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Halle Foundation funds ElevateEdAZ pursuit of Phoenix education expansion

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ElevateEdAZ prepares individuals for college and career through stronger alignment between education, business and the community, proponents of the effort say. (File Photos/

Grant supports expansion of ElevateEdAZ programs at local schools

Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

The Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation is providing ElevateEdAZ, the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation’s strategic education initiative, funding to expand to two additional schools in Maricopa County — one public and one charter in the 2022-23 school year.

ElevateEdAZ prepares individuals for college and career through stronger alignment between education, business and the community, according to a press release.

“By 2028, 70 percent of jobs in Arizona will require an education beyond a high school diploma,” said Tom Egan, executive director at the Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation.

“Arizona needs to provide more opportunities for high school students and by partnering with ElevateEdAZ, we hope to help. Their program is designed to help job seekers obtain the skills necessary to be college and career ready. We’re proud to be supporting ElevateEdAZ in their goal of ensuring alignment of education to workforce as Arizona students enter the job market.”

The funding will be used to pay the salary of one ElevateEdAZ college and career coach at each of the campuses, provide a “YouScience” aptitude and interest assessment to all students to help them determine their career path, fund career awareness events such as mock interviews and resume-building workshops, and provide incentives to students and teachers, according to a press release.

“We’re so appreciative of the Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation and their commitment to education and developing the workforce in Arizona,” said Jennifer Mellor, chief innovation officer at the Chamber Foundation.

“With their generous donation, we will be able to provide an additional 2,000-5,000 students with career exposure to high-wage, high-demand and high-skill occupations. They will also gain access to job shadowing and internship opportunities with local employers who, in addition to ElevateEdAZ College and Career Coaches, can provide tips on resume writing, networking and different occupations available.”

— Jenner Mellor

In 2020, the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation, embarked on a 2.5-year pilot program on a work-based learning initiative for secondary education, the release states. They convened business and education stakeholders to create a strategic plan and launched ElevateEdAZ in partnership with Phoenix Union High School District.

Over the 2021-22 school year, ElevateEdAZ expanded to five schools across PXU and Mesa Public Schools.

Thanks to funding from organizations like the Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation, as well as other local and national philanthropic partners, ElevateEdAZ will expand to eight high schools in 2022-23 and at least one charter school.

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