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Center for the Future of Arizona Announces Major Helios Grant to Advance Education in the State

Funds kick off organization’s three-year “Building Arizona’s Bright Future Together” campaign
Posted on November 16, 2023 • Category: News Release

Center for the Future of Arizona & Helios Education Foundation

Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to bringing Arizonans together to create a stronger and brighter future for the state, is proud to announce a transformative $1 million grant from Helios Education Foundation (Helios). This significant contribution marks the launch of the "Building Arizona’s Bright Future Together" campaign, a bold three-year fundraising initiative by CFA to accelerate statewide efforts to achieve The Arizona We Want — a shared vision of prosperity that hinges on quality education for every child.

Education is at the heart of the state’s future. It is essential for quality jobs, robust civic health, and thriving communities. Arizona stands at a crossroads, where the path toward the vibrant and prosperous communities that Arizonans want requires an educated and skilled populace. Unfortunately, the current data on Arizona’s educational outcomes depict less than half of 3rd-grade students reading proficiently and also less than half of high school graduates enrolling in college. CFA’s work in education centers on addressing these challenges to fulfill the shared aspirations of Arizonans for a top-tier education system.

Recognizing this, the grant from Helios will support CFA’s pivotal work in elevating the role of education in Arizona's public discourse and decision-making. CFA’s efforts foster informed decisions and advance solution-building that aligns with the priorities of Arizonans.

Over the next three years, the Helios grant will empower CFA to expand its public awareness campaigns, highlighting the crucial role of education for Arizonans. This effort includes sharing vital survey research, insights, and trusted data on the status of education in Arizona with state and local leaders. Such information is key to informing policies and practices that positively impact every child across the state. Additionally, the funding will bolster CFA’s education initiatives to enact systemic change. These include innovative approaches in school leadership, early college and career pathways, personalized learning, and civic learning, all aimed at enhancing academic outcomes for all students.

“We are deeply grateful for all that Helios Education Foundation does to advance an equitable education system in Arizona, including their ongoing partnership and support of CFA,” said Dr. Sybil Francis, CFA’s Chair, President & CEO. “CFA’s work is not just about envisioning a bright future for Arizona; it is about actively forging it, making sure every child in our state has the chance to thrive through access to outstanding education. The unwavering support from Helios empowers us to champion and implement vital advancements to Arizona's educational landscape, aligning with what Arizonans deeply desire – an education system that opens doors of opportunity.”

With its proven record, CFA is exceptionally positioned to lead the charge of elevating education in Arizona. Leveraging two decades of demonstrable success, strategic partnerships, research, measurement, and identifying and scaling promising solutions, CFA’s expertise in education and its statewide network makes it an ideal catalyst for meaningful change.

CFA and Helios have long shared the commitment to education as a cornerstone of Arizona’s bright future. With a history of successful collaborations, the organizations are also poised to drive significant advancements in Arizona's education system over the coming years.

"Helios Education Foundation’s commitment to Arizona’s youth goes beyond just words. This investment is more than a contribution; it reflects our joint successes and confidence in CFA's ability to profoundly improve education across Arizona. By aligning our efforts, we are not just enhancing educational opportunities — we are shaping the future of our state. CFA’s commitment to educational excellence is key to unlocking Arizona's potential," said Paul Luna, President and CEO of Helios Education Foundation.

Looking forward, CFA invites collective engagement to realize The Arizona We Want. Its “Building Arizona’s Bright Future Together” campaign is more than a fundraising endeavor—it is a call to action for all who share a vested interest in Arizona’s prosperity. Whether through financial support, partnership, or sharing information, Arizonans working together to create and shape the future is vital.

CFA's robust work includes survey research, data and measurement, and programs and initiatives that span the critical issues that matter most to Arizonans and define Arizona's tomorrow: education, job quality and workforce development, civic health, environment and natural resources, health and well-being, and more. In acknowledging these interconnected issues, CFA and its partners like Helios create efforts that, when integrated, build a dynamic and resilient Arizona.

Discover more about CFA and how you can contribute to this significant journey and be part of the movement that shapes Arizona’s future. For more information on how to get involved and support the “Building Arizona’s Bright Future Together” campaign, please visit

About Center for the Future of Arizona
Center for the Future of Arizona is a nonprofit, nonpartisan "do-tank" that brings Arizonans together to create a stronger and brighter future for our state. Through survey research & reports, Arizona Progress Meters, and impact initiatives & programs, CFA listens to Arizonans to learn what matters most to them, shares trusted data about how Arizona is doing in those priority areas, brings critical issues to public attention, and works with communities and leaders to solve public problems. CFA leads impact initiatives and programs across the state and has deep and ongoing engagement in education, workforce development, and civic health, recognizing how essential these are to advancing economic prosperity, quality of life, and opportunity for all. Learn more at


About Helios Education Foundation
Helios Education Foundation exists to support postsecondary attainment for all students, especially low-income and underrepresented communities, in Arizona and Florida. Driven by our fundamental beliefs of community, equity, investment, and partnership, Helios has invested about $350 million in partnerships and initiatives focused on improving third-grade reading, college-going, and postsecondary attainment in the two states we serve since 2006.