckle up for a new Aspire journey; this time, get ready to discover how the Aspire program can be transformed, even in the most difficult of times, but can still find the way to your heart in the most beautiful of ways. This year, it’s true that we meet under a new format, but the essence stays the same: it’s the people that matter.
But first, let’s take a trip down memory lane.
2013 – First time we gathered around the Christmas tree, for our first ever edition of the Christmas ball
2014 – We had our big family reunited and spent a marvelous evening together!
2015 – This year was filled with new friends, networking, and lots of memories.
2016 – We gathered the community and celebrated for a night full of fun, good music and friends reuniting from all over the world
2017 – A party to remember: this was our largest Christmas ball, with 145 people celebrating together an awesome year
2018 – The Christmas spirit was all around us during this magical party with a Winter Wonderland theme
2019 – We gathered to sing Christmas carols, make good deeds for the Aspire Giveback and share Secret Santa gifts
We all spend weeks counting down the days until the newsletter announcing the Aspire ball. For us, Christmas is more than a time for giving and receiving gifts. It is our chance to reconnect with those we met during Aspire Program and the Christmas Reunion is the perfect time to create new memories for the year to come.
Smaranda Camber, an Aspire High School 2015 alumna, is sharing with us how our annual festive tradition acts as a catalyst for reconnecting with dear alumni, and as a stimulus to “listen, learn and enjoy”.
“Ever since attending the Aspire High School Programme back in 2015, the Christmas Ball has been my go-to way of keeping in touch with the community. Maybe because the first one I ever attended was a life changing experience that convinced me within hours to apply to study abroad, less than 2 weeks before the deadline (thank you, David Timis). Maybe because most of us are likely to work during summers but tend to reunite with families on Christmas. Or maybe because of the signature dinner, dances & fun.
To me, the yearly Christmas Ball is that period of reuniting with dear, familiar faces or having well-rounded chats about anything & everything with Alumni from across Europe. Every year, it’s a bliss to connect with Alumni from my promotion.Smaranda Camber
To hear how everyone’s been and what each has been up to. To listen, learn and enjoy. For those who have never attended such event, the typical format is sitting at the dinner table, being introduced to a few new faces, then quickly escalating any chat to the photo booth/ hall/ dance floor. Throughout the process, you typically have a few breaks for the signature dinner & Secret Santa, or the cake & fireworks.”
Sure, this might hold during typical years. But the current pandemic comes with a couple of changes to the standard format. With a full schedule of guests and activities, this year’s edition comes with a big gift to all our Aspirers. Our surprise speaker is:
Add a new twist to your holiday tradition and cozy up on the couch as you listen to Steven Jarding right from your living room. Steven Jarding is an American and international educator, lecturer at Harvard Kennedy School, writer and political consultant. He is recognized as an expert in campaign management and political strategies. He has served as a senior strategist and campaign manager for various US representatives. This year he is going to join the Aspire family and grace us with his presence during the holiday season for the first time!