First cohort of 29 students selected to pursue degrees in Criminal Justice, Health Services Administration, Hospitality and Tourism Management, and New Media Communications

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (June 23, 2020) Broward College is celebrating the launch of a new scholarship that will address equity gaps among some of its most vulnerable students. At a virtual town hall hosted by the College, on Friday, June 19, Paul J. Luna, President and CEO of the Helios Education Foundation, announced a $1.2 million philanthropic investment to establish the Helios-BC2FIU Scholarship program. The new scholarship, available to students starting their academic journey at Broward College this fall, is a collaboration between Broward College (BC) and Florida International University (FIU) to promote equitable outcomes for underserved, minority, and first-generation students. The scholarship provides a seamless pathway to complete an Associate of Science degree at Broward College and transfer with guaranteed admission to Florida International University to complete their baccalaureate degree.

“Helios Education Foundation is proud to partner with Broward College and Florida International University to provide scholarship support that allows students to focus on their education and career success,” said Mr. Luna.

The scholarship program is anchored in the belief that education is the path to a better life and social mobility for the students it serves, and it incorporates specific strategies to address critical barriers to student retention and program completion. Students who receive the scholarship will qualify for a total of $10,000 for up to five years at $2,000 for each academic year. The Helios-BC2FIU will support Pell Grant eligible college students to their baccalaureate degree completion in one of four educational programs: Criminal Justice, Health Services Administration, Hospitality and Tourism Management, and New Media Communications. The Helios-BC2FIU Scholarship program will support 34-36 students a year and will provide scholarships to an estimated 140 students over the four-year program.

“At Broward College, we value our role in addressing inequity and the barriers our students face in getting to their desired academic and career goals,” said Broward College President Gregory Adam Haile, J.D. ” We are honored to be partnering with Helios Education Foundation and Florida International University to provide seamless pathways for students in our communities who encounter financial barriers to higher education. This is an investment not only in higher education, but in the prosperity of our region.”

Recruitment of the first cohort of students has already begun, with 29 students who were offered accepting the scholarship. Of this number, seven have committed to a degree in Criminal Justice, 14 to degrees in Health Services Administration, five in Hospitality and Tourism Management, and three in New Media Communications.

By capitalizing on the BC Summer Seahawk Academy and the nationally recognized FIU Connect4Success transfer pathway partnership, Helios-BC2FIU scholars will be more likely to be retained and complete their Associate of Science (AS) and baccalaureate degrees within four years. In doing so, the Helios-BC2FIU Scholarship program will help provide educational equity to underserved students, and students from Broward UP™ communities.

The importance of this new scholarship program is further explained by Dr. Janie Valdés, assistant vice president for Enrollment Management and Services at FIU, who oversees the Connect4Success program, “The AS to bachelor’s pathway does not get as much attention as it should in developing a transfer-going culture, and we need to change that. AS graduates are career-ready, with many earning industry certifications as part of their degree. As such, they have a unique opportunity to take their work experiences and insights into upper-level coursework, allowing them to deepen connections between theory and application while enriching peer-to-peer learning.”

She continued, “we are grateful to the faculty members who worked diligently to establish articulation agreements so that our students can maximize credits and graduate from FIU without accruing excess hours, and to the Helios Education Foundation for their unwavering support of these new pathways as part of our successful Connect4Success partnership with Broward College.”

The Helios Education Foundation grant includes a 2:1 scholarship match opportunity. Interested industry parties can contact the Broward College Foundation to learn more about this initiative.

About Helios Education Foundation

Helios Education Foundation is dedicated to creating opportunities for individuals in Arizona and Florida to achieve a postsecondary education. The Foundation’s work is driven by four fundamental beliefs in Community, Investment, Equity, and Partnership. Helios invests in programs and initiatives across the full education continuum – from early grade success through postsecondary education. In Arizona, where Latino students comprise the largest percentage of the K-12 public school population, the Foundation is implementing its Arizona Latino Student Success initiative focused on preparing all students – especially students in high poverty, underserved Latino communities – for success. Through Helios’ Florida Regional Student Success Initiative, the Foundation is helping first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students from the state’s large population centers of Orlando, South Florida and Tampa Bay achieve a postsecondary education. Since 2006, the Foundation has invested more than $242 million in education programs and initiatives in both states. To learn more about Helios, visit