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Thirty recipients of the Verma and Ed Pastor Scholarship cohort selected in May 2022 – primarily freshman scholars – are receiving wraparound services as part of a pilot program with Education Forward Arizona. The vast majority of the recipients are the first in their family to attend college and many face unique obstacles, including lack of family support, self-esteem and knowledge about the college experience.

Education Forward is providing mentorship to the cohort through its Success Services program. The program enables and empowers students to learn how to create their own toolbox for success in academics and career, and to practice healthy life skills, all while being supported by a caring and knowledgeable professional. Wraparound services include one-on-one mentoring sessions, enrollment counseling, academic tracking, financial aid advice, peer networking, professional development sessions and more.

It’s not too late to apply!

The Verma and Ed Pastor Scholarship, which is sponsored by both the Phoenix IDA and PCDIC and administered by the Arizona Community Foundation, awards scholarships in the amount of $2,500 to $5,000 to students with financial need attending an accredited, public college or university in Maricopa county and pursuing any field of study. The scholarship application is now open through May 1, 2023.

Community Development Fund Spotlight: St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance

Serving the Valley since 1967, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance works to improve the quality of life for low-income, food-insecure Arizonans. St. Mary’s recently received a Community Development Fund grant from the Phoenix IDA and PCDIC in support of the St. Mary’s Skill Center, which consists of two programs, the LIFT program (Logistics Inventory Forklift Training) and the Community Kitchen program.

The goal of the St. Mary’s Skills Center is to prepare homeless, formerly incarcerated, and/or other vulnerable individuals for warehousing or food industry jobs. The grant will be used to teach, train, mentor and support the individuals enrolled in the programs, as well as to purchase supplies and equipment.

The Phoenix IDA Board of Directors is scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. February 16, 2023.

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