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APS Honors Hispanic Heritage Month and recognizes AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute

Posted at 9:43 AM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 17:22:12-04

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AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute and APS Team Up to Empower Students

For over 15 years, Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) has partnered with AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute, a local college access organization, to break down barriers to post-secondary education for first-generation, underrepresented students.

Serving students from across the state, AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute offers a holistic approach to youth development and a comprehensive educational program that provides 8th through 12th grade students the academic, professional and personal tools they need to excel as future leaders and changemakers.

"Educational programming is a cornerstone of one of the many initiatives that APS supports through community giving and partnerships," said Miguel Bravo, APS Manager of Strategic Partnerships. "We've partnered with AGUILA for more than a decade because of the powerful impact the program has on shaping students to be the leaders of tomorrow. We want to help expand their horizons and enable them to make a difference."

APS's longstanding collaboration with AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute has helped enable the local organization to send over 1,800 students to more than 160 colleges and universities across the country since the partnership began. APS's sponsorship contributions have helped cover the costs of educational programming, skill development workshops and resources. In addition, APS employees contribute their time as volunteers with the organization, supporting the personal development of high school students and providing mentorship."

AGUILA is more than a college preparation program. Our students discover a sense of self and connectedness that motivate them to grow into empathetic, ethical leaders professionally and civically," said Rosemary Ybarra-Hernandez, AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute CEO/Founder. "We've cultivated a strong and successful partnership with APS over the years and are proud to share a mutual passion for connecting students with possibilities for their future.

"In addition to supporting the organization, APS has also been directly impacted by the work of AGUILA, with one of its own employees being a former participant in the program while in high school.

"As a high school student becoming a first-generation college student, I found the mentorship and resources I needed through AGUILA to help guide the decisions I made about my own education and career," said Yessica del Rincon, APS spokesperson. "I'm an example of the impact organizations like AGUILA and APS can make together to create enriching opportunities for students to grow, dream and be bold about their professional path."

Since the program first began in 2004, AGUILA participants who have gone on to pursue post-secondary degrees have been awarded over $120 million in scholarship money beyond federal financial aid packages such as grants, work study and loans.

To learn more about the AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute program, their mission and the enrollment process for students, visit

For more information on APS's involvement in the community and support for civic and charitable organizations, check out