Helios Education Foundation and College Success Arizona launch the Arizona Postsecondary Student Resiliency Fund

| April 28, 2020
April 2020
Helios Education Foundation and College Success Arizona launch the Arizona Postsecondary Student Resiliency Fund
Helios Education Foundation and College Success Arizona launched the Arizona Postsecondary Student Resiliency Fund to help support college students who have been impacted by COVID-19. The goal of the fund is to support students to persist and succeed in completing their postsecondary degree, despite the challenges and uncertainty brought on by the global pandemic.
“Helios and College Success Arizona are partnering, with a sense of urgency, to identify ways to support college students who are at risk of dropping out or delaying their postsecondary education due to the effects of COVID-19,” said Vince Roig, Founding Chairman, Helios Education Foundation and Chair of the Board for College Success Arizona.
It has been widely reported that many students are considering going part-time, or taking a gap year, so they can work and help families who have lost jobs and are facing economic challenges. These realities are especially true for low-income and first-generation students who are traditionally more at risk of not completing their degree. It is an economic imperative that there are equitable opportunities for educational success available to all students, regardless of background or zip code. Arizona’s future economy depends on increasing the number of students who pursue and complete a postsecondary degree.
“COVID-19 heightens the equity issues low-income college students in Arizona face. Many students who were already at the brink of not being able to afford their next semester have lost their incomes and other means of paying for school,” said Rich Nickel, president and CEO, College Success Arizona. “Organizations must come together now to provide aid to these students at this critical time.”
The Arizona Postsecondary Student Resiliency Fund will provide resources to help first generation, low-income, and underserved students complete this current semester and enroll for the 2020/2021 academic year. These supports will include things like administering emergency student aid, implementing Virtual Advising to help students stay on track, providing wraparound services such as mentoring and check-ins, and hosting trainings to help students navigate the current crisis and new learning norms.
Make a difference!: Join AdviseAZ today!
AdviseAZ AmeriCorps advisers interact on a daily basis with high school students and families in the assigned high school to provide relevant information regarding the benefits of postsecondary education, preparing for college attendance, and the admission and financial aid process.
You will:
  • Gain leadership skills as a college mentor to high school students;
  • Receive a biweekly stipend;
  • Earn an educational award upon successful completion of service;
  • Make professional connections in education.
To learn more about becoming an AdviseAZ AmeriCorps Member visit adviseaz.org or email Marissa Bachler at mbachler@collegesuccessarizona.org.
Benji Enhancement
College Success Arizona is continuing to receive investments that will be used to expand Project Benjamin to schools statewide.
Benji is currently in 20 school districts, comprising more than 38,000 high school seniors in 102 schools throughout Maricopa, Pinal, Pima, Yuma, and Santa Cruz counties. Benji’s knowledge base has been updated with new responses about COVID-19 to provide up-to-date information and recommendations to students/parents with questions or concerns about the coronavirus.
Additionally, Team Benji has been working with schools and districts during the shift to virtual education to ensure that high school seniors have the tools and resources they need to complete steps towards college enrollment. A committee of higher education and community organizations has developed and implemented a system to connect students via Benji with a college access professional to ensure Arizona seniors have access for support.
Marcko Burrola came to the United States at the age five and spent most of his childhood undocumented. His parents were always supportive of his education saying the reason they came to the U.S. was for Marcko and his siblings to have more opportunities and a better education than they had. 
When applying to the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management he was not sure he belonged in the state’s top business school. His Success Adviser helped him through those doubts and he says through the program, he now realizes he had so much to be proud of. 
Professional Development Opportunities
AzCAN 2020 Summer Series:
May 18 – August 28, 2020
AzCAN is offering a 12-week hybrid summer course, which provides participants with resources to help students prepare for their future beyond high school. The series includes Arizona-specific course content that aligns to ECAP guidelines and A-F Accountability plans. To date,more than 110 educators have completed the course series and have earned their Arizona College Access Professional certificate. Register here.
Advancing College & Career Readiness Through a Comprehensive School Counseling Program:
June 1 – July 3, 2020
This module includes four sessions that help school counselors analyze their current practices and redesign their school counseling programs to more effectively help students prepare for postsecondary education and careers. Register here.
Advanced Skills in Postsecondary Education & Career Advising:
July 13 – August 14, 2020
This module, developed for practicing professional school counselors, pre-service school counselors, and college access professionals, includes five sessions that address the skills and knowledge required to help students prepare for postsecondary education and careers. This is an advanced level course that builds knowledge and skills learned in prior Go Alliance Academy modules. Register here.
College & Career Advising for Special Populations:
July 13 – August 14, 2020
Participants will be engaged in building knowledge and skills in several areas, including understanding and identifying special populations, building support systems, academic planning and record keeping, postsecondary exploration, the college application process and financial aid, and transitions to college. Register here.

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Category: Advocacy, Education, Educational Opportunities, Programs, Resources

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