Helios Education Foundation Pledges $3.9 Million to Yuma College Readiness Program

The Phoenix-based Helios Education Foundation has pledged $3.9 million over five years to the Yuma Union High School District to boost college readiness among students, the Yuma Sun reports.

The grant will be used to advance the district's implementation of its Ready Now Yuma initiative, which aims to provide students with a rigorous student-centered curriculum while providing instructors with professional development opportunities. The goal is to boost the number of students who not only enter but succeed at the postsecondary level.

For the past eighteen months, the district has partnered with Helios and the Center for the Future of Arizona, planning and working to implement the Ready Now program effectively. Starting in September, nearly all high-school students in the Yuma school district will participate in the curriculum, which requires teens to think more critically about content areas, draw conclusions, and analyze data rather than simply memorize information to regurgitate on multiple-choice tests.

"The world is changing rapidly, it's competitive and it will be unforgiving to those what we don't prepare today," said Vince Roig, founding chairman of Helios. "Ready Now Yuma represents a cultural shift in the way we prepare students to compete and succeed in a global economy. Every YUHSD student, regardless of part academic performance or post-high-school aspirations, will now receive a world-class education which prepares them for every future opportunity and puts them on par with their national and international peers."