Helios Education Foundation’s strategic mission is to create opportunities for every individual in Arizona and Florida to succeed in postsecondary education. With more and more future jobs requiring a highly skilled workforce, it is critical that all students pursue and complete some form of postsecondary education, including attaining a certificate, license or degree. Attainment of a postsecondary education will open the door to more opportunities for students and ensure that they can compete successfully for the jobs of the future. Helios’ work in the Postsecondary Completion area includes: Structuring supports to facilitate successful transition to credit bearing courses, constructing scholarships to support persistence and completion and focusing supports and guidance on certificate and degree pathways.
Celebrating 10 Years of Impact in Postsecondary Completion
Over the past decade, Helios Education Foundation has invested over $40 million in Postsecondary Completion initiatives. Strategic partnerships with colleges, universities and other philanthropic organizations have not only led to scholarships, but the implementation of innovative and necessary support systems that target traditionally underserved and under-resourced students, including first-generation and minority students and students from rural areas. A portion of the Foundation’s investment in this area has provided scholarships and supports for over 8,000 students in Arizona and Florida.
2014 Community Investments in Postsecondary Completion: $6,060,000
Arizona Earn to Learn
Live the Solution
Helios’ support of Live the Solution facilitates the development of a strategic plan and ensures capacity building for the long-term sustainability of the Arizona Earn to Learn program. Arizona Earn to Learn provides matched-savings incentives though special savings accounts for students from low-income families. Participants who successfully complete the savings program requirements receive an eight-to-one match on their savings applicable toward tuition costs at any Arizona public university.
Latino Student Scholarships and Support/Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Arizona Community Foundation
This investment is providing scholarships and supports in alignment with the Foundation’s Latino College Success Initiative. In addition, this partnership is helping engage the business community in the success of Latino students through internships and mentoring.
Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation
With a focus on increasing postsecondary attainment rates of Latino students in Arizona, this investment includes comprehensive student supports, financial assistance and mentoring for students, as well as opportunities for parent and family engagement in their students’ academic success. Students are engaged throughout their community-college experience with academic and financial supports that propel them toward achieving an Associate’s degree and/or certificate completion, as well as transition into baccalaureate degree-granting institutions. This investment also includes $500,000 in a reverse transfer initiative.
College Success Arizona
This capacity-building investment will broaden College Success Arizona’s (formerly Arizona College Scholarship Foundation’s) community impact with an increased focus on advocating for and building supports and programs to increase postsecondary education success for low-income, under-served students in Arizona.
Community College Individual Development Account Scholarship
A New Leaf
A New Leaf’s Community College Individual Development Account (IDA) Scholarship program aims to remove financial barriers to education and support degree completion for low-income and underserved individuals. Support from Helios will expand and strategically align the IDA program to increase the number of postsecondary degrees awarded.
Talent Development Network
Florida International University
The Foundation’s support of capacity building for the Talent Development Network will enable Florida International University in partnership with other institutions of higher education to develop a regional internship program for students aligned with South Florida’s economic needs. The network is an innovative model for building and retaining talent, establishing and growing a regional internship culture and aligning academic curriculum with regional industry needs.