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September 2023

  This month's edition features an initiative providing career exploration tools for K-5 students, a thought-provoking data snapshot, a trip down memory lane for CFA's 20th Anniversary, and more.  

Stories of Impact
  Dr. Sybil Francis Honored by Arizona Capitol Times as 2023 Leader of the Year in Public Policy
Dr. Sybil Francis Honored by Arizona Capitol Times as 2023 Leader of the Year in Public Policy
Pictured: CFA Chair, President & CEO Dr. Sybil Francis at the Arizona Capitol Times, 2023 Leaders of the Year luncheon with CFA board members, George Dean, Lisa S. Loo, and Katosha Nakai from left to right.
Nominated for her passion and talent in making Arizona a better place for all, the Arizona Capitol Times honored CFA’s Chair, President & CEO Dr. Sybil Francis for a second year in a row as a 2023 Leader of the Year in Public Policy.
The 2023 honorees include many friends and partners. We recognize Paul Luna, an esteemed member of CFA's Board of Directors, honored in the Education category for his work as President and CEO of Helios Education Foundation. Additionally, we would like to congratulate Steve Zylstra, CFA Future Maker, recognized as President & CEO of Arizona Technology Council. We also commend Sintra Hoffman, President & CEO of WESTMARC, Chuck Coughlin, President & CEO at HighGround, Tom Buschatzke, Director of Arizona Department of Water Resources, and Stephen Richer, Maricopa County Recorder. Lastly, we celebrate Dr. Michael Crow, President of ASU, honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Quality leaders are essential to shaping the Arizona we all want; they bring our diverse communities together, drive innovation, and guide us toward a prosperous future.
   View the full list of honorees   

  Introducing the 2024 New Arizona Fellows: Catalysts for Positive Change in Arizona
In partnership with the national New America Fellows Program, CFA is proud to announce its support of two innovative individuals who will seek to enrich our community through research, big thinking, and innovative ideas.
Among nearly 300 applicants, Caitlin Dickerson and Malaika Jabali were named the 2024 New Arizona Fellows. The pair joins the 2024 New America Fellows as part of the prestigious New America Fellows Program. CFA proudly selects and supports the New Arizona Fellows whose work actively ignites conversations surrounding critical issues within our state, all aimed at driving positive and transformative change.
New America supports changemakers, including journalists, educators, filmmakers, and researchers working to shape the conversation on today’s critical issues. The Class of 2024 will pursue book, film, and media projects on various subjects. Topics include intergenerational caregiving, deportation, the mental health industry, reproductive healthcare, and more.
Their pioneering research will delve into subjects of utmost relevance and importance to Arizonans, and we are grateful for the opportunity to amplify their work.
   Meet Caitlin Dickerson and Malakia Jabali   

Data Snapshot
  Protecting Arizona’s Precious Resources: A Pivotal Moment for Sustainability and Preservation
Arizonans have a strong affection for the state’s unique natural beauty and have expressed overwhelming support for actions focused on preservation and sustainability. Over the years, several surveys conducted by CFA over the years have shown widespread agreement on the importance of conserving natural resources, particularly water. Here are some key findings:
  • 86% support regulations to protect rural water supplies
  • 85% of Arizona likely voters support investing available federal funding to address drought resiliency, clean air, energy improvement in rural areas, electric grid resiliency, and forest fires
  • 85% advocate for increased preventive measures against forest fires
  • 84% favor reducing urban heat islands
  • 80% desire enhanced air quality measures
  • 74% back a transition to clean energy
  • Only 18% of Arizona likely voters believe there will be enough water to support residents, agriculture, businesses, and other industries over the next 100 years
Arizona’s growth and its natural landscapes pose a unique challenge. The shared desire for sustainable practices across all communities strongly signal a desire among Arizonans to blend conservation with growth plans. However, this isn’t a quick fix or a one-size-fits-all solution. The current state of resources and solutions must be understood and developed at the individual community level while ensuring harmony and alignment statewide.
We can all work on enhancing public awareness, ensuring equitable resource distribution, protecting clean air and water, and pioneering solutions that integrate growth with preserving Arizona’s natural resources for generations.
For more, CFA recently brought leaders together to discuss these insights and resources for building solutions at the League of Arizona Cities and Town Conference. Get more information on the session and related resources.

In the Community
  CFA is a Proud Partner of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns Annual Conference
League of Arizona Cities and Towns Annual Conference
In late August, CFA proudly kicked off the League of Arizona Cities and Towns (LACT) Annual Conference with our annual Pre-Conference Session. For seven years, CFA has organized this important gathering that offers valuable information to Arizona's municipal, county, tribal, and other leaders. The Pre-Conference Session aims to facilitate a collaborative effort in achieving The Arizona We Want, a shared vision of success based on what matters most to Arizonans. This vision is built on seven Shared Public Values that the broad and representative majority of Arizonans agree are essential to a prosperous future for all.
Among these Shared Public Values is an agreement on sustainable practices that protect our air, land, and water, and support a high quality of life for all. Like other aspects of The Arizona We Want, this core public value is supported by over 70% of Arizonans with strong agreement across race and ethnicity, geography, income, age, and other subgroups. Recognizing the importance and urgency of this issue—and opportunities for unprecedented funding and momentum to support action, CFA’s session focused on raising awareness and bringing actionable tools and resources to community leaders across the state.
Explore our resource hub including data resources, current funding opportunities available for communities, and other support tools.
   Access Resources   

  CFA Launches School Participatory Budgeting Institute
SPB Institute
SPB Institute participants gather to learn the basics of participatory budgeting and explore Arizona’s civic education and civic health data.
Educators and school leaders across four districts– including Queen Creek Unified School District, Roosevelt School District, Sunnyside Unified School District, and Scottsdale Unified School District– participated in the launch of the School Participatory Budgeting Institute throughout September.
School Participatory Budgeting (SPB) is a civic engagement initiative where students learn democracy by doing through deciding how to spend a portion of their school or district's budget. Along the way, they develop skills to become engaged community members.
The SPB Institute is a new offering from CFA launching this year as part of a statewide expansion effort to bring this research-backed impactful initiative to more school communities. The Institute is designed as a seamless way to equip more partners for delivering the SPB process. Additionally, CFA launched an Online Resource Hub, a one-stop shop with free resources to help educators pilot, scale, and sustain SPB in their school communities.
   Get connected with our team to access these new offerings   

  APTP K-5 Possible Futures Career Exploration Training
K-5 Possible Futures Career Exploration Training
Pictured: Acronym exercise from the K-5 Possible Futures Career Exploration Training
Earlier this month, Maya Watts, Career Navigation Project Manager at CFA, co-facilitated the K-5 Possible Futures Career Exploration Training alongside Stephanie Owens from Imagine Education. The training is part of our Arizona Pathways to Prosperity program, launching a new K-5 curriculum that aligns with the AZ Career Literacy Standards and connects to the successful middle school grades Possible Futures Career Exploration Curriculum. Together, Maya and Stephanie provided support to teachers on seamlessly integrating career exploration curriculum in their classrooms.
During the training, teachers had the opportunity to step into students' shoes by participating in a lesson simulation on how income affects lifestyle and spending choices.
The training also connected teachers and counselors dedicated to bringing college and career awareness to elementary classrooms, creating a support network to benefit the participating educators and their students for years to come.

  Education Forward Arizona Power Hour: Arizona Education Progress Meter
Arizona Progress Meter
Pictured: Ian Dowdy, CFA’s Director of Strategic Data Initiatives presenting the Arizona Education Progress Meters during the Education Forward Arizona Virtual Power Hour
During Education Forward Arizona’s recent Virtual Power Hour, CFA Director of Strategic Data Initiatives Ian Dowdy provided an insightful overview of the Arizona Education Progress Meter for decision-makers across the state. Ian delved into the sourcing and updating process for this dynamic data tool and discussed the practical applications and inherent complexities of the information to encourage more use of this pivotal resource.
The Arizona Education Progress Meter was co-developed in 2015 by CFA and Education Forward Arizona. It's part of a suite of Arizona Progress Meters for fostering informed decisions and driving impactful advancements across the issues that matter most to Arizonans. They serve as a reliable source for communities and leaders to pinpoint priorities and enact meaningful change, contributing to a stronger, more prosperous future for Arizona.
   Watch the recording   
   Explore Arizona Progress Meters    

  Meet the Team Creating a Stronger and Brighter Future for Arizona
CFA Staff
Pictured: Center for the Future of Arizona team at the annual Staff Retreat.
CFA held its annual Staff Retreat earlier this month, convening our team from across the state at Arizona Community Foundation in Phoenix. Together, we reflected on the organization's mission, vision, and values and how we leverage them to enhance our impact.
   About Us   

CFA is Turning 20!
  20 Years of Impact: Reflecting on the Arizona Education Progress Meter and Achieve60AZ
As CFA celebrates two decades of dedicated service to Arizona, Evelyn Casuga, Community & Economic Prosperity Director, and Jennifer Hernandez, College & Career Pathways Project Manager, reflect on a significant event in their early collaboration.
Evelyn Casuga & Jennifer Hernandez
Pictured: Evelyn Casuga, CFA Community & Economic Prosperity Director, and Jennifer Hernandez, CFA College & Career Pathways-Northern Arizona Project Manager, in front of Flagstaff’s City Hall holding the proclamation supporting the statewide attainment goal of 60% by 2030 and supporting the use of the Arizona Education Progress Meter to track priority indicators.
In 2017, Evelyn already worked at CFA while Jennifer worked with Expect More Arizona (now Education Forward Arizona) in Flagstaff, Arizona. They met while collaborating on the launch of the Arizona Education Progress Meter, an idea born from the CFA and Expect More Arizona partnership. It would, in part, measure and track progress to the Achieve60AZ statewide educational attainment goal of ensuring 60% of the state's working adults hold a certificate, license, or degree by 2030.
Jennifer had a chance encounter with Flagstaff’s then-mayor, Coral Evans, at a local coffee shop, where she shared the value of the Arizona Education Progress Meter and Achieve60AZ. Mayor Evans agreed to put the matter before Flagstaff’s City Council, which resulted in the city issuing a proclamation making Flagstaff the first in Arizona to support the statewide educational attainment goal. This support inspired other cities like Cottonwood and Sedona, and entire counties, to follow suit.
Today, more than 50 cities, towns, and counties continue to make informed decisions based on the reliable data provided by the Arizona Education Progress Meters to reach the state's attainment goal.
It’s a proud moment for both Evelyn and Jennifer, and it was made even sweeter when Jennifer joined the CFA team in 2022. This milestone anniversary serves as a reminder of the joy that comes from building partnerships and relationships with fellow organizations and Arizonans on our journey to shape a brighter future for the state.
Learn more:

In the News
Catch up with recent news about CFA, our partners, and the priorities of Arizonans:
Arizona Capitol Times, 2023 Leaders of the Year
Web   Surprise Today, Dysart High senior, DECA leader excels at virtual internship
Daily Independent, Coalition aids effort to have 60% of Arizona adults earn college degrees, credentials
KYMA-DT, September declared as Arizona Career Awareness Month
Web   Tucson Sentinel, Barber & Henninger: Arizonans love their state & trust each other

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