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NAU $2.7 Million Gift to Support Low-Income, Minority Students

Northern Arizona University Yuma has received a $2.7 million gift that will help high school students transition to college and will set a seamless career path for graduates.

Donated by Helios Education Foundation, the gift will fund the Yuma Educational Success (YES) program, a collaborative initiative between NAU, Arizona Western College and the Yuma Union High School District.

Each academic semester the program will serve 200 students with goals to increase student use of support and academic services, GPAs and transfer rates.

“Helios Education Foundation is committed to ensuring that more students pursue and complete a postsecondary degree,” said Paul J. Luna, president, and CEO of Helios Education Foundation. “By utilizing best practices in academic and student support services, this program will help more students on their path toward postsecondary success.”

The program will specifically support and encourage low-income, first-generation minority students. It will include a two-week summer bridge program that aids the transition for Yuma high school students into college. Coordinated support services, academic advising and mentoring including inclusive and integrated academic support will be provided to students.

It will further provide enhanced student learning experiences such as internships and scholarships.

The Yuma Educational Success program is exactly what our Yuma first-generation students need,” said Daniel Corr, president of Arizona Western College. “And we are certain this will move the needle regarding bachelor’s degree completion in Yuma County.”

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