D-backs to offer $1 million in college scholarships

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation announced a partnership with Helios Education Foundation and the Arizona College Scholarship Foundation to create the D-backs Helios Scholars program that will send 40 Arizona High School seniors to college over the next five years. The D-backs will contribute $500,000 to the D-backs Helios Scholars program that Helios Education Foundation will match for a total donation of $1 million.

“The D-backs understand the importance of education and are proud to partner with highly-reputable organizations such as Helios and Arizona College Scholarship Foundation,” said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall. “We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to receive an advanced education and for many of our recipients this year, they will be the first in their family to attend college.”

Tomorrow, the D-backs will recognize the first eight D-backs Helios Scholars in a special pregame ceremony on the field prior to the first pitch at 5:10 p.m. D-backs players and team representatives will present the scholars with a scholarship certificate, a new laptop computer (courtesy of Insight and Lenovo), a bike and a D-backs backpack full of gifts and supplies for college.  

The D-backs Helios Scholars program will provide scholarships named in honor of D-backs players and coaches who have made a generous contribution to the program. The scholarships will be awarded to college-bound high school seniors in Arizona to attend any four-year college or university in Arizona (valued at $24,000 each). Eight recipients will receive scholarships named in honor of the following players and coaches: Luis Gonzalez, Aaron Hill, Jason Kubel, Wade Miley, Miguel Montero, Charles Nagy, Chris Young.

Among the 2012 recipients are academically gifted students with incredible stories of personal triumph, leadership, strength, hope and perseverance.  Five of this year’s eight recipients are first-generation college students.

“Helios Education Foundation is proud to be working with the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation and the Arizona College Scholarship Foundation to help well-deserving students realize their dreams of achieving a college education,” said Helios Education Foundation President and CEO Paul Luna. “The triumphs and accomplishments of these students are commendable and help exemplify the true impact of surrounding our students in a culture of high academic expectations and postsecondary education attainment.”

The scholarships will be administered by the Arizona College Scholarship Foundation and will target students who have completed a college preparatory program, demonstrate academic strength and a compelling desire to attend college, with a priority given to students with limited financial resources. In addition to the scholarship funding, each student will have access to an Arizona College Scholarship Foundation mentor to support their education needs.

About Helios Education Foundation
Helios Education Foundation is focused on creating a high expectations, college-going culture in Arizona and Florida by investing in initiatives that create opportunities for postsecondary education success.  The Foundation focuses its investments across the education continuum in three key impact areas: Early Childhood Education, the Transition Years (Grades 5-12) and Postsecondary Scholarships.  As an engaged foundation, embedded in communities across both states, the Foundation is contributing its leadership, expertise and financial resources to better prepare students to succeed academically and to compete in a globally-competitive economy. Since 2006, Helios has invested over $115 million in education-related programs and initiatives in Arizona and Florida. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.helios.org.

About Arizona College Scholarship Foundation
The Arizona College Scholarship Foundation (ACSF) is a non-profit organization made up of concerned Arizona business and community leaders, philanthropists and foundations, education leaders and community service leaders, all of whom are committed to making college a reality for Arizona students through scholarships and mentoring programs to high potential/low income students. ACSF is a unique collaboration that includes working with established and successful organizations that serve high-risk children and provide early mentoring, coordinating with other organizations that provide college preparatory training and application information for students as well as college mentoring and awarding scholarships to students based on their potential and their need.