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Home News & Events Newsletter Archive Newsletter August 2023

August 2023

  Discover how Chandler High School is igniting student voices through School Participatory Budgeting while Arizona Pathways to Prosperity breaks down barriers, aligning students with promising careers. Continue reading to learn more about CFA's impact throughout Arizona over the past month.  

In the Communiy
  Maximizing Collaboration: Workforce Leadership Academy Fellows Gather in Tucson
Workforce Leadership Academy Fellows Gather in Tucson
Pictured: 2023 Southern Arizona Workforce Leadership Academy Fellows with CFA Workforce Development Director Holly Kurtz, and Workforce Development Project Manager Tennille Penaloza.
Earlier this month, the 2023 Southern Arizona Workforce Leadership Academy Fellows reunited in Tucson for a workshop at the halfway mark of the 10-month program. While the hybrid Academy has been a productive success thus far, the in-person workshop environment provided a deeply engaging forum to collaborate on identifying systems-based challenges and developing shared solutions to benefit all Arizonans.
The Southern Arizona Academy is the second Workforce Leadership Academy provided in Arizona and is made possible in part by the Aspen Institute and the Thomas R. Brown Family Private Foundation.
   Learn more about the Academy   

  Arizona Civic Leaders Gain Insights from CFA’s Survey Research at Flinn-Brown Academy 2023 Kickoff
Dr. Sybil Francis presents to Flinn Brown Academy Fellows
Dr. Sybil Francis presenting to Flinn Brown Fellows on Aug. 10
CFA Chair, President & CEO Dr. Sybil Francis presented to the Flinn-Brown Fellows at the beginning of the 2023 Flinn-Brown Academy, the flagship program of the nonpartisan Arizona Center for Civic Leadership. During her presentation, Dr. Francis shared insights on the priorities of Arizonans identified in CFA‘s Gallup Arizona Project and Arizona Voters’ Agenda research.
This cohort of experienced civic leaders embark on this fellowship through the Flinn-Brown Academy to expand their knowledge, skills, and networks and ultimately help address Arizona’s long-term issues.

  Fostering Inclusive Career Pathways for Youth with Disabilities in Arizona
Dr. Amanda Burke
Dr. Amanda Burke, Executive Vice President of Center for the Future of Arizona presenting on Aug. 18 at the Community Conversation: Equitable Post-Secondary & Career Pathways event.
Mirroring national trends, young people with disabilities in Arizona are less likely to graduate from high school, enroll and obtain a degree in post-secondary education, and enter the world of work, compared to their peers without disabilities. Given the disparities in access and opportunity, CFA, and Arizona Town Hall, with the support of the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, are leading a community engagement project designed to bring visibility, spark dialogue, and motivate action that ensures more young people with disabilities have equitable access to successfully transition into post-secondary education and career pathways. Our groups co-hosted an insightful Community Conversation earlier this month and are looking forward to continuing this effort.
   Contact our team to learn more and get involved   

Arizona Progress Meter Update: Education
  Every Arizonan is prepared for success in life and work, and our state is known for its critical thinkers, problem-solvers, innovators, and adaptive life-long learners.
A recent update to the Arizona Education Progress Meter, a collaboration between Education Forward Arizona and CFA, demonstrates that despite recent increases in teacher pay in our state, Arizona placed last in the nation for elementary teacher pay and increased to 38th for high school teacher pay. We dive into the nuance of the data and insights in our latest update.
   Read the full analysis   

Stories of Impact
  Igniting Student Voices: School Participatory Budgeting at Chandler High School
Chandler High School
School Participatory Budgeting at Chandler High School continues to create several campus improvement projects and a lifelong impact on the student body.
The cycle of empowering students begins anew every school year, fostering engagement and amplifying student voices. Imagine a scenario where students are not just passive participants but active decision-makers in shaping their environment. School Participatory Budgeting (SPB) does just that.
Since 2018, SPB has directly impacted Chandler High School's campus. From a vibrant cafeteria mural to the installation of a shade structure, students have witnessed their ideas come to life through SPB’s dynamic approach to illustrating democracy. Most importantly, the initiative aims to educate students on how they can be active participants in their community, starting at school and growing into adulthood.
   Listen to the full story   

  Arizona Pathways to Prosperity Eliminates Barriers to Align Students with In-Demand Careers
Trystan Wright
An outstanding high school student in El Mirage, Trystan Wright, was frustrated after applying to job after job with no success. Until a teacher connected him with a paid virtual internship through Arizona Pathways to Prosperity in partnership with Work Based Learning Alliance.
The program eliminates barriers to work-based learning by connecting students with equitable opportunities and giving employers a voice in workforce development.
   Read more about Trystan’s journey   
Pictured: Trystan Wright, El Mirage high school student

Upcoming Events
  Only a Few Days Away
League of Arizona Cities and Towns Annual Pre-Conference Session with Center for the Future of Arizona
Aug. 29, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm | JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort
As leaders, it is important to effectively manage resources, protect natural spaces, and ensure equitable access to essential services. This pre-conference session will delve into creating resilient infrastructure and a sustainable water future in Arizona’s evolving landscape. Join us for an engaging program featuring leaders across Arizona who have successfully driven actions to support a sustainable economy and resilient community.
   Reserve your spot today   

  August Education Power Hour:
Arizona Education Progress Meter - Addressing Disparities in the Data
Aug. 31, 12:00 - 1:00 pm | Virtual (Zoom)
Hosted by Education Forward Arizona, CFA’s very own Strategic Data Initiatives Director, Ian Dowdy, will join Dr. Teresa Leyba Ruiz of Education Forward Arizona, and Dr. Betsy Hargrove of Avondale Elementary School District to discuss the Arizona Education Progress Meter and what schools are doing to address inequities in the data.
   Reserve your spot today   

In the News
Catch up with recent news about CFA, our partners, and the priorities of Arizonans:
AZPBS Arizona Horizon, Fewer AZ students advancing past high school education
Web   Greater Phoenix In Business, Coalition Bridges Gaps to Ensure Equitable Access to Career Readiness
AZEDNews, What's next for AZ Career and Technical Education?
AZ Family, How much Arizona teachers made in 2022
TV   Cronkite News, With pay lagging, school districts try other enticements to get teachers
Web   AZ Central, Arizona Needs Confidence in 2024 Election (subscription required)
Yuma Sun, ABEC predicts bright CTE future for Yuma
Web   Queen Creek Sun Times, Data reveals less than half of AZ students are advancing their education past high school
Print   Arizona Daily Sun, Arizonans know best: Protecting ecosystems is a win-win
Web   Arizona Foothills Magazine, Recognizing Excellence: The 2023 Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards
Web   Arizona Digital Free Press, Joy Rich bestowed lifetime achievement award at 2023 Gab Zimmerman Public Service Awards in Tucson
Web   West Valley View, Goodyear resident earns Gabe Zimmerman Civic Leader Award

Celebrating 20 Years of Impact
  Celebrating 20 Years of Impact: A Remarkable Journey
Two decades ago, Dr. Lattie Coor and Dr. Sybil Francis sat down to discuss how they could make a difference in the state they call home. With Lattie's background in education and Sybil's passion and experience in public policy, they co-founded our self-defined do-tank dedicated to creating a stronger and brighter future for Arizona.
Over the years, CFA's commitment to our mission has only grown stronger. With an understanding that the voices of Arizonans are central to any bright future for the state, we created and advance The Arizona We Want - a shared vision of success based on what matters most to Arizonans, including quality education for every student, vibrant and engaged communities, rewarding jobs and economic opportunity, and environmental stewardship.
Today our team focuses on achieving this vision for Arizona at many levels – sharing the data-driven message that we are more united than divided as Arizonans, informing leaders and communities about where we have work to do and actions that the vast majority support, convening partnerships, and impacting hundreds of thousands of lives through our statewide programs and initiatives in education, workforce, and civic engagement.
Learn more:
As we celebrate CFA’s 20th anniversary, we invite you to share your stories and anecdotes -- from the organization’s impact on your life to changes you’ve witnessed in Arizona over the years. Whether you've participated in a program, collaborated with us, or simply have a CFA story to tell, your voice matters.
   Share your story   

   Explore Past Newsletters   
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