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Announcing the 2019 College Success Arizona Star Award Winner

September 16th, 2019

College Success Arizona is proud to recognize Gaspar Mata, Recruitment and College Outreach Manager at Year Up Arizona, as the recipient of the 2019 College Success Arizona Star Award.

Each year, during the Leaders and Legends celebration, College Success Arizona honors a college access professional who demonstrates an extraordinary level of personal commitment and leadership in helping Arizona students achieve their postsecondary education goals. Since 2015, the Star Award has been given to individuals who go above and beyond to help students—particularly low-income, first-generation students—access higher education. Past honorees include Eugene Begay of the TRiO – Northern Arizona University Talent Search, David J. Rodriguez Martinez, of Tucson’s Metropolitan Education Commission (MEC), Zulema Fragoso, of the Nogales Unified School District, and Dolores Ramirez, of the Phoenix Union High School District.

Gaspar Mata is a dedicated and enthusiastic professional with over 20 years of successful experience providing fiscal, strategic, and operations leadership in retail sales, nonprofit, marketing, talent acquisition and management, and customer relations. He joined Year Up Arizona in 2015 when the program launched in Phoenix. Year Up provides talented and motivated young adults ages 18-24 with the skills, experience and support that will empower them to reach their full potential through professional careers and higher education.

As Recruitment and College Enrollment Manager, Gaspar has been instrumental in building strong relationships with community partners that serve youth and young adults. In partnership with these community organizations, Year Up is helping to close the “Opportunity Divide” in America and helping young adults gain college access and career paths towards self-sufficiency.

Gaspar has served on many boards and committees for organizations working on behalf of young people in Arizona, including Every Kid Counts Charities, CUSP, the Cesar Chavez Foundation Scholarship selection committee, and Thriving Together. He has also partnered with the Phoenix Union School District and their Department of Career and Technical Education (CTE) to advocate and assist with career and technical education and helping educate our youth on opportunities. Gaspar currently serves on a committee with Opportunities for Youth, an initiative through Arizona State University Center for Human Capital and Youth Development, implementing strategies and solutions to connect youth ages 16-24 who are not in school and not working toward an educational and career pathway.

Before joining Year Up Arizona, Gaspar served as the Executive Director of the South Mountain YMCA for four years. As Director of the Y-Achievers Program (YMCA’s Workforce Development program), Gaspar was able to serve underprivileged teens and young adults, ages 16-24 in gaining access to dynamic educational and vocational training resources.

Gaspar is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership.

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