Academic Opportunity of Arizonaâ€¯Awards $1.6M in Tuition Assistance to More than 200 Youth Across Arizona
By Brian O'Malley -
Monday Sep 20, 2021
For more than 200â€¯children living with disabilities or from low-income families, the 2021/2022 school year looks a lot more positive thanksâ€¯to theâ€¯supportâ€¯of Academicâ€¯Opportunity of Arizonaâ€¯(AOA).â€¯The nonprofit school tuition organization based in Phoenixâ€¯announced today thatâ€¯more than $1.6M in scholarships were awarded to 209 studentsâ€¯throughout the stateâ€¯allowing them to further their education atâ€¯aâ€¯private school partner of AOA.
Founded in 2014,â€¯Academic Opportunity of Arizonaâ€™s mission isâ€¯to help close the gap in education accessâ€¯for children living with disabilities and experiencing financial insecurity.â€¯Since theirâ€¯inceptionâ€¯the organization has gifted more than $6.4 millionâ€¯in scholarships to benefit more than 750 students.â€¯â€¯
â€œWe believe that every child, regardless of disability or financial standing, should have opportunity to receive an education that suits their needs best and allows them to blossom,â€ says Chad Bays, CEO and co-founder of Academic Opportunity of Arizona. â€œFor some that means learning in a private school setting and we feel blessed to have built partnerships with some fantastic institutions in our state that can support the needs of these students and help them find their path to excel in their education.â€
Offering multi-year, full-tuition scholarships through corporate and individualâ€¯tax creditâ€¯donations, AOA partners with more than 60 schools statewide to provide hundreds of students access to a comprehensive education.â€¯To receive scholarships, applicants must provide proof of disability or financial hardship and in some cases qualify for both.
Bays founded the school tuition organization after watching his mother dedicate more than 30 years to early childhood education, instilling in him the same passion and motivation for educationâ€¯she provided her students.â€¯Prior to founding AOA, Bays spent more than a decade in the corporate world of real estate, insurance, and finance.
â€œLike so many who are called to start up nonprofits, giving up my corporate job seemed crazy,â€ says Bays. â€œBut from an early age, my mother instilled in me the importance of education for all and so Academic Opportunity of Arizona was born. We are so thankful to our corporate partners for their willingness to dedicate their tax credit dollars to our organization, so we can continue to be able to help hundreds of students each year.â€
For more information on Academic Opportunity of Arizona, to apply for future scholarship or how to donate, please visit academicopportunity.org.