United by Purpose
The West Phoenix Turnaround Story

A Neighborhood Transformation Project

United by Purpose is the true story of the transformation of West Phoenix. Once known as the most dangerous section of America’s fifth largest city, the area is now in the midst of an inspiring turnaround led by Grand Canyon University (GCU). Through inspirational stories, United by Purpose encourages you to get involved and transform your community.

Revitalizing West Phoenix

United by Purpose showcases GCU’s five-point plan of local revitalization including: attainable higher education, crime prevention and safety, job development, next-generation workforce and residential property renewal.

Learning Lounge

The GCU Learning Lounge has evolved from a groundbreaking partnership between GCU and Alhambra High School into a greater movement to make the community a better place. In the Learning Lounge, local students receive academic assistance to help discover their potential and achieve their goals. These students can then move onto college, earn a degree and return to the community to start their career.

Small Business Success Story

Maya Hinojos, a Colangelo College of Business alumna, shares how the support of her college dean and professors, along with her educational experiences, impacted her family’s small business, Comfort Pedic Inc. As manager, Maya custom-designed mattresses for the GCU residence halls and enhanced her business skills by implementing classroom learning into the workplace.

Job Development

Jobs are a necessity, essential for living and supporting our families. At Grand Canyon University, the college experience becomes the journey for this discovery. Students search for their purpose. They explore more about their passion. They prepare for a career. Our hope is that once our students graduate, they will follow their career ambitions right here in West Phoenix.

Safety

For many of us, we may not give our safety, our sense of security, a second thought. But for the local community surrounding Grand Canyon University, crime and poverty have been the norm, like the prevailing antagonist of the unfinished story of West Phoenix. And that’s where the true partnership between GCU and the Phoenix Police Department steps in.

Community Empowerment

Together, GCU and West Phoenix stands side-by-side with their partners to write new chapters of diversity, inclusion and empowerment, and invite you to be a part of these transformative efforts in the community.

Education

Commitment to Next-Generation Education

West Phoenix public and private high schools have partnered with GCU to unlock student potential. The ultra-cool tutoring lounge, the GCU Lounge, offers a space for high school students to receive free tutoring services. We also offer academic scholarships that have sent grades, test scores and college enrollment rates skyrocketing.

Crime Prevention

Building a Safer Community

Prostitution, drugs and theft had come to define the streets of West Phoenix. Today, the partnership between the City of Phoenix Police, local business owners and GCU has led to a historic decrease in criminal activity. By decreasing the crime rate in our community, this partnership plans to restore residential areas and make West Phoenix a safer place for students and families.

Job Development

Creating Jobs in West Phoenix

It is hard to value education in the absence of opportunity. That is why GCU’s recent campus expansion has included small business grants and high tech career education, all part of a multimillion-dollar investment in the future of West Phoenix. As GCU continues to expand in the area, we are creating job opportunities for people in our community.

Housing

Revitalizing the Community of West Phoenix

Habitat for Humanity and GCU have committed to an unprecedented initiative uniting neighborhood leaders, students and the Habitat for Humanity team to completely change the face of the Canyon Corridor. The goal of this partnership is to restore residential areas in our community, transforming the West Phoenix area into a thriving neighborhood.

Online Students

What do you dream of accomplishing while at GCU?

  • I'm in it for helping others
  • I'm in it for improving ME
  • I'm not really sure what I'm saying!
  • I'm in it for better grades/education
  • I'm in it for friendships/networking

How are you going to use your degree?

  • I'm in it for helping others
  • I'm in it for improving ME
  • I'm not really sure what I'm saying!
  • I'm in it for better grades/education
  • I'm in it for friendships/networking

Areas of Study

  • Teaching/Education
  • Nursing/Medical
  • Sports/Athletic Training
  • Business/Finance/Marketing Communications
  • Psychology
  • Film/Art
  • Theology
  • Unknown

Campus Students

What do you dream of accomplishing while at GCU?

  • I'm in it for helping others
  • I'm in it for improving ME
  • I'm not really sure what I'm saying!
  • I'm in it for better grades/education
  • I'm in it for friendships/networking

How are you going to use your degree?

  • I'm in it for helping others
  • I'm in it for improving ME
  • I'm not really sure what I'm saying!
  • I'm in it for better grades/education
  • I'm in it for friendships/networking

Areas of Study

  • Teaching/Education
  • Nursing/Medical
  • Sports/Athletic Training
  • Business/Finance/Marketing Communications
  • Psychology
  • Film/Art
  • Theology
  • Unknown

Student & Alumni Quotes

Share Your Story

United by Purpose is about inspiring others to get involved in the local community and creating positive change. Have you helped transform your community? We want to hear your inspirational stories! Share the details of how you are living with purpose and help us expand the powerful message of leading a purpose-driven life.