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Lumen Helps Students Dream Big
February 24, 2022
Robert Baransaka
Robert Baransaka, an inaugural student of Loyola Academy in Phoenix, Arizona.

Arizona’s School Tuition Organization (STO) program, to which Lumen has donated more than $7.5 million in tax payments, helps students dream big -- literally. Across more than a half dozen private K-12 School Tuition Organizations, School Tuition Organizations identify applicants who are in the greatest position to receive tuition scholarships. These scholarships can help students reach those big dreams – enabling them to attend some of the finest educational institutions in Arizona.

“At Lumen, we talk about furthering human progress and supporting the sustainability of communities where we live and work,” says Jeff Mirasola, Director of Government Affairs for Lumen in the Grand Canyon State. “Over the years it has been my absolute privilege to meet scholarship recipients through the STO program.  These scholarships have changed their lives – and meeting them has changed mine. I’ve seen firsthand how investing in education, opening these doors, can change the life path of a kid.”

Lumen's tuition support has helped create new possibilities for hundreds of students who wouldn’t normally be able to benefit from a college preparatory private school education.

The Brophy Community Foundation is one of Arizona’s oldest school tuition organizations (STO) founded in 1998. The foundation credits the state’s private school tax credit scholarship program for making tuition more affordable so a greater number of youth, regardless of their family circumstances, can have the opportunity to benefit from a  private school education with Loyola Academy  and Brophy College Preparatory.

Brophy Community Foundation Executive Director Scott Cassidy said, “Lumen has been a long-time, significant corporate tax credit donor to the Brophy Community Foundation, and we are incredibly grateful for their partnership. Our mission is to ensure that Arizona K-12 students with verified financial need can afford a quality private school education. These tuition scholarships have been a game-changer for so many of our students and graduates.”

Lumen scholar Robert Baransaka is an inaugural student of Loyola Academy in Phoenix, Arizona. During his time as a Loyola Academy and Brophy College Prep student, Baransaka says he received a “comprehensive Grade A” education that allowed him to improve his educational prospects. Lumen’s tuition support also offered Robert the opportunity to make the most of extracurricular activities and be part of campus leadership.

Baransaka said, “My time at Loyola and Brophy taught me that I can survive and thrive with the best. My Loyola experience taught me about the importance of networking, which has carried over into my college and professional life. Attending college outside of Arizona was a huge step for me because I had never experienced life outside of Phoenix. My older brother and sister both attended Arizona State University, but I had my eyes on Loyola Marymount University  in Los Angeles. Looking back, I don’t regret that decision one bit, and I look forward to graduating as an Honor student in Spring 2022!”

The Political Science major who minored in Peace and Justice Studies plans to start Law School in Fall 2023. After that, Baransaka says the possibilities are limitless!

At Lumen, we talk about furthering human progress and supporting the sustainability of communities where we live and work.

“One of my options has me staying here in Los Angeles and landing a job with a consulting agency in the area. Another one of my options would be returning to Arizona as a volunteer teacher in the Alumni Service Corps for Brophy. This would bring me full circle and would provide me an opportunity to grow my connections in my home state. I’m also going to pursue my dream to go to Washington, DC for a summer internship on Capitol Hill, and hopefully this will lead to a full-time government job and career in public service.”

Robert encourages current Loyola Academy students who are Lumen scholars to dream big, challenge themselves to explore new experiences, and take it day-by-day.

Baransaka said, “I would like to thank Lumen and all participating donors for providing me the opportunity to maximize my educational potential and be the best version of myself. I’m ready to take on the professional world, because of your support, and I can’t wait to pay your generosity forward.”

Click here for the full interview with Robert Baransaka and fellow inaugural Loyola Academy alum Sebastien Ribakare.