Who Are We?
Education Is Our Future, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to literacy and education. Its mission is to help high school and college students become successful, productive citizens by utilizing a Stay In School approach as they are mentored through real-time, on-the-job work experiences. Recognized on March 15, 2002 and approved for business by the Internal Revenue Service on July 17, 2002 the company’s name and mission statement clearly states its philosophy, education. We believe that education is a cornerstone to our lives and it enriches the lives of the participating students and the people whom they meet.
We at Education Is Our Future are committed to helping young people realize their potential. We all know how hard it is to predict the future or pick a career when you’re eighteen (18) years of age. By working with these young people we allow them to learn more about themselves. We expose them to cultural, environmental, and social issues—encouraging them along the way.
Exposure to challenging situations is a foundation for knowledge and we support these challenges with positive mentorship. Decisions we make, not only for ourselves, but also for our families, our careers, the politicians we elect, or our land-water-air management policies are based on various levels of knowledge and experiences that we have been exposed to. This exposure comes in many ways—through formal education, the media, training or lessons-learned through experience, just to name a few.
Education Is Our Future, Inc. focuses on three of these categories—formal education, training and lessons-learned through experience. And the beneficiaries of this education are our high school and college interns. By emphasizing Stay In School we implement Work Force Development techniques. We challenge these students up to, and slightly beyond, their potential to develop them academically, culturally and socially.
We enjoy working with young people and have the patience and understanding to help develop their potential, their skills and their citizenship. By working alongside professionals, professionalism rubs off. We believe the positive mentoring provided to these students prove invaluable in their later lives. We work as a team to build a product; a product that is fun to build but requires establishing objectives, meeting deadlines and providing deliverables—operations and time-management skills that, in the work place today, are demanded.
We Specialize In Work Force
There are no grades—no pass or fail—but students must perform. And their performance is measurable, both qualifiable and quantifiable. For the past eight (8) years a few professionals have taken a bold stance in providing salaried work opportunities for high school students through a recreational newspaper called Arizona Outdoor Journal. What makes this operation unique is that the vast majority of the newspaper’s working staff are students—students who receive focus and day-to-day direction from key mentors—a publisher, a managing editor and an art director.
These students serve apprenticeships with Arizona Outdoor Journal. For most it’s 18 months, but for some it’s only a 6-12 month program. During their apprenticeships the students work 12-15 hours per week during the school year and 30+ hours per week during the summer months. The types of students vary; they’re all "want-to-be’s"—some want-to-be journalist, others photographers, editors, accountants, business majors, graphic designers, web masters, publishers, marketing majors……or even engineers.
Students are selected from various high schools within the state. Most are selected by their geographical proximity to Arizona Outdoor Journal’s physical office location; however, students have assisted in the publication from as far away as Flagstaff to pursue potential career opportunities in photo-journalism. Pre-employment questionnaires have been developed and are left with career counselors at the various high schools and interested students are selected based on this questionnaire, their career goals, their "skills" and the needs of the publication.
The needs of the publication are not unique but they are all encompassing—because ultimately the students run the operation. They assist in editorial checking; layout and design; they create the ads and handle circulation and distribution; they do the payroll and bookkeeping; they create the marketing material and they even write the stories—although the majority of the feature stories are written by freelance or professional writers.
At first brush one may think this is a kid’s publication. But it’s not. The publication is mature and sophisticated enough to hold the public’s interest. It is not viewed as a "light" or "kids" publication and the founders are true to course not to allow this to happen. The publication reports on important issues such as, the Rodeo-Chediski fire-recovery efforts, gun control, and land and wildlife management practices as well as the fun stuff—like 4x4ing, fishing, hiking and rock climbing. Arizona Outdoor Journal newspaper has been well received by the public mostly because it provides educational and recreational information—something that, to-date, is almost non-existent in the Arizona printed-media market. Arizona Outdoor Journal has identified more than 75 recreational topics to report on thus keeping the students working while keeping the public "tuned in" to the issues and the "fun-to-be-had" in Arizona’s great outdoors.
The organization, Education Is Our Future, Inc. dba Arizona Outdoor Journal, is poised for success. Its four issues a year will soon grow to 10 and with it will be its popularity with the public. When the 6-8 students per year grow to 12-15 the staff will be at full compliment—and at full workload to support a monthly publication.
Promote “Stay In School”
What makes Education Is Our Future noteworthy is its approach. It uses "outdoor fun" depicted and acted-out in Arizona Outdoor Journal to sell its message of Stay In School. All kids relate to fun—and most relate to Arizona’s great outdoors. To be a part of Arizona Outdoor Journal you must be in school. And the Stay In School message carries over into its scholarship program. Any student who works with the publication for at least six months and graduates from high school earns eligibility into our scholarship program—a program that provides financial aid for continuing education. As stated earlier, Education Is Our Future promotes education and a Stay In School message so students are encouraged to achieve their potential.
By implementing this employment and scholarship program new interns must always arrive as "old" interns move on—hopefully, towards a higher level of education. As seniors graduate from high school they also graduate from the publication and must hire their own replacement. Acting as an employer they must hire someone to be their replacement, which in and of itself can be a life-changing experience for an 18 year old.
They ask themselves; what does an employer look for?—good grades, physical appearance, attendance, communication skills and/or other documented, acquired skills. Deciding whom to hire is difficult. They must review the new intern’s employment application and transcript(s) as well as perform a one-on-one interview. It becomes a lesson in life not only for the student but also the new intern. This process, however, is not performed without support. Before a new intern is hired a staff professional helps out—thus mentoring and critiquing the student on their selection process.
We Are Dedicated To Community Service
Along with the academic-related benefits there are character-building values to be gained by the students who work for Arizona Outdoor Journal. The publication, by its format and focus, teaches social and environmental responsibility to young people who will inherit the quality of our land, air, water and wildlife—which are constantly being affected by the decisions we make today. Education Is Our Future further expands a youth’s education through community service, adventure and personal experience. Students’ viewpoints are broadened, their interests in environmental and wildlife issues are piqued and many times their lives are transformed through community involvement, teamwork, volunteerism, compassion or sense of duty.
Our students have worked closely with personnel from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the Arizona State Parks Department, the National Park Service, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, the Arizona State Trust Land Department, some Native American Tribes and many privatized organizations that are aware of, and wish to preserve, our natural resources for future generations. Collaborations with these organizations provide additional insight to the students so they can better understand the balance between wildlife, man and the conservation and preservation of our natural resources. Our students will evolve into better-informed, more-rounded individuals capable of making big decisions that may help shape Arizona’s future.
Catch Our Passion
Education Is Our Future’s primary message is Stay In School and focuses on the Work Force Development of high school students throughout the state. Within five years, and with the appropriate start-up capital and on-going support, Education Is Our Future will be providing job opportunities and scholarship awards to more than 50 students per year.
As stated earlier, the program budgets for each student to work an average of 12-15 hours per week during the school year and 30+ hours per week during the summer months. All employment opportunities pay above minimum wage so your financial support is needed. We do not want to lose any of our students to another less-career-oriented job simply because it pays more. We place their education first—above the needs of the publication and ensure their work schedules do not take away from academic commitments.
Our 2004-05 proposed budgets are fixed; however, funding needs will double in upcoming years when the program matures. The number of students required to support the publication will be 12-15 each year; however, the percentage of students attending a college or trade school will continue to grow for 4-5 years—until some students begin graduating. Education Is Our Future will continue to support them both socially and financially, until graduation, as long as they maintain passing grades and wish to continue in their education.
As anyone can see, it takes a certain level of financial commitment and human effort to achieve the lofty goals set for Education Is Our Future—and these goals need not apply to only the publishing business. Education Is Our Future can be viewed as a pilot program for other companies to follow. The program provides real-time work experience and training to high school and college students regardless of their career path. Education Is Our Future has already been approached by other 501(c)(3) organizations to assist them in the recruitment of high school- or college-level talent to support the needs of their organizations. This hiring practice can easily be adopted or wrapped into Education Is Our Future’s program as the need arises.
Our growth will provide many welcomed challenges for both the staff and students but without the proper financial support it will take more than the predicted five years to reach its potential. Our advertising and subscription dollars can only support a portion of our operational costs so the philanthropic giving by corporations, foundations and individuals will be required to support the growth and tremendous educational goals of our program.
Thank you for the opportunity to introduce Education Is Our Future, Inc. to your organization. Won’t you join us? Joining us provides a two-fold benefit, with intrinsic benefits to you as a donor or sponsor. You will be making a difference in the lives of many Arizona youth—youth who may eventually help shape the future of Arizona. And together we will be providing an informational and educational service to the people of Arizona through Arizona Outdoor Journal.
Information: Phone (623) 435-9669 —
Ask for Bill!!
Donations are fully tax deductible. Tax ID Number: 86-0953995
To download a PDF version of this document, which also identifies the Board of Directors and Education Is Our Future's annual budget click on Overview.
Make Checks Payable To:
Education Is Our Future, Inc.
P.O. Box 5307
Glendale, AZ 85312