Photos courtesy of city of Peoria

The city of Peoria has been named the Hero of Education for 2023 by Glendale Community College (GCC), a commendation that celebrates Peoria’s unwavering commitment to educational advancement and community partnership.

A Partnership Rooted in Community Growth
This prestigious award, presented during the Heroes of Education celebration at the Phoenix Art Museum on November 16, recognizes Peoria’s longstanding partnership with GCC. The collaboration is notably highlighted by the PeoriaAZ Promise program, an initiative launched in 2022 to support local students in their pursuit of higher education.

Bridging the Educational Gap
The PeoriaAZ Promise program stands as a testament to the city’s dedication to education. Designed to supplement federal financial aid, this program aims to bridge the financial gap for Peoria families, making college education more accessible and affordable.

The program, funded with $200,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act/COVID Stimulus Grant, offers scholarships and stipends to eligible students attending GCC. Focusing on fields like first response, IT, and other municipal-related studies, the initiative has already benefited 84 students since its inception in spring 2022.
Education Fostering Economic Strength
Peoria Mayor Jason Beck, speaking at the event, highlighted the intrinsic link between a strong economy and robust educational systems. “I believe that a strong economy and education go hand-in-hand,” says Beck. “The PeoriaAZ Promise program, managed by our Neighborhood and Human Services division, is a wonderful example of how we are investing in the next generation of first responders here in the West Valley. Thank you to Glendale Community College for the partnership and recognition.”

Quality Education for Tomorrow’s Jobs
The city of Peoria’s investment in education reflects a deep understanding of the critical role postsecondary education plays in community growth and prosperity. By ensuring consistent and affordable access to quality education, the city aims to equip students with the necessary skills and training for future job markets.

The College Promise Program
The Peoria program aligns with the national College Promise Program, a non-partisan, nonprofit initiative supporting the funding of the first two years of college education. To be eligible for the PeoriaAZ Promise, students must meet income criteria for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, reside in Peoria, and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA. Applications are vetted through the Maricopa Community College Foundation, ensuring a fair and impactful selection process.