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June 2023

Center for the Future of Arizona: The Arizona We Want
  This month’s issue features exciting staff news, highlights of important work across the state, and a new update on the Arizona Education Progress Meter.  

  CFA Board of Directors Appoints
Dr. Sybil Francis as Chair
Dr. Sybil Francis
Sybil Francis, Ph.D., Chair, President & CEO, Center for the Future of Arizona
Dr. Sybil Francis has been appointed Chair of the board for Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA), in addition to her current role as President & CEO.
The decision, made in May by the unanimous vote of CFA’s Board of Directors, makes official the role that Dr. Francis assumed in July 2022 as acting Chair, following a decision by CFA co-founder Lattie Coor to retire as Founding Chair Emeritus.
Read the full announcement

  CFA Staff Promotions Expand Impact for Arizona
CFA is pleased to announce the promotions of two staff members, enhancing our capacity to create an even greater impact throughout Arizona:
Peter Boyle
Peter Boyle has been promoted to Senior Director of Education.
Peter will lead the organization’s comprehensive education strategy with a focus on leadership, the future of learning, and career-connected pathways in partnership with CFA’s team of educational experts. He will also advance special projects, evaluate outcomes, and identify new opportunities to drive equity and excellence across Arizona’s education system.
KaRa Lyn Thompson
KaRa Lyn Thompson has been promoted to Senior Program Coordinator–Civic Health.
KaRa Lyn has been a vital member of CFA's Civic Health team supporting the statewide expansion of the School Participatory Budgeting initiative, and will certainly continue contributing to positive change within our organization and across Arizona in her new role.
Read the full announcement

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.
In partnership with Education Forward Arizona, CFA recently released updates to the Post-High School Enrollment indicator of the Arizona Education Progress Meter, the state’s widely utilized framework for measuring P-20 education.
The data, obtained from the Arizona Board of Regents, show Arizona’s Post-High School Enrollment rate for the graduating class of 2021 is 47%–much lower than in recent years, due in part to ongoing impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. While enrollment in four-year institutions, including universities, increased, Arizona high school graduates are enrolling in two-year institutions at rates much lower than their peak in 2011.
These latest numbers indicate we have a long way to go to reach the state’s goal of 70% by 2030 and underscore the need to accelerate action. By prioritizing collaborative solution-building and making strategic investments, we can all contribute to ensuring more Arizonans pursue education and training after high school. This is essential to achieving The Arizona We Want.
Explore the latest updates

In the Communiy
  Empowering Equitable Education at the 9th Annual Teacher Leadership Summit
KaRa Lyn Thompson
KaRa Lyn Thompson, Senior Program Coordinator for Civic Health
KaRa Lyn Thompson, CFA Senior Program Coordinator for Civic Health, presented on our School Participatory Budgeting (SPB) initiative at the 9th Annual Teacher Leadership Summit hosted by the Arizona Alliance of Black School Educators (ABSE) on June 21.
KaRa Lyn's presentation, ”Student Voice and Choice: Equitable Decision-making through School Participatory Budgeting,” introduced educators and school leaders to the innovative, experiential process that enables students to learn democracy by doing, and which CFA is actively working to expand statewide. She highlighted the latest research on SPB and how effectively engaging students in budgetary decisions at the school and district level leads to positive student, school, and community outcomes now and for the future.
Learn more about SPB
Willcox Middle Schoolers Explore Cybersecurity Careers
Middle school students participating in the two-day AZ Cyber Boot Camp
Pictured: Middle school students participating in the two-day AZ Cyber Boot Camp at Cochise College’s Willcox Campus
CFA’s Arizona Pathway to Prosperity (APTP) initiative held a two-day cyber boot camp in June in partnership with the AZ Cyber Initiative, the Willcox School District, and Cochise College. It was an opportunity for local middle school students to explore topics and careers in cybersecurity, a growth sector for the state. The free two-day event was full of hands-on learning that covered password security, recognizing fake websites, online data protection, and much more.
Strengthening the connections between industry and education is essential for meeting the state’s labor market needs and ensuring future opportunity for our young people in Arizona. APTP works with partners throughout the state to design and develop education and career pathways that enable students to transition smoothly through high school, into higher education, and onto fulfilling careers. Students receive quality career exploration and guidance, direct experiences in the workplace, and an early start on earning college credit while in high school that leads to degrees or credentials for careers in sectors that are vital to the economy. Learn more and connect with our team.
Read more about the boot camp
WESTMARC's Annual Healthcare Summit Shines Light on West Valley's Well-being
WESTMARC hosted its Annual Healthcare Summit
Pictured: (Left) Ian Dowdy, CFA’s Director of Strategic Data Initiatives (Right) Evelyn Casuga, CFA’s Director of Community and Economic Prosperity
WESTMARC hosted its Annual Healthcare Summit on June 7, which brought together community leaders to discuss the needs and opportunities for Phoenix’s West Valley. A longtime partner, CFA supports WESTMARC with monitoring its regional quality-of-life metrics and was thrilled to facilitate meaningful discussions at the Summit. CFA’s Director of Strategic Data Initiatives, Ian Dowdy, presented insights on what Arizonans agree on as priorities related to health and well-being. He also shared where the region currently stands on the priorities with recent data from the Arizona Health and Well-Being Progress Meter. Evelyn Casuga, CFA’s Director of Community and Economic Prosperity, moderated a panel to discuss community health and well-being.
Helping Educators Provide Quality Career Exploration for All Arizona Students
Arizona Pathways to Prosperity’s Career Exploration Summer Institutes
Pictured: Educators and administrative professionals attending the Arizona Pathways to Prosperity Career Exploration Summer Institute in Phoenix
CFA’s Arizona Pathways to Prosperity (APTP) team successfully kicked off a series of Career Exploration Summer Institutes in Phoenix earlier this month. The Summer Institutes provide professional development, training, and networking for educators and administrators implementing APTP’s Possible Futures Career Exploration Curriculum. The curriculum introduces middle and high school students to Arizona labor market data and in-demand industries while encouraging them to explore their interests and think about how their interests complement potential career opportunities in their future.
In July, two additional events will be held in Tucson and Yumacontact our team to learn more.

In the News
Catch up with recent news about CFA, our partners, and the priorities of Arizonans:
Print   AZ Health & Living Magazine, Heart of the Community Spotlight: Center for the Future of Arizona is Creating a Stronger, Brighter Future
Web   Arizona Rangers News, AZ Cyber Initiative launches pilot boot camp for middle schoolers
Web   Association for Career Technical Education of Arizona Podcast: CTE and the Real World – Episode 1: Workforce Development
TV   Cronkite News, Arizona education leaders unveil ‘Everything to Gain’ campaign about the importance of post-high school education
Center for the Future of Arizona brings Arizonans together
to create a stronger and brighter future for our state.
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