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Message from Our Founding Chairman

Vince Roig

In reflecting on the impact Helios Education Foundation and its partners have had on education in Arizona and Florida over this past year, I feel an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment. Through our work, we have forged innovative partnerships, invested in big bets and taken strategic risks to improve education in the states we serve.

I continue to be impressed by the leadership, engagement and visionary thought our board of directors and staff provide as our Foundation continues to evolve. Our investments are beginning to pay dividends, resulting in an increased number of students being better prepared for success in college and career and in advancing a college-going culture in our communities. Even so, we still have a long road ahead toward ensuring that every individual in Arizona and Florida has the opportunity to succeed in postsecondary education. Philanthropy can’t walk that road alone; we need our partners by our side.

Throughout our 2015 annual report, you will see examples of the collaborative partnerships in which we are engaged that are moving the needle in education; you will see the faces of students whose lives have changed as a result of our work and you will better understand our education reform strategy and our approach to effective community engagement.

But what I want to impress on you is what we believe:

  • We believe education changes lives and strengthens communities.
  • We believe education is an investment, not an expense.
  • We believe every student, regardless of zip code, deserves a high-quality education.
  • We believe we will achieve our mission through partnership and collaboration.

Our beliefs are the wind in our sails, driving the Foundation’s work forward and helping change communities for the better through education.

Paul Luna, President & CEO, Helios Education Foundation; Dr. Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University; Vince Roig, Founding Chairman, Helios Education Foundation and Gonzalo de la Melena, President & CEO, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at the 2015 DATOS event.

Even so, Arizona continues to fall toward the bottom of the list and Florida falls slightly below average when compared to other states1. As an engaged citizenry and as leaders, we have to focus our intellectual, financial, political and other resources toward movin g Arizona and Florida up to the top of the list.

Our students deserve the highest-quality education system we can provide, and we owe it to them to ensure that every individual in Arizona and Florida has the opportunity to access and succeed in postsecondary education.

With your continued engagement, advocacy and support, we can create a system where every child reads at grade level by the end of third grade, every student graduates high school ready for college and career and every student achieves a postsecondary license, certificate or degree. It’s a bold mission, but I know we can accomplish it.

Our students deserve the highest-quality education system we can provide and we owe it to them.