Ready Now Yuma

College & Career Readiness


Helios’ largest area of focus is in the College and Career Readiness impact area. This area accounts for the critical middle and high school years for students and reflects the fact that the knowledge and skills students acquire during these years set the stage for their future success in postsecondary education. It’s also the time when students can better correlate what they are learning in the classroom with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in a competitive global workforce. The Foundation’s emphasis on College and Career Readiness is focused on improving academic rigor and relevance, creating and sustaining high skilled teachers and effective leaders and embedding a college-going culture that is supported by actively engaged families and communities.

Celebrating 10 Years of Impact in College and Career Readiness

Helios Education Foundation is empowering educators, students and their families for success. Over the last 10 years, the Foundation has invested close to $68 million in Arizona and Florida in strategies that advance the college and career readiness of all students, deliver reforms to education systems, increase academic rigor and promote professional development of educators. As part of these investments, the Foundation has impacted over 330 educators and 10,000 students and their families through Ready Now Yuma. Other college and career readiness efforts have helped over 27,000 parents learn how best to support the educational aspirations of their 60,000 children through the American Dream Academy. The Foundation has also partnered with Take Stock in Children to support the college-going aspirations of over 135,000 Florida students.


2014 Community Investments in College and Career Readiness: $6,945,000


Alumni Development
Teach For America Miami-Dade

This capacity-building investment is helping Teach For America Miami-Dade develop a sustainable corps size and staff by identifying resources, including state and local partnerships, demonstrating the community need for corps members and alumni in Florida and exploring the impact and effects of positive corps members experiences.


College Access Standards
Arizona College Access Network

The Arizona College Access Network’s College Access Standards project is implementing newly formed standards designed to establish a common framework of competencies in the college access field. These new standards are to be used by college access programs and K-12 educators to improve the effectiveness of their programs.


Common Core Communications Collaborative
Consortium of Florida Education Foundations

The Common Core Communications Collaborative, now called the Collaborative for Student Success, supports the statewide efforts of state education agencies and local education organizations responsible for educating and informing all stakeholders — parents, students, teachers and community leaders — about the new state standards and assessments.


Common Core Rapid Response Fund

Through this Fund, Helios is supporting critical public awareness and public will-building activities that advance the continued implementation of the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards, the Florida Standards and aligned assessments. This effort is helping mobilize local business and educator communities, support educator engagement in the public policy process and helping gauge voter support of higher standards and aligned assessments.


District Choice State Testing

This investment provides continued funding of the ACT District Choice State Testing initiative in Arizona to help underwrite the cost of administering the ACT exam in participating school districts and to provide school districts with data and tools to support the development of college and career-ready students.


Future Plans™
Pinellas County Education Foundation

Future Plans™ is a collaborative effort between Helios Education Foundation, Pinellas County Schools and the Pinellas Education Foundation to provide college and career guidance for students by evaluating their aptitudes, values and interests in alignment with 21st century career opportunities.


Learn More Go Further
Foundation for Excellence in Education

The Learn More Go Further Initiative is a communications initiative led by the Foundation for Excellence in Education intended to build public awareness of and support for the Florida Standards.


Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund/Youth on the Rise, Tucson
Aspen Institute

Youth on the Rise is establishing two comprehensive re-engagement hubs with co-located education programs, workforce development and other wraparound services for opportunity youth in Tucson. By the end of the grant, Youth on the Rise plans to have served 700 opportunity youth and have transitioned 200 of those youth into postsecondary education and 100 into paid internships or employment.


Ready Now Yuma
Yuma Union High School District

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. This Ready Now Yuma evaluation and communications investment provides resources to the Yuma Union High School District to implement an evaluation plan as well as further expand Ready Now Yuma’s communications and community engagement efforts.


Seed School of Miami
Seed Foundation

SEED Miami provides educational opportunities that prepare underserved students for success in college and beyond. They use a unique, 24-hour model to offer highly targeted, effective remediation in middle school, rigorous preparation in high school and continuous support in college. The school focuses on competency-based instruction, cross-curriculum literacy instruction and the use of student life staff in the evenings for tutoring and continued advising once students enter college.


Sunshine State Scholars
Florida Education Foundation

The Sunshine State Scholars recognizes Florida’s top 11th grade students in science, technology, engineering and math and works to recruit them to attend Florida colleges and universities, increasing the likelihood that they will join Florida’s workforce.


TechActive Classrooms
Education Foundation of Sarasota County

As part of a multi-partner collaborative, Sarasota County Schools is transforming its middle school math and science instruction and classrooms into an environment where all teachers, staff, administrators and volunteers are involved and support high expectations for every student and where students and parents are exposed to career and postsecondary education opportunities. This funding is helping provide professional development for math and science teachers, as well as the creation of on-campus college and career centers.

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