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Impact in

In Arizona, given the changing demographics in the state, we are focused on improving academic preparedness and fostering college-going and completing cultures in high poverty, Latino communities. Our strategic investments seek to align high-quality early learning for Latino youth with rigorous K-12 educational programs and pathways to achieving a postsecondary education.

Joseph, Excel Project, Arizona

Our Approach

Our system building and reform work is disrupting long-standing barriers to equity, access and success, especially for Latino students, and our public and political-will building efforts are increasing awareness and understanding and gaining support for the need to close the Latino student achievement and attainment gap. Through collaborating and convening, we continue to bring leaders together to build broad-based advocacy and a shared commitment to ensuring all Arizona students, especially Latino students, succeed.

Abriendo Puertas is an innovative partnership between Helios and Chicanos Por La Causa that brings to Arizona the nation’s first evidence-based parent leadership program for Latino parents with children ages birth to five.

In Arizona, we are focused on improving academic preparedness and fostering college-going and completing cultures especially in high poverty, Latino communities.

The Excel Project is a student success program developed in collaboration with the Maricopa Community Colleges. The initiative provides a unique opportunity for students to receive additional support, advice and guidance as they pursue an associate degree and/or transfer successfully to a four-year university.

Community Engagement in Arizona

We know that Arizona’s long-term growth, prosperity and future economic viability will depend on the quality of the state’s education system. That system must effectively prepare its students for success in college, career and life. Arizona has one of the largest and fastest-growing Latino student populations in the nation, yet Latino students trail their White peers in academic performance and degree attainment. Helios exists to ensure that all students pursue and achieve a postsecondary education, but in Arizona we are especially concerned about the state’s largest student population and workforce pipeline, Latino students. Through our Arizona Latino Student Success Initiative, Helios is working to improve quality, access and achievement across the P-16 education continuum, ultimately leading to more Latino students attaining a postsecondary credential.

Arizona's Economic Imperative

Arizona’s Economic Imperative: Leading the Nation in Latino Student Success

By Cathryn Creno 6

Arizona has one of the largest and fastest growing Latino student populations in the nation. At 43 percent, Latinos make up the largest proportion of Arizona’s children and there are more Latino children in the state’s public schools than any other group7. This three part series of articles delves deeper into the Latino student achievement gap in Arizona, incorporating analysis of the state’s changing demographics, the economic impact of the gap and policy implications and solutions.

  • Arizona’s Changing Demographics and the Academic Divide

    Present-day demographers discuss Arizona’s current Latino population boom as if the trend were something new, but many Latinos know that their ancestors have played a strong role in Arizona history since the 16th Century. Read full article...

  • Arizona Businesses See Education as Greatest Challenge

    Results of a December 2015 survey of 400 Arizona business leaders by the Arizona Commerce Authority, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and Alliance Bank show that leaders believe education is the greatest challenge to doing business in the state. Read full article...

  • Closing the Latino Student Achievement Gap

    Her parents grew up in Mexico and never had the opportunity to finish high school. Her older brother never felt comfortable in American schools. He dropped out to go to work. Needless to say, Alicia Flores was more than a little nervous when she walked through the doors of the 2,100-student Camelback High School in the Phoenix Union High School District three years ago. Read full article...