Paul J. Luna is an incredible asset for students throughout the east valley and across the state. In his role as President and CEO of Helios Education Foundation, he works tirelessly to ensure students are prepared well for life through postsecondary education. Luna leads the strategic direction of the Helios Education Foundation by focusing on cultivating strong community relationships and initiating strategic partnerships. Luna, who serves on numerous education councils and is a recipient of numerous non-profit awards and recognitions, is described as a humble, hard worker. He was a clear choice for this month’s Cadence at Gateway East Valley Community Champion.

A native of Miami, Arizona, Luna graduated from Miami High School and as a first-generation college student, attended Stanford University, where he earned a degree in Civil Engineering. His parents were strong advocates and champions for college education.

Luna carries on his parents’ advocacy for education today through the Helios Education Foundation. The organization creates opportunities through three impact areas: Early Grade Success, College and Career Readiness and Postsecondary Completion. The Foundation has an endowment in excess of $680 million which helps fundseducation success efforts.

“We focus on how we can create a college-going culture, especially beginning in the middle school years, the challenging years for students who have so much talent and have dreams and goals of attaining a college degree and oftentimes find barriers to reach that goal,” Luna said. “Helios Foundation, in partnership, looks to engage the parents, the students, the communities, to work with teachers and schools to ensure that we are providing a support system to create that culture.”

In addition to his role at Helios, Paul currently serves as a member of Greater Phoenix Leadership, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, The Aspen Institute’s Youth and Engagement Advisory Circle, the National College Access Network Board of Directors, the America’s Promise Alliance Board of Directors, the Center for the Future of Arizona Board of Directors, and the Arizona Community Foundation Board of Directors, and he was Founding Chair of the Expect More Arizona Board of Directors.

“Paul Luna’s advocacy and passion for student success, even in the most challenging circumstances, embodies ADL’s work in education and helps to create a more inclusive environment for students,” said Greg Rosenthal, Chair of the Arizona Regional ADL Board. We congratulate Paul Luna on his many accomplishments and thank him for being an advocate for east valley students. To learn more about Helios Education Foundation, visit https://www.helios.org/.

Know an individual or organization improving life in Mesa, Gilbert, Apache Junction, Chandler or Queen Creek?

Send your Cadence Community Champion nominations to info@CadenceAZ.com.