About Us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Welcome to Arizona Exceptional Students Association. We are an educational advocacy agency dedicated to servicing exceptional students who fall outside the curve. We are here to help you!

Here’s how:


Special Education Advocacy

  We offer consultation with one of our expert educational advocates for prices well below other advocates. Prices start at $15 an hour and include any kind of educational consultation. If your child is in a public, private, or charter school and you feel their educational needs are not being met, speak with one of our specially-trained advocates. We can recommend testing based on common behaviors and walk you through the IEP/504 process. We understand that your child’s education is important and some students need some additional support.


AESA Academy

  From cooking to calculus, AESA Academy offers in-person classes for students with special needs. Classes specialize in students who required additional support in their learning goals. We employ 4 special education teachers who are licensed in the State of Arizona K-12 Sped Cross curricular, and K-8 General Ed. Our classes will focus on real-world applications of skills, knowledge, and abilities. We hope to prepare students through their academic career and help them to transition into adulthood and beyond. AESA Academy will accept payment using Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) . If you don’t have an ESA, that’s OK, our classes will be affordable if you choose to pay by other methods.


Empowering Exceptional Students of Arizona Conference

  Once a year, in June, AESA will sponsor the Empowering Exceptional Students of Arizona Conference (EESA). The conference will provide a place for ESA families to connect with ESA-friendly vendors. We will offer workshops and vendor-supported programs. This year’s conference, the first of its kind anywhere in the state, will celebrate the Empowerment Scholarship Account and those vendors who support this wonderful program. All vendors will provide products and services that can be purchased using ESA funds.


EESA Vendor Directory

  Our annual directory will feature every vendor who purchased a spot at our conference. Because space is always limited at our conference, we allow other vendors who were unable to attend to sell their ESA-approved products. We include many vendors who live out of state and do not have a representative in Arizona. In addition, we list available tutors and their respective subject who have a desire to work with ESA families.


The REED Scholarship

  The Resources for Exceptional Education Defense (REED) Scholarship will provide money to families who need special education legal advice. There is no other program in the state that offers this kind of assistance to special needs families. Sometimes things don’t quite work out with a school district and it turns into a legal battle. Many parents can not afford to even consult with an attorney let alone retain one. The REED Scholarship will present recipients with $3000 to use toward due process.


Young Entrepreneur Program: YEP!

  Many young adults who have special needs find it difficult to find a good-paying job that can turn into a fruitful career. They are often tasked with menial jobs that often pay less than minimum wage. We want to empower these special young adults to find their joy, their passion, and their talent and turn it into a profitable business they can rely on as their sole source of income. We partner with community leaders who will guide the “yippies” through the process of taking their dream and making it a reality.

Get Connected

  We have several social groups on Facebook. Our presence on other platforms needs to be expanded. If you love to Tweet or use Instagram, we’d love for you to share your talent with us. Sign up today to become a volunteer. We have positions available in every field from marketing to tutoring and If you are interested in working as a volunteer at the EESA conference this June, please let us know by emailing us: eesofa@gmail.com

 

Why here? Why now?

  We are excited to serve the West Valley. We saw a great number of opportunities on the East side for families with exceptional students but saw the overwhelming need for educational advocacy and support in the West. We look forward to helping in any way we can. We hope to empower those students who fall “outside the curve” to become more than they ever thought possible.

About the founders:

  My name is John Harris, and I am Michelle’s husband. This nonprofit has really been a blessing to me, to Michelle and to my family. Michelle, as you will come to know if you don’t know her already,  has the ability to research anything. Trust me when I tell you from a husband perspective, she is very difficult to debate with. The irony is that I am a middle school English teacher. I TEACH debate! I have been a public school teacher for 19 years. I have a MAEd in education and love going to work everyday,

In November 2016, Michelle began running a IEP/504 Assistance Facebook group. It has given Michelle an avenue for her God-given talent: her ability to find information and explain it to someone who does not understand. Not only does she have a purpose for her ability, it has ignited a passion to help others who are going through what she went through with our own children. In two years, Michelle has cultivated a relationship with 5100+ people (mostly mothers) who are frustrated with how their local school is treating them. They don’t understand why someone at the school can’t see what they see at home. They watch their child have melt downs over homework they don’t understand and behaviors that go unnoticed. After consulting with Michelle, here are just a few of the things they have said:

“Michelle gave me the confidence boost I needed to go in and fight for my son!”

“Exceptional page, exceptional woman. The information provided gave me all the confidence and fire power needed to fight for my sons right to public education and other resources they can and should provide.”

“I cannot even guess how many children her knowledge is helping.”

Such a passion now has a place to flourish. She created what is now a 501(c)3 nonprofit called Arizona Exceptional Students Association. Our main purpose is to help parents by giving them the information they need to advocate for their own children. Much like what she does for her group. The nonprofit, in concept, has grown to include the programs mentioned in this release.

If you would like to make a tax-free donation or become a member, please go to www.aesa.group. If you’d like to volunteer in a specific capacity, please contact john@aesa.group or michelle@aesa.group. If you would like to volunteer at our conference, please email eesofa@gmail.com. We look forward to serving the West Valley and the Phoenix area.