The Mesa Counts on College initiative has hired its first director. Shelly Allen has been awarded the post, which involves implementing the goals of a $3 million grant the organization received last year from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The organization was formed to increase college completion rates for Mesa residents, especially those 16-26 who have a low income. Allen is moving into the job after serving as Mesa's assistant director of economic development.
Mesa Counts on College is overseen by the city, Mesa Community College and the Mesa Unified School District. The leaders of those three organizations selected Allen.