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College Success Arizona recognized by ASU for its work in the Hispanic, Latinx community

October 16th, 2020

This month College Success Arizona (CSA) was recognized by Arizona State University (ASU) for our outstanding contributions to the Hispanic and Latinx community in Arizona.

“The 2020 Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month honorees reflect decades of community advocacy and empowerment for so many students and families,” said Edmundo Hidalgo, vice president of outreach with Educational Outreach and Student Services at ASU. “We are so proud to shine a light on their work this month and year-round. They truly embody the Sun Devil spirit and the power of education.”

The recognition of the organization and its leadership – Rich Nickel, president and CEO, and Dr. Richard Daniel, executive vice president and COO – was part of the university’s celebration of Hispanic Latinx Heritage Month.

“It’s extremely important to celebrate Hispanic, Latinx individuals,” Richard Daniel said in ASU’s video. “If we don’t celebrate them, we don’t tell those stories, then nobody knows about their stories. We can’t forget those people. If you can dream it, you can become it and I really believe that.”

Richard has 29 years of higher education experience and has devoted his attention to providing access and opportunities for low-income, first-generation college students. At CSA he leads strategic and operational planning and partnership development and ensures that all programmatic and administrative budgets align with organizational priorities.

“One of the reasons it’s so important to me is because as a first-generation Latino college student myself going through elementary school and high school there weren’t a lot of role models for me, Latino role models, that could help me navigate this,” he said. “I, personally, believe in giving back. When they begin to see that they can achieve whatever they want to achieve, there’s no limit for them.”

Rich Nickel was recognized by ASU for being a community leader and advocate for increasing public awareness around the tremendous economic and social benefits of creating more degree earners in Arizona, especially for high-need, first-generation, minority students.

For decades he has worked in government, corporate and nonprofit organizations and is a member of numerous local and national collaborations, including being the founding board member of Achieve60AZ.

“When I think about why I’m so passionate about serving Arizona’s Latinx community, it’s these stories of hope and despair, aspirations, challenges and systemic inequities. Most importantly, it’s seeing their will to overcome those,” Rich said. “If somebody’s not passionate about serving students and serving our Latinx community after being a part of some of the amazing journeys of the students we’ve worked with and seeing these life-changing outcomes, then I don’t know how they can be passionate about anything.”

Last school year, 75 percent of CSA’s 247 scholars were first-generation.

This summer CSA worked with the Helios Education Foundation to help more than 1,150 students through the Arizona Postsecondary Student Resiliency Fund, 63 percent of which were Hispanic/Latinx.

National Hispanic Heritage Month was observed from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

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