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Helios’ President and CEO Speaks to STEM Students at Annual Conference

Author: Helios Education Foundation

August 1, 2013

Paul Luna, President and CEO of Helios Education Foundation, spoke to a group of more than 250 students today at the Maricopa Community Colleges ACE 2013 STEM Conference.  

The Maricopa ACE (Achieving a College Education) Program is nationally recognized for its proven success in motivating underrepresented students to complete high school and continue on to complete a college degree by helping students make smooth transitions between high school, community college and university.

The program was established in 1987 at South Mountain Community College and has since grown to include programs at all ten Maricopa Community Colleges.  To date, the program has served more than 18,000 students.

Today marked the second annual conference and included more than 50 presenters speaking on topics such as "A Day in the Life of an Engineer," "A Practical View of Algebra" and "Manufacturing:  The Toothpick Factory."  In addition, students learned how to navigate the higher education system.

Paul Luna started the day by encouraging students to set high expectations for themselves and pursue education in the STEM fields.

"Research is showing us that STEM education is a vital part of helping our students become the problem-solvers of tomorrow," said Luna.  "STEM education will prepare you for the knowledge-based jobs of the future."

He also recognized the potential of every student in the room.  "Someone in this room could find a cure for cancer, become an astronaut and travel to Mars or become a science teacher and train the next generation of scientists."

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