College Bound AZ

Thunderbirds Charities Grant Overcomes Digital Divide Magnified by COVID-19 for RISE Scholars Headed to ASU

The RISE (Reaching Impact through Student Excellence) Scholars program is a 5-year college prep and job placement scholarship for Pell grant-eligible high school seniors ready to commit to a degree program at Arizona State University in a STEM major. Qualified students receive four years paid tuition and fees at ASU and College Bound AZ serves as the supportive bridge to ensure that their transition to college is successful.

Because of computer access challenges due to COVID-19 closing schools this spring, that transition to college for many low-income students was in jeopardy. Essential steps in the college application process, such as submitting scholarship essays and filling out the complex FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form, suddenly became major hurdles for students without a computer in their home.

Jaleeyeah Arnold, a 19-year-old RISE Scholar and recent graduate of the East Valley Institute of Technology, is one of the deserving recipients of a laptop purchased with the Thunderbirds’ Charities funding. “I’m so thankful that I now don’t have to worry about the expense of buying a laptop for college. I have already used it for taking an ASU placement test for one of my fall courses and to attend my virtual orientation session. I will continue to use my laptop for the virtual classes I’ll be taking, and to do all of my writing assignments.”

Together, Thunderbirds’ Charities and College Bound AZ are helping narrow the digital divide and ensure more underrepresented Arizona students achieve college success.

College Bound AZ

This grant is part of the Spring 2020 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees.