White House recognizes ASU's outreach efforts

October 16, 2015

The White House honored Arizona State University’s Access ASU initiative for its efforts to help Hispanics prepare for college.

ASU is one of 150 public and private organizations recognized by the White House for making meaningful contributions to the advancement of educational opportunities for Latinos. family getting picture taken with ASU mascot, Sparky Access ASU programs — such as Future Sun Devil Families (pictured here), ASU Preparatory Academy, the American Dream Academy and the Hispanic Mother-Daughter program — follow students all the way to high school to ensure that Arizona youth have a pipeline to ASU. Download Full Image

“These commitments will bring critical resources to Latino students and families,” said Alejandra Ceja, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. “[Access ASU] is an example of meaningful investments being made in support of the largest, youngest, and arguably fastest growing minority community.”

Access ASU, first launched by the university in 2004, strives to increase the number of Arizona students prepared to enroll at ASU. Through partnerships with local school districts, Access ASU has helped 100,000 students prepare for college. Programs operated under Access ASU include the American Dream Academy, Future Sun Devils Families, Hispanic Mother-Daughter Program, ASU Earn to Learn, Barrett Summer Scholars, Collegiate Scholars Academy, Early Outreach Scholars and SPARKS.

“Today’s award highlights ASU’s commitment to access and excellence,” said Beatriz Rendon, ASU’s Senior Associate Vice President for Outreach. “We will continue to widen the path for Latino students to attend ASU and successfully complete their degree.”

Programs like Access ASU represent the university’s commitment to ensuring all Arizona students can attain a college education. Programs offered by Access ASU help students and families are prepare for college academically and financially. Thanks to these outreach efforts, ASU continues to expand educational opportunities for low-income, first generation, and minority students. Since 2004, ASU has doubled the amount of low-income students enrolled at the University.

Access ASU’s partnerships with local school districts are helping more students reach college. Currently, Access ASU is partnered with Glendale Union High School District, Mesa Public Schools, Phoenix Union High School District, Tempe Union High School District and Tolleson Union High School District. Through these partnerships, ASU is able to help more students to attain their college goals.

For districts like the Phoenix Union High School District, Access ASU provides meaningful college experiences to its students. For Phoenix Union interim superintendent Chad Gestson, these experiences leave a lasting positive impact on all students.

“Through our partnership with Access ASU, we can work to dispel myths and remove real and perceived barriers to college,” Gestson said.  “Together, we’ve been able to empower our students with the college readiness resources they need to succeed.”

Access ASU will continue to work with partner districts and schools throughout the state to help more students attend and succeed in college.

To learn more about Access ASU and its programs, visit https://eoss.asu.edu/access.  

Media relations specialist, Media Relations and Strategic Communications


ASU students: Got a good idea? Read this story

October 16, 2015

On your mark, get set — innovate!

Arizona State University students still have time to apply to two entrepreneurial contests that award thousands of dollars to the winners. person speaking in front of group Sidnee Peck, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in the W. P. Carey School of Business, said there are a variety of ways for students to see their ideas launched, including for-credit courses and informal mentorship. Download Full Image

The Igniter Challenge and the Pakis Social Challenge each require students to submit a five-minute video by midnight Tuesday, Oct. 20.

The two competitions, sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurship in the W.P. Carey School of Business are open to any ASU students who want to pitch a good idea.

Finalists will be announced Nov. 17 and they get 90 days to ramp up their proposals. The grand-prize winners will be chosen at a “Spark Tank” gala in February.

The Igniter Challenge is for ASU students who propose a for-profit business that is scalable and highly innovative.

“The board is looking for ideas that change the way that people operate in an industry or the way an entire market behaves,” said Sidnee Peck, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship.

Five finalists will each get $5,000 to take their proposals to the next step and the winner will receive a $50,000 investment.

The prize is funded by a panel of four entrepreneurs who will negotiate equity in the project and provide crucial mentorship.

“If someone has a piece of equity, they are much more likely to make connections for you, to open doors and to spend time and resources on you,” Peck said.

This will be the second Igniter Challenge. Last year’s contest drew 69 applicants and the $50,000 investment went to HELOS, a company founded by a team of seven students to create a new step-in binding for snowboards.

The Pakis Social Challenge is new this year. It’s designed for students to create a for-profit or non-profit entity to address a social need.

Three finalists will get $7,600 each and the winner will get a $25,000 grant plus a guaranteed place in the SEEDSPOT business incubator in downtown Phoenix.

The competition is funded by the Phoenix-based Pakis Family Foundation.

“Pakis is interested in seeing students meet challenges they know a lot about, as opposed to saying, ‘We’re going to solve the clean-water crisis in a country thousands of miles away,’ ” Peck said.

Videos for both competitions must answer several questions, including: What problem are you solving? How will you make money? How will you spend the prize money?

“The mindset is that if a student has an idea, apply,” Peck said. “It’s a five-minute video. You get feedback from the judges. You never know what might resonate with the judges, even if you’re hesitating a little.”

For application details, visit: https://wpcarey.asu.edu/research/entrepreneurship

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter, ASU News