Helios Education Foundation Makes Additional Investment in Ready Now Yuma

Posted on: July 15, 2013

By providing students with a rigorous, high expectations curriculum within a college-going environment, Helios Education Foundation and Yuma Union High School District (YUHSD) are working to increase the number of students entering and succeeding in postsecondary education.

"The Ready Now Yuma initiative is helping students maximize their full potential by providing every student with a performance-based, student-centered curriculum,"  said Antonia Franco, Vice President and Program Director, Transition Years, Student, Family and Community Initiatives and Helios lead on the Ready Now Yuma implementation.  "In addition, we are changing belief systems by promoting a college-going and career- readiness culture where every student is offered multiple pathways to education success."

In addition to an initial investment of $3.9 million over five years, Helios Education Foundation has committed an additional $440,000 to implement an evaluation plan as well as further expand the communications and community engagement efforts.

"Overall, these additional funds will further Ready Now Yuma's goal of preparing every student to graduate college and career ready,"  said Toni Badone, YUHSD Superintendent.

Helios is committed to the evaluation of its initiatives to ensure that the goals and objectives are being met as well as to ensure that key knowledge and best practices are being collected.  The goal is to take this information and share it with other initiatives and the broader education community.  

"Through all of Helios' investments, including Ready Now Yuma, we are interested in learning everything we can about how to help students graduate college and career ready,"  said Linda Thompson, Senior Vice President and Chief Impact Officer, Helios Education Foundation. "Supporting a robust evaluation effort for Ready Now Yuma will contribute to that learning.  In addition, we continue to be committed to furthering a college-going culture in Yuma through increased communication and community engagement activities."

The evaluation process will be led by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.  During the process, researchers will be interviewing stakeholders, parents, teachers and students as well as conducting classroom visits to determine how Ready Now Yuma has rolled out across the district.  The evaluation will help document the design and implementation of Ready Now Yuma as well as capture both the challenges and successes they have encountered along the way.  In doing this, other districts will have the opportunity to replicate what the Ready Now Yuma initiative has accomplished.

Category: Foundation Feature

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