PHOENIX, May 2, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Helios Education Foundation announced today the addition of Vince Yanez to its staff as Vice President, Arizona Latino Student Success. In his role, Mr. Yanez will work as part of the Foundation's Community Impact team led by Senior Vice President and Chief Impact Officer Linda Thompson to improve academic preparedness and foster college-going and completing cultures for Arizona students, especially those in high poverty, Latino communities. Mr. Yanez begins his new role at Helios on June 1, 2016.
"Helios is thrilled to have Vince join the Foundation at this pivotal time during the evolution of our Community Impact strategies but also at a pivotal time in education in Arizona," said the Foundation's President and CEO Paul Luna. "Helios cares about all students and we are invested in the success of every student, but we also recognize that Arizona's changing demographics make it imperative that we work to close the Latino student achievement gap in this State. Vince will help drive the Foundation's strategies toward meeting that goal."
Helios Education Foundation's Community Impact strategies are focused around the Foundation's four fundamental beliefs:
- Education changes lives and strengthens communities.
- Education is an investment, not an expense.
- Every student, regardless of zip code, deserves a high quality education.
- We will achieve our mission through partnership and collaboration.
The Foundation is focusing its efforts on specific statewide strategies that disrupt long-standing barriers to equity, access and success, especially for students from underrepresented populations.
"I am looking forward to joining the Helios team and continuing my passion for improving Arizona's education system," said Mr. Yanez. "Education is top of mind across our communities right now and this is our opportunity to work collaboratively to ensure our students receive a high-quality education that will prepare them to succeed in life."
Mr. Yanez comes to Helios from the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF) where he has served as Executive Director for Education & Public Policy since 2013. In that role, Vince has managed the staff responsible for ACF's sizeable college scholarship program and its School Tuition Organization, which provides private school scholarships to high-need K-12 students.
Additionally, Vince oversaw all strategic education grantmaking, working closely with the Board of Directors for the Ellis Center for Educational Excellence, an ACF Supporting Organization. Vince was also responsible for ACF's public policy initiatives and worked closely with the board committee overseeing policy work.
Prior to joining the ACF staff, Vince served as executive director for the Arizona State Board of Education for nine years. Vince first joined the State Board of Education staff in 1997, rising through the ranks and earning the respect of State Board members, legislators, two Arizona governors and business and education leaders throughout Arizona. As Executive Director, he was the chief advocate and policy advisor for issues impacting Arizona's K-12 public education system. Vince holds a bachelor's degree in Government and Spanish from the University of Notre Dame and a master's degree in Social Work from Arizona State University.
Mr. Yanez joins the Foundation's Community Impact team that includes Dr. Karen Ortiz, Vice President, Early Grade Success and Braulio Colon, Vice President, Florida Regional Student Success. During its 2015 fiscal year, Helios invested close to $12 million in Arizona and Florida programs and initiatives that span the education continuum.
Through its work in Arizona, a state where Latino students comprise the largest percentage of the K-12 public school population, Helios is implementing the Arizona Latino Student Success initiative which is ensuring that all students, especially Latino students, are prepared for success in college and career.
In Florida, the Foundation has adopted a regional approach through the Florida Regional Student Success initiative in the geographic areas of Miami, Orlando and Tampa, ensuring that more first-generation, minority and underrepresented students achieve a postsecondary education.
About Helios Education Foundation
Helios Education Foundation is focused on creating opportunities for individuals in Arizona and Florida to succeed in postsecondary education by advancing the academic preparedness of all students and fostering a high-expectation, college-going culture. Through a decade of strategic partnership and investment, Helios has identified Early Grade Success, College and Career Readiness and Postsecondary Education Success as the three most critical reform priorities in achieving our long-term goal.
As an engaged foundation, embedded in communities across both states, the Foundation is contributing its expertise and financial resources to better prepare students for college and career and to compete successfully in a global economy. Since 2006, Helios has invested nearly $170 million in education-related programs and initiatives in Arizona and Florida. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.helios.org.
Contact: Ian Smith
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SOURCE Helios Education Foundation