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College and Career Readiness

Our Investment Philosophy
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. The Foundation’s emphasis on College and Career Readiness 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.

Elizabeth, Excel Project, Arizona


New Venture Fund/Collaborative for Student Success and Learning Heroes — Consortium of Florida Education Foundations

The Collaborative for Student Success aims to build support for the effective implementation of Common Core State Standards and to support strategic communications at the national, state and local level. A related project, Learning Heroes, aims to stimulate productive conversations so that parents understand the role they can play to help their child succeed in school.


College Knowing & Going

College Knowing & Going, an initiative of Helios Education Foundation, is a college and career readiness program supporting 18 Arizona school districts, many of which represent low-income, Latino student populations. The Foundation’s $5.1 million, five-year investment, in partnership with College Success Arizona, AzCan and ACT, will provide high-school juniors and seniors at 83 schools across Arizona with access to and assistance with essential college-going practices, ultimately increasing the number of students who complete a postsecondary education. College Knowing & Going provides ACT access for all juniors in the 18 school districts by making the test available at no cost to these students, by providing assistance with the college application process and with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).


Regional Sustainability Model — Teach for America - Miami-Dade, FL

This investment will help Teach for America Miami-Dade to develop a new fundraising strategy, retain high-performing staff members and diversify strategic partnerships in order to sustain its current work while also building infrastructure for the future.


Summer Youth Program Fund — Arizona Community Foundation

Supporting the Summer Youth Program Fund's initiatives in Maricopa County, Arizona helps enrich, enhance and expand summer programs for children acr oss the community. These summer programs provide youth, especially economically-disadvantaged youth, with creative, recreational and educational outlets while fostering personal development and life-long learning.


Teach for America - Orlando

Helios’ investment in this effort provided the seed money to assist in establishing a new Teach for America region in Orlando, Florida. Teach for America works to eliminate educational inequity by building a highly selective service corps of the nation's most promising future leaders - outstanding recent college graduates of all academic majors - who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools.


Thriving Together — Valley of the Sun United Way

The mission of Thriving Together is to build a robust community and economy through collective action that fosters success from birth to career for every child, youth and young adult. The initiative aims to change the course for 250,000 children living in the Phoenix metropolitan area - students who are in the Phoenix Union High School and feeder district boundaries. The initiative measures progress, works to make sure goals are being met, and uses data to identify the effectiveness of a practice.


UNISON – i3 Match — Take Stock in Children

This project helps expand Take Stock in Children's traditional mentoring model to implement a school-wide approach utilizing UNISON: Uplifting Non-Cognitive Skills and Innovation through Student Opportunity Networks. UNISON focuses on non-cognitive abilities including: social emotional curricula, professional development, college success coaching, college tours, home-school partnerships and parent workshops in order to improve academic achievement and increase college and career readiness.


Urban Teacher Residency Partnership Program (UTRPP) — Hillsborough County Public Schools

The Urban Teacher Residency Partnership Program (UTRPP) works to increase the effectiveness of teachers serving low-income students, increase the distribution of effective teachers for low-income students and increase the academic achievement of low-income students in six Hillsborough County Public Schools.