August 17, 2022

Education Forward Arizona awards more than $1.3M in scholarships this academic year 

During the 2022-23 academic year, Education Forward Arizona has awarded more than $1.3 million in scholarship funds.   

As school starts back up, Education Forward Arizona is busy not only distributing funds to 35 colleges and universities across the United States and England but is also preparing to support more than 1,400 students and provide more than 700 of these students with one-on-one mentoring services.  

By providing students with funding and mentoring, Education Forward Arizona is ensuring students can successfully navigate their education path, persist through higher education and graduate with a degree or credential, which also helps move Arizona closer to its Achieve60AZ attainment goal

Education Forward Arizona’s Success Services team is dedicated to closing attainment gaps and increasing the number of students who pursue and finish a postsecondary education. To increase their impact the Success Services team has worked hard this year to grow its partnerships.

Freeport-McMoRan Foundation Partnership Expansions 

This week, the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation announced it would expand its Native American Scholarship program with Education Forward Arizona by providing an additional $3 million to create 100 scholarships in honor of the Navajo Code Talkers. This expansion is expected to help more Navajo students graduate with a higher education credential by 2026.

This expansion comes only four months after the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation announced it would be investing $6 million in the Native American Scholarship program to help 200 Native American students from 14 tribal communities across the state graduate by 2026.

Students in the Native American Scholarship program will receive up to $6,000 annually (renewable for four years) as well as mentoring services and support from Education Forward Arizona’s Success Services team.

“The Freeport-McMoRan Foundation has provided more than 374 scholarships to Native American students over the past 12 years, and we remain deeply committed to helping students from tribal communities pursue higher education,” said Tracy Bame, Freeport-McMoRan Foundation President. “We are proud of our continued work with Education Forward Arizona and see the tremendous impact this partnership can have in creating resilience for individuals, families and Native American communities at large as graduates return to serve their communities in impactful ways.”

The Native American Scholarship program will support 150 new students this semester.  

Maricopa Community Colleges Partnership  

Starting this semester, the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) will partner with Education Forward Arizona to ensure more of their students reach degree completion.   

Through this partnership, Education Forward Arizona’s Success Services team will provide up to 350 MCCCD students with workshops and one-on-one mentoring focused on helping students achieve their college and career goals.  

“We’re excited to partner with Maricopa County Community College District to provide wraparound services to students seeking to obtain their postsecondary credentials,” said Myrna Cardenas, senior director of success services partnerships at Education Forward Arizona. “We know this partnership will lead to improved career opportunities for students.”

Education Forward Arizona’s New Scholars  

Our organization supports students each year through the Education Forward Arizona scholarship. We recently welcomed 15 new scholarship recipients, many of which come from low-income households and underrepresented communities. 

Through these Education Forward Arizona scholarships, students will receive up to $6,000 per year (renewable for four years) for their educational expenses.  

In addition to the scholarships, each student will receive specialized support services from an Education Forward Arizona Success Adviser. Providing students with a mentor is key to ensuring they can successfully navigate their education path, persist through higher education and graduate with a degree or credential.  

Meet this year’s Education Forward Arizona scholars here.

Benefits of Education Forward Arizona’s Success Services Program 

Succeeding in college is so much more than just having the finances necessary to attend. Research shows having someone who helps students gain non-academic knowledge and skills improves their college readiness and promotes attainment. 

Knowing this, Education Forward Arizona has worked with students enrolled in postsecondary education across since 2005 to provide support services that empower them to persist and thrive through college and beyond. 

The Success Services program focuses on three areas: career, academics and life. Success Advisers work with students to ensure they know how to navigate their educational institution along with cultural expectations and challenges while also helping them to access the information and resources they need to be successful. 

“When people ask me what I enjoy about my job, I tell them it’s the moment where I get to see one of my students achieve their goals,” said Matt Sotelo, Program Manager of Success Services at Education Forward Arizona.

“I started as a Success Adviser almost nine years ago,” he added. “In that time, I’ve had the honor to not only witness students develop into their full potential but I have also watched them go on to make a positive impact within their communities.”   

By providing students with this structured support, mentorship and framework for understanding what success in college requires, Education Forward Arizona’s Success Advisers are ensuring their students not only develop essential non-academic skills and behaviors but also figure out their identity as a college student and gain a sense of empowerment that they belong and are capable of succeeding.  

These services are proven to work, Education Forward Arizona scholars have a higher freshmen retention rate (91%) and graduation rate (74%) than the general student population at many Arizona colleges and universities. 

Learn more about Education Forward Arizona’s Success Services team here.