December 16, 2021

Donor Highlight: Thunderbirds Charities

Formed in 1986 to distribute monies raised through the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Thunderbirds Charities is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to assist children and families, help people in need and improve the quality of life in the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area.

Thunderbirds Charities became an Education Forward Arizona mentoring partner in spring 2021 to further invest in the success of their scholarship recipients. Today, our Education Forward Arizona Success Services team provides wraparound mentoring support services for four Thunderbirds Charities undergraduate scholars.

This fall, Thunderbirds Charities announced that Education Forward Arizona was also the recipient of a $25,000 grant to continue the Mentoring Resilient Students project. The project was established in 2020 to provide mentoring support for recipients of the Arizona Postsecondary Resiliency Fund, an initiative of Education Forward Arizona and Helios Education Foundation, providing $500,000 to more than 1,250 students to help them continue their college career despite economic hardships caused by the pandemic. The Arizona Community Foundation granted the initial funds to provide mentoring support for these students through Fall 2021.

With Thunderbirds Charities’ generous grant, along with additional funds received from Wells Fargo, we will be able to provide an additional year of virtual mentoring services and support for hundreds of Arizona college students, the majority of whom are first-generation, low-income, minority students.

Thanks to partners like the Thunderbirds Charities, we are helping to ensure the success of students like Fransheska Salgado, who received the scholarship money after she had to move back to San Luis with her family during the pandemic.

“Having a mentor provides a constant reminder that I am working towards my future and getting closer to my goal of graduating college,” said Salgado.