Right now, Arizona’s educators are diligently preparing our students for the economy of the future—a future where learning is a lifelong skill, not just a box to check and where people have a fluid career with many different, and sometimes diverging pathways.

Our region needs to increase collaboration and go beyond the school gates to enhance learning and increase opportunities to prepare the next generation for a new economy.

With an emphasis on building a stronger community, the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation (the Foundation) is launching ElevateEdAZ to prepare individuals for college and career through stronger alignment between education, business, and the community.

Funding from Pharos Foundation, the Arizona Community Foundation, and other philanthropic organizations enabled the Foundation to partner with Phoenix Union High School District (PXU) to launch the initiative with the Academies at South Mountain (formerly known as South Mountain High School) and Phoenix Coding Academy.

Our team will leverage local professionals and industry experts to provide externships to teachers, create student-based internships, and develop methods to bring college and career pathways into classrooms through guest speakers, field trips, and virtual learning.

Through ElevateEdAZ, the Foundation and PXU will work closely together to support teachers and students with a network of College and Career Coaches, who will work with each school to determine student needs, unique learning opportunities, and how to best provide college and career learning to students.

Next week, the Foundation is hosting the official launch event for ElevateEdAZ with our partners—PXU Superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson, education expert and advocate Jaime Molera of Molera Alvarez, and other notable speakers.

During this digital event, we will showcase the initiative, what’s been accomplished through our pilot programs, and what’s ahead at the intersection of education and business.

In the coming weeks, our Foundation team looks forward to fully launching ElevateEdAZ and expanding its impact by supporting students virtually and in-person when it is safe to return to schools.

I hope you’ll join me on October 13 for the ElevateEdAZ Launch to learn how, through collaboration, we can bridge the gap between business, education, and community to create a bright future for Arizona.

Posted by Annelise Patterson