Our Strategic Initiatives

Helios Education Foundation's voice around creating opportunities for postsecondary education success and changing lives through education is emerging through its strategic initiatives in Arizona and Florida. The Foundation is contributing its leadership, expertise and financial resources to all of its programs across both states, but with particular emphasis on five key initiatives that are working to transform education systems and create a college-going culture.  |  Read More
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Early Childhood Education


A new Helios Education Foundation and University of Arizona (UA) collaboration is generating system change in early childhood education. CREATE (communities as resources in early childhood teacher education) is shifting the way educators learn about their students and is adding a stronger emphasis on early literacy and language acquisition that incorporates the community's culture and voice into the classroom. The Foundation invested over $1.5 million into this effort.  |  Read More

Transition Years (Grades 5-12)


Helios Education Foundation is working with Pinal County schools, the Arizona Rural Education Alliance Foundation and the Central Arizona College to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teaching in the classroom. The Foundation's over $800,000 investment in the Next Generation of STEM Leaders is creating new professional development opportunities that train teachers to become STEM leaders.  |  Read More
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Recognizing the critical role STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education plays in better preparing students for postsecondary education and career success, Helios Education Foundation is investing over $1.4 million in new Tampa Bay initiatives that focus on teacher quality and content knowledge in STEM.

As part of that investment, $495,000 is being directed toward a Citrus County initiative that is offering all 6th through 8th grade math and science teachers the opportunity to increase their knowledge in integrating math, science and computing in the classroom.  |  Read More


Getting families and communities more engaged early on in guiding a student's academic growth and development is essential to ensuring student success across the education continuum. Studies indicate that engaged families and communities are more likely to set high academic expectations that support a college-going culture and are most likely to succeed in ensuring college access and completion for their students.  |  Read More
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Postsecondary Scholarships


Increasing college graduation rates for first-generation and under-represented students at the University of Tampa is the primary goal of a new initiative called Student Success - Responding to a National Imperative. Helios is investing $1.3 million over four years in this effort to create an academically effective and socially-supportive environment around students that includes scholarships.  |  Read More


In the national movement to better prepare students to achieve academic success, more emphasis is being placed on equipping students with the problem-solving and analytical skills most often associated with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. As a result, the need for more math and science teachers is on the rise.

In fact, some analysts say that the U.S. will need 200,000 more math and science teachers by 2015 in order to meet ongoing education demands. They also say that the pool of math and science teachers with strong content knowledge is on the decline.  |  Read More