Helios Education Foundation grant helps Thriving Together aid Phoenix youth to succeed from birth to career - AZEdNews
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Helios Education Foundation grant helps Thriving Together aid Phoenix youth to succeed from birth to career


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  • Tom Evans/ Thriving Together

Helios Education Foundation Has Made A $125,000 Commitment To Support The Thriving Together Initiative In Phoenix To Encourage Children To Advance Their Education. Chart Courtesy Thriving Together Video

Helios Education Foundation has made a $125,000 commitment to support the Thriving Together initiative in Phoenix to encourage children to advance their education.

The grant will be used to support collaborative efforts between Phoenix Union High School District and the elementary school districts within its boundaries to improve the transition for students between junior high and high school. It will also work to encourage students to apply for college through a coordinated college application campaign, and to support families in finding financial aid for postsecondary education.

The initiative, which is anchored by Valley of the Sun United Way, uses the resources of the private and non-profit sectors to change the course of lives for more than a quarter of a million children in the Phoenix metropolitan area and change the future of Arizona.

Video: Thriving Together

Thriving Together from Eyes 2 See Films on Vimeo.

Helios has previously supported Thriving Together with a three-year, $375,000 grant. This additional $125,000 grant will continue the organization’s involvement with Thriving Together and with United Way, a relationship that dates back as far as 2006. Vince Roig, Helios’ Founding Chairman, also serves on Valley of the Sun United Way’s Board of Directors.

In 2015, Thriving Together first convened education and community leaders from PUHSD schools to launch the initiative – the first of its kind in Arizona.  

“We are extremely grateful to Helios for their support of Thriving Together,” said Melissa Boydston, Vice President Community Impact-Education for Valley of the Sun United Way.  “With their help, we have been able to make significant strides over the past few years in improving educational outcomes and access for thousands of Valley children.”

Helios Education Foundation is dedicated to creating opportunities for individuals in Arizona and Florida to succeed in postsecondary education.  The Foundation’s work is driven by four fundamental beliefs in Community, Investment, Equity, and Partnership.  Helios invests in programs and initiatives across the full education continuum – from early grade success through postsecondary education.   

“Thriving Together is a unique collaboration in our community that is leveraging community partnerships in support of student success,” said Vince Yanez, Senior Vice President, Arizona Community Engagement.  “We are excited about this work and believe it will lead to better outcomes for students in our community.” 

The Thriving Together initiative starts at birth and concludes when that child succeeds in the workforce. Along the way, the initiative measures progress and works to make sure goals are being met. If they are not, it looks to identify opportunities to improve and resources to support students to get back on track. It uses data to identify the effectiveness of a practice. If there’s room to improve, Thriving Together draws on its resources to offer a path to success for students.

Studies have shown that if children are prepared at several key milestones in their educational career, they can stay on a path to success. Those milestones are the focus of Thriving Together and its efforts to provide measurable results. They are where children and young people are most likely to lose their way — it’s where they fall behind, or get frustrated, or suffer from a lack of support.

Dozens of leaders from more than 60 local organizations – including higher education, social services, community groups, business and industry, government leaders, and parents – are coming together to help children succeed from birth through careers via Thriving Together. 

The Thriving Together initiative is patterned after the successful nationwide movement StriveTogether, which was founded in 2006 and which has improved student success in school districts throughout the U.S. by bringing together leadership across sectors.

The Strive Partnership, a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks, is focused on the success of our children: every child, every step, from cradle to career by taking a data-driven look at whether programs and processes are effectively meeting goals.

In Arizona, the initiative launched as Thriving Together, which is supported by the anchor entity, Valley of the Sun United Way, a neutral third-party that coordinates the activities of Thriving Together.

To sign up for collaborative action team and for more information, visit www.thrivingtogetheraz.org.