What does this investment mean?
An investment in public service education is an investment in our shared future
— Former Dean Jonathan Koppell
Goal: Better our community
We can significantly advance our efforts and realize a vision for a new model of integrated teaching, research and service to the benefit of our community. Our ultimate goal is harnessing the full power of Arizona State University and its broad array of programs to transform neighborhoods, communities and cities.
A key component of the investment by Mike and Cindy Watts is bettering the lives of those who live in Maryvale, the neighborhood where they both grew up.
Located several miles northwest of downtown Phoenix, Maryvale is the most populous of the city’s 13 “villages” with over 250,000 residents. If it were a municipality, it would be the 5th largest in Arizona. The community emerged from a developer building affordable family homes in the area more than 70 years ago. Today, Maryvale has the lowest median age of any village in the city of Phoenix. It also has the second highest percentage of residents living below the poverty line (34%).
The community faces many struggles, including a decline in household income, lower education levels and lower test scores. But the community has many strengths, and the Maryvale Revitalization Project and One Square Mile Initiative want to tap into those strengths to help improve the neighborhood and opportunities for those who call it home.
- Strategic alliances with already existing nonprofit and governmental agencies serving Maryvale
- Increase in ASU units deployed to Maryvale
- Decrease in the number of youth and young adults who commit crime
- Increased youth engagement with arts, culture, sciences, and sports
- Increased enrollment in post-secondary education (higher education, West-MEC, etc.)
- Increase positive human and environmental health outcomes
- Evaluate and re-evaluate with a series of group meetings/town halls and surveys to determine what is working and what is not working, and react accordingly
This endowment supports flexible, adaptable service to the community through the deployment and testing of innovative service programs that address evolving need. It supports community organizations in addressing pressing issues by applying the capacity and talents of students and faculty, and provides seed funding for new, high-demand academic and research programs.
- Increased number of immediate solutions applied to real-time community needs
- Increased research, planning and preparation in anticipation of community needs