ASU's new Future Sun Devil Families program to launch

October 1, 2013

Beginning this week ASU Future Sun Devil Families initiative will help more Arizona students and families prepare for college. Participants will attend monthly interactive workshops throughout the academic year and learn how to navigate the process to pursue a college degree and receive financial aid.

Future Sun Devil Families workshops take place seven times during the academic year, are available at no cost to families and offer classes in English and Spanish. Workshops are designed to guide students and parents through the college application process in an interactive co-learning environment. Download Full Image

This year, the program is geared toward ninth-grade students and their parents, to give them an early start with college preparation and offer guidance on how to be successful in high school. Additional grades will be added each year and students can participate throughout their high school career. Students and at least one parent are encouraged to attend the free monthly workshops at their local high schools. ASU is targeting ninth-grade students because starting early with college preparation is critical to their success. The program will also offer guidance to students on how to be successful in high school.

Workshops begin this month throughout October 2013 at the following ASU partner high schools:

Oct. 1      Dobson High School

Oct. 2      Cesar Chavez High School

Oct. 15    ASU Preparatory -- Phoenix

Oct. 16    Carl Hayden High School

Oct. 16    Trevor Browne High School

Oct. 17    ASU Preparatory -- Polytechnic

Oct. 17    Marcos De Niza High School

Oct. 22    McClintock High School

Oct. 22    Skyline High School

Oct. 29    Alhambra High School

Oct. 30    North High School

Monthly Future Sun Devil Family meetings will be held at each of the schools listed above.

Participants are still being accepted for the fall. For more information and to register for the program visit:

Donna Snyder is one parent among hundreds who graduated from the innovative new program that ASU piloted earlier this year at four schools in the West Valley. Snyder, parent of Andrew Boras, who was a senior at Westview High School, learned how to create a college application portfolio for her son, apply for admission, research scholarship opportunities and more.

“I had no idea how to get my son into college, but Future Sun Devil Families changed all that, and I learned how to navigate the process in a matter of weeks and now he is going to ASU on a Presidential Scholarship,” said Snyder.

“Future Sun Devil Families illustrates ASU President Michael Crow's vision to measure the success of our university not by who we exclude, but by who we include and how they succeed,” said Beatriz Rendon, associate vice president, Educational Outreach and Student Services, Arizona State University.

Many of our partnership schools serve high percentage of low income and underrepresented populations. According to Postsecondary Education, the college participation rate for low-income students is 33.5 percent in Arizona, which is 5 percent below the national average.

Additionally, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

• By graduating from high school, students can add $10,000 more a year to their salary.

• Students who graduate from a university with a bachelor’s degree increase their salaries to nearly $60,000 a year. 

“Future Sun Devil Families, in partnership with our high school colleagues, creates a pathway to access the university early and often, ensures that students are university eligible and that families have the tools and resources to support them in that endeavor," added Rendon. "Part of ASU's mission is to assume responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality, and the health and well-being of the community. Future Sun Devil Families is a concrete example of how we fulfill the commitment to working in the community as partners in preparing more Arizona youth for the university,” added Rendon.

Additional information can be found at

Future Sun Devil Families is an initiative of Access ASU. The mission of Access ASU is to prepare Arizona students to enroll and succeed at ASU.

Global health student explores myriad of opportunities at ASU

October 2, 2013

Editor's Note: This story is part of an ongoing series about student excellence at the university. To read more about some of ASU's outstanding students, click here.

When Elizabeth Hunt was a little girl, she wrote down all of the things that she would do once she grew up. Among the items that she has already accomplished are traveling and attending a top university. (The private jet hasn’t panned out yet.) Elizabeth Hunt Download Full Image

With a drive to succeed through hard work and by experiencing as many different aspects of her major as possible, Hunt has traveled to Costa Rica and served on internships where she’s made a real difference in people’s lives. Plans are also in the works to earn her master’s degree in public health.  

“I want to work with tribal communities, at the community or national level, through the health care system,” Hunt said. “I want to be a part of the continued advocacy of health care for tribal communities and possibly work within the Indian Health Services at the national level.”

Among Hunt’s many adventures was an internship with the United States Department of Agriculture through the Washington Internships for Native Students in Washington, D.C., while she was attending community college. Taking classes on federal Indian policy and working with the food safety inspection service division of the USDA proved to be a great experience.

“It was a tremendous growing experience where I became more independent, more professional and focused on what I want to do in life,” she said. “It was fun, too.”

After learning about ASU during the internship, visiting the Tempe campus and exploring majors offered through the School of Human Evolution and Social Change in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Hunt decided that ASU was the school for her.

“The student advisors are very helpful,” she said.

After earning her associate's degree in her hometown of Ventura, Calif., tackling the challenging academic rigor at ASU was stressful at first.

“The workload was a big adjustment for me. There are so many readings and writings here, and a demanding schedule,” she said. “I learned about the single study rooms provided by the libraries and still use them to do my work.”

Yet, she soon discovered that opportunities are plentiful at ASU.

During her first semester, she joined the Pre-Health Association of Native American Leaders, where she made friends and practiced her chosen field through health outreach. Hunt is a member of the Western Cherokee Nation of Arkansas and Missouri and is of Mexican descent.  

Costa Rica was Hunt’s destination during the summer of 2012 when she participated in a community health research internship and stayed with a family in the Ngobe Territory. Research consisted of looking at health behaviors in residents’ homes and their relationship to intestinal parasites that many people in the area carry.

“It was very intense,” she said. “Living without electricity and having to boil my water in a rice cooker were complete shocks to my system. It was a very good wake-up call not to take things for granted.”

An internship this past summer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Undergraduate Public Health Scholars program through the Maternal and Child Health Careers/Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement Program by the Kennedy Krieger Institute provided her with the opportunity to work with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in Los Angeles, where she practiced community outreach, aided in hosting information tables at local health fairs and was responsible for scheduling and attending Congressional meetings with the ADA.

“It was really empowering. Working with underrepresented communities is definitely a passion of mine,” she said.

Especially poignant for Hunt was learning more about diabetes, since a family member has the disease.

“My dad has diabetes. It was nice to learn more about educational outreach and this complex disease,” she said.

Giving back to her father is a primary driver in her quest to help others through health outreach. She and her sister will be the first in their family to earn their bachelor’s degrees.

“Others who are getting their college education, or are considering doing so, can do it. It just takes a lot of questions to figure out where to go, and hard work,” she said. “Keep pushing, because it’s going to be difficult. Do an internship if you can. My first internship with the USDA changed my life. It was just great.”

What’s next on her “to do” list? Perhaps a doctoral degree. And someday, that private jet.