A federal grant worth $2 million will work to ensure that seniors at eight Tucson high schools are connected to opportunities after graduation.

Tucson is one of 10 communities nationwide selected for the Operation AmeriCorps initiative, which will be supported by the City of Tucson Mayor’s Office and Arizona Serve — a project of Prescott College — through the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism.

Schools from Tucson, Sunnyside and Flowing Wells unified school districts will benefit. In the fall, 60 AmeriCorps members will descend upon Catalina, Desert View, Flowing Wells, Palo Verde, Pueblo, Santa Rita and Sentinel Peak high schools and the S.T.A.R Academic Center as part of a two-year commitment to improve graduation rates and ensure students line themselves up with one of five post-graduate opportunities:

  • A two- or four-year college
  • Employment
  • Military service
  • National service like AmeriCorps
  • Or a paid internship, registered apprenticeship or job training program

Another cohort will begin in the fall of 2016, as part of the federal agency's two-year commitment.

The investment of up to $1.4 million, including program funding and college scholarships valued at $5,730 for AmeriCorps members, is projected to generate an additional $600,000 in cash and in-kind contributions, making a total investment worth more than $2 million.

Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at ahuicochea@tucson.com or 573-4175.

Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at ahuicochea@tucson.com or 573-4175. On Twitter: @AlexisHuicochea