ElevateEdAZ Program Works to Close the Gap for Upward Economic Mobility









ElevateEdAZ was awarded a grant for $308,000 from A for Arizona, an organization with a laser focus on creating a system where every K-12 student can achieve a future without limits by providing access to high-quality schools and learning environments in every community. Funds from the grant will be used to help students with transportation to and from internships, providing real-world working experience alongside their education.

“We are extremely thankful for the support from A for Arizona,” said Todd Sanders, president and CEO, Greater Phoenix Chamber. “This grant helps tackle the barrier that lack of access to transportation can create for many low-income students. When we provide these young adults access to high-wage and high-demand pathways, we boost their opportunities for upward economic mobility.”

Access to reliable transportation is vital for students like Ashley Gutierrez-Torres, a Metro Tech High School senior participating in an internship at the local nonprofit Kid in the Corner. Her work in social media planning and management for the nonprofit is giving her valuable insights into nonprofit communications and development, building the foundations she will need as she works towards her dream of starting her own nonprofit organization in the future.

“Having a way to get to my internship safely and fast has made my experience so much better,” says Ashley Gutierrez.

The program utilizes rideshare partner HopSkipDrive for student transportation. HopSkipDrive is an innovative leader in student transportation, already providing solutions to underutilized bus routes and driver shortages across the country thanks to their network of ‘CareDrivers’ that provide rides.

Between October 2023 and January 2024, the grant from A for Arizona has helped ElevateEdAZ:

  • Provide 607 rides for students.
  • Give 30 students workforce experiences by providing them with safe, reliable transportation to and from their internships.
  • The total number of miles students have traveled using this program are 11,235.

Previously, ElevateEdAZ students without reliable transportation weren’t eligible for internship programs, limiting their opportunities.

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