President's Message

Author: Paul J. Luna, Helios Education Foundation

January 22, 2019

As 2019 is off to a strong start, I am looking forward to new opportunities to engage in the community and create partnerships that will strengthen education in both Arizona and Florida.  In Arizona, we remain committed to focusing on closing the academic achievement and degree attainment gaps through our Latino Student Success Initiative.  In Florida, we continue to focus on helping first-generation, low-income, and minority students from the large population centers of Miami, Orlando, and Tampa achieve a postsecondary education.  

We are employing several strategies in both states to achieve these goals – including strategic investing, convening and collaborating, and public and political will building.  Another way that we are focused on making lasting and impactful change in education is by focusing on leadership.  Specifically, investing in programs and organizations that are cultivating and empowering leaders in our communities to have meaningful impact on key education issues.

In Arizona, we are proud to partner with Valley Leadership, an organization that is made up of a broad spectrum of Arizonans working together to impact the issues that matter most, setting the example on leadership.  In Florida, we are partnering with Leadership Florida on their Education Program.  Leadership Florida is a statewide organization dedicated to bringing together emerging and existing leaders from across the state to challenge, prepare, and inspire them to build a better Florida.

Both of these organizations are focused on raising up strong leaders who will take action on behalf of their communities.   Good leadership is in short supply these days and we applaud both Valley Leadership and Leadership Florida for recognizing the impact that strong leaders can have on dealing with our most pressing issues – including education.

We recognize that cultivating strong leadership is a long-term strategy.  But, we also know that the return on investment will be significant.  We look forward to continuing to partner with both Valley Leadership and Leadership Florida and appreciate the work they are doing on behalf of communities throughout Arizona and Florida.

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