$5.1 million is being poured into Tucson high schools through an initiative to help students get into college. The Helios Education Foundation is partnering with local school districts to get college prep to nearly 145,000 students until 2020.
The program benefits 18 schools in Tucson, Sunnyside, and Vail school districts. Paul Luna is the CEO of the foundation, and he says the money will pay for every junior at the schools involved to take the ACT test for free.
The initiative also includes helping high school students with college planning and making sure every student sends in at least one college application.
"When the target is every student, it begins to change the culture," explained Luna. "Not only for the student and the family environment but the entire school and community becomes a much more college-going culture."
This initiative will also help students fill out financial aid (FAFSA) applications. Students say they're excited to participate and feel like this will open doors for many students who never thought that college was an option before.