Helios Education Foundation Welcomes Three New Team Members

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Helios Education Foundation is pleased to add the talents of three new team members as we launch our Five-Year Impact Plan for improving educational outcomes for low-income and Latino students in Arizona and low-income and Black students in Florida. 

Zachary (Zach) Fontes is Director of Technology, working at the Helios Education Campus in Phoenix. He sees his role at Helios to be an opportunity to use the skills he has sharpened over many years to help support a mission he believes in. Before Helios, Zach was information technology services manager at Cavco Industries in Phoenix, where he led the evolution and administration of AD, application delivery, database services, backup and DR, as well as the network administration team security administration, virtualization management, storage solutions, updates and maintenance. Before that, he was network administrator at Cavco. Zach was also a computer network support specialist in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he worked from team member to lead and then served as supervisor for a team of network administrators.  

While working at Cavco, Zachary used his GI Bill to earn a BAS degree in information technology management from Northern Arizona University. In his spare time, he enjoys music, drawing, fixing things, and spending time outdoors with his wife and 4 children. Zach lives in Glendale.  

Maria Granillo is Grants and Project Management Assistant, working at Helios Education Campus in Phoenix. Before coming to Helios Education Foundation, Maria worked at Access ASU, serving as liaison in cultivating collaborative relationships with district staff, administrators, and partners in developing, planning, and implementing services to assist graduation and post-secondary enrollment efforts. Before that, she was a program coordinator for TRiO Upward Bound at the University of Arizona, where she coordinated and implemented grant programming to expand equity and access to early college and career awareness among under-represented populations, worked closely with academic leaders and administrative staff. She also has served as a College Advising Corps adviser and admissions evaluator at University of Arizona. Maria has a master’s degree in Family and Human Development from Arizona State University and bachelor’s degree in Family Studies and Human Development from University of Arizona. 

Maria is a Spanish speaker. A fun fact: When Maria was in high school, Helios covered the cost of her ACT registration, helping to ease her transition to college. Now she’s working at Helios Education Foundation to help others do the same. When not working, Maria likes to play soccer. Maria is a native Arizonan from Tucson, she now lives in Phoenix with her husband and two dogs.  

Kimberly Lent Morales is Director of Research and Evaluation. Kimberly will be based in Helios’s Tampa office. Until earlier this month, Kimberly was assistant director for research and policy at Florida College Access Network (FCAN), where she provided data and advocacy technical assistance and support for local college access networks and various FCAN partners across the state. She was seen by her colleagues at FCAN to be instrumental to that organization’s success in the advocacy and policy. Kimberly worked at FCAN for more than five years, including as a senior research associate, focusing on K-12 and higher education data and policy analysis. Before FCAN, Kimberly served as senior social and behavioral researcher and research coordinator for the University of South Florida/The Villages Health Partnership. She also has served as graduate research assistant at Hillsborough County Public Schools and the Harrell Center for the Study of Family Violence at University of South Florida. 

Kimberly has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Florida, and a master’s degree in public health and is earning a doctorate in curriculum and instruction, with emphasis in measurement and evaluation, from University of South Florida. In her free time, Kimberly enjoys taking her three rescue dogs to local parks and is an avid podcast listener. She lives in Tampa with her husband Carlos.