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Helios Education Foundation and YUHSD announce Class of 2021 RNY scholarship recipients

Marley Barker holds giant check in Cibola hallwayHelios Education Foundation and Yuma Union High School District announced six recipients of the annual Ready Now Yuma Scholarship this week. 

The scholarship is worth up to $15,000 each year and is renewable up to three additional years and is part of Helios’ more than $3 million investment over 10 years in YUHSD students through the scholarship program.  

“Helios Education Foundation is honored to provide scholarships to these deserving students,” said Grace Smith Kaus, Director, Postsecondary Success Initiatives for Helios Education Foundation. “These students have a bright future ahead of them and Helios is proud to help support their success, at this pivotal time.” 

Students were given an oversized check and balloons by their school counselor and principal as part of a surprise presentation on campus. A video compilation of the surprises can be viewed on YUHSD’s YouTube channel:

“I am so shocked. I don’t even know what to say,” said Gila Ridge High School senior Jordan Bunte, who will attend Northern Arizona University in the fall. “I’m just shocked. I can’t believe it.”

The Ready Now Yuma Scholars program supports seniors with financial need attending an accredited post-secondary institution and pursuing any field of study. Students must be enrolled full-time in an accredited college or university and pursuing a 4-year degree. This scholarship is renewable if students are in good standing and maintain the required GPA. 

More than 70 qualified applicants were considered by Helios and the Arizona Community Foundation.  

Here are this year’s recipients, their high school, and what college or university they plan to attend: 

Marley Barker, Cibola High School, Arizona State University

Jordan Bunte, Gila Ridge High School, Northern Arizona University

Jovanna Wesley, Kofa High School Northern Arizona University

Monthserrat Cano, Kofa High School, Arizona State University

Georgette Encinas, San Luis High School, George Washington University

Jethzly Navarro, Yuma High School, Arizona State University

More about Ready Now Yuma:

Ready Now Yuma is a unique, student-centered initiative of YUHSD and Helios Education Foundation with the goals of: Graduating every YUHSD student prepared to succeed in college and career; Embedding a high expectations, college-going culture within the district; and Increasing the number of students entering and succeeding in postsecondary education including career and technical education, community college, and university.

The initiative provides YUHSD students with a rigorous, high-expectations program of study within a college-going environment. Regardless of past academic performance or post-high school aspirations, Ready Now Yuma is designed to challenge and support every student on the path to college, career, and community readiness.

Eric Patten