Helios Education Foundation invests its financial resources annually in education initiatives in Arizona and Florida that are building a pipeline of students who are prepared for success from the earliest years through college and career. Investing across the entire education continuum helps to create a college-going and completing culture in our communities. Below is a summary of the Foundation’s 2017 community investments. Included in the total investment figure are the Foundation’s charitable contributions toward education activities, including sponsorships, supporting organization grants, and other education-related community investments.


Helios' 2017 Community Investments


ASU Foundation for a New American University
The Decision Center for Educational Excellence Powered by Helios Education Foundation

The Decision Center for Educational Excellence Powered by Helios Education Foundation is a first-of-its-kind computational model of Arizona’s pre-K through post-secondary education system, which will provide real-time feedback on how policies, practices, new innovations, and other interventions would affect the state’s complex education system. The Decision Center for Educational Excellence is being funded by a three-year investment from Helios and will be showcased out of the Decision Theater at Arizona State University in Tempe.


ASU Foundation for a New American University
Morrison Report - Power of Urban Education

Helios supported a study to explore the context, use, and impact of Arizona’s desegregation funding at Phoenix Union High School District.


College Success Arizona
Capacity Building 2.0

College Success Arizona (CSAZ) has assisted thousands of students on their road to college attainment. This investment in building capacity will enable CSAZ to become a statewide voice for increased attainment by increasing awareness of and commitment to state postsecondary attainment goals and providing high-quality and reliable information and data to improve decision-making that helps more students, particularly Latino and low-income, get into and graduate from college.


Community Foundation of Tampa Bay
FUSE Scholarship Model

FUSE is a program “fusing” resources between Hillsborough Community College and the University of South Florida to advance student success through a common goal to increase and accelerate college completion using a new type of articulation. The FUSE Scholarship Model promotes completion of an associate's degree and ensures direct transfer to University of South Florida for completion of a bachelor's degree.


Florida Chamber Foundation
Florida 2030 Cornerstone Project

The Florida 2030 Cornerstone Project of the Florida Chamber Foundation engages Floridians across the state to identify the key factors driving Florida's future economy and provide a road map for the future. The final product, framed around the Six Pillars for Florida's Future Economy: Talent Supply and Education; Innovation and Economic Development; Infrastructure and Growth Leadership; Business Climate and Competitiveness; Civic and Governance Systems; and Quality of Life and Quality Places, will serve as a common organizational tool for strategic planning at local, regional, and state levels.


Florida College System Foundation
Florida Partnership for Attainment Match

The Florida Partnership for Attainment augments the work of Florida’s Higher Education Coordinating Council to raise awareness and serve as a catalyst to increase educational attainment in Florida. This will be accomplished by expanding HECC’s outreach activities to a) develop and strengthen partnerships with statewide entities, such as the Florida College Access Network, as well as regional partners including local college access networks, local foundations and business chambers, school district leadership, and college and university leadership, among others; b) catalyze select community partners through regional convenings; and c) spur innovation to meet the immediate needs in the educational pipeline.


Florida College System Foundation
Student Success Center for Florida Colleges

The Student Success Center for Florida Colleges will serve as a resource of evidence-based, innovative practices and just-in-time information for colleges. The role of the Center will be to support initiatives by informing institutional practice and policy through the identification and timely dissemination of evidence-based resources and practices. The five pillars of the Student Success Center are Convening and Engagement, Student Success Strategy Alignment and Coherence, Data Use to Guide Priorities and Investments, Research and Knowledge Management, and Policy Development and Advocacy.


Polling Research - Higher Education

Helios commissioned this study and polling services to better understand public perceptions on postsecondary attainment, affordability of higher education, current and future workforce needs, barriers, access, and the value of education.


Translational Genomics Research Institute Foundation
Leadership in Bioscience Academy

The Leadership in Bioscience Academy is a two-week, paid bioscience certification program serving 20 Arizona high school students annually, with an emphasis on recruitment of emerging and underrepresented minority student populations and students from Title I schools. The program is intended to prepare high school students for success in college-level scientific curriculum, engage the significant interest of the high school population in biomedical research initiatives, and increase access for underrepresented populations to selective academic experiences.


Trustees of Boston University
Move on When Reading Evaluation

Helios commissioned additional research on the effect of Arizona’s Move On When Reading legislation on student performance in the third grade and the characteristics of students who were retained and/or exempted from the policy.


Tucson Values Teachers
Tucson Values Teachers 2017

Tucson Values Teachers works to grow community and state support for the teaching profession, and advocates for funding and policy changes that will improve working conditions and compensation for teachers across Arizona.


University of Central Florida Foundation
Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities Strategic Planning

The Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Universities is a partnership consisting of Florida’s three largest urban research universities – Florida International University, the University of Central Florida, and the University of South Florida. Through this consortium, the universities will share best practices, policies, and programs to maximize career-readiness, particularly among under-represented and limited-income students, and they will better track students’ degree progress, provide more targeted support through mentors and advisers, and identify local partnerships that could lead to internship or practicum opportunities for students.


University of Central Florida Foundation
Parramore Education & Innovation District Planning

This investment will support the implementation of the Parramore Education and Innovation District, an educational ecosystem that aims to transform the lives and livelihoods of residents in Parramore, an economically challenged urban Orlando neighborhood. The Parramore Education and Innovation District will support residents from cradle through career, tracking progress at every level.


University of Florida Division of Sponsored Programs
Florida College Student Re-Enrollment Demonstration

This project expands research around re-enrolling students in the Florida College System who did not complete their degree but earned at least 36 credit hours and had a 2.0 GPA.


University of Florida Foundation
Committee on Early Grade Success

The Florida legislature created the Committee on Early Grade Success within the Florida Department of Education and charged it with developing a unified child assessment system. The Committee, which met from September to November 2017, outlined detailed recommendations for a coordinated child assessment approach for the School Readiness Program, Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program, and Kindergarten Readiness Assessment. Coordinated and unified assessment will allow policy makers and funders like Helios to evaluate different initiatives using consistent, developmentally appropriate measures.


University of Florida Foundation
Early Learning Florida 2.0

Early Learning Florida is a first-of-its-kind, innovative, job-embedded statewide professional development system that is transforming the skills of Florida’s early childhood professionals. The 2.0 Early Learning system will include an array of innovative content, resources, supports, and initiatives that will further educate and empower early childhood professionals to improve teacher practice and child learning and development outcomes that includes a full array of English and Spanish professional development courses, an interactive digital platform, Child Development Associate (CDA) pathway, job-embedded associates degree pathway, Dual Language Learner endorsement, and two regional professional learning demonstration sites.


Valencia College Foundation
Central Florida Education Ecosystem Database

Collaborative partners Orange County Public Schools, Osceola County Public Schools, University of Central Florida, and Valencia College seek to collect and compile student data into one collaborative, comprehensive, and predictive database that will, based on empirical data, anticipate interventions to enhance student learning, increase academic achievement, and ultimately outline a supportive, continuous pathway toward educational success for all Central Florida students.


Valley of the Sun United Way
Expansion for Read On Phoenix

Valley of the Sun United Way, in collaboration with Read On Arizona and the National Campaign for Grade Level Reading, will oversee the implementation of three early literacy programs at targeted schools within the Phoenix urban core as an expansion of Read On Phoenix. The goal is to ensure all children are reading at grade level by the end of third grade.


Financial Aid Landscape Research

Helios commissioned this research to better understand the financial aid landscape in Florida, Arizona and five selected states. This research will result in an overview of the national financial aid context and scan of financial aid opportunities in selected states. In addition mini case studies of up to four higher education institutions will aid in the development of considerations for Florida and Arizona policy makers. To synthesize this information, Helios will be releasing an educational brief in Spring of 2018.


Yuma Union High School District #70
Ready Now Yuma Transition

Ready Now Yuma is a partnership between Helios Education Foundation and Yuma Union High School District in Yuma, Arizona, to ensure that every student is challenged, supported, and prepared to succeed in college and career. The transition investment will provide two years of additional funding to help Yuma Union High School District complete the transition of the five-year Ready Now Yuma (RNY) project from a Helios-funded initiative to a district-sustained effort.