PHOENIX, AZ (July 1, 2021) – Catholic Education Arizona (CEA) has been raising tax credit scholarship funds for Catholic schools in the Diocese of Phoenix for 24 years.  Last year tax credit contributions made to CEA assisted more than 45% of the Diocese of Phoenix’s Catholic school students. There are 36 schools in the Diocese of Phoenix that are served by Catholic Education Arizona along with St. Michael’s Indian School and Boys Hope Girls Hope of Arizona.

Recently, Catholic Education Arizona associates gathered with the Board of Directors for a reception to thank board leadership. Accolades and gratitude were shared for the outgoing Board Chair Melissa Soza Fees, Ph.D. and Vice Chair Fr. Tom Eckert, C.S.C. “We have experienced growth, earned #22 Best Places to Work in Small Business category by Phoenix Business Journal and strengthened our stakeholder relationships. We have been fortunate to have Melissa and Fr. Tom at the helm,” stated Catholic Education Arizona’s President and CEO Nancy Padberg, MBA.

“It has been a pleasure to serve as Board Chair of Catholic Education Arizona for the past four years.  The commitment of educators, clergy, consecrated sisters and community leaders to enable Arizona families to afford a Catholic Education is noteworthy. Individual and corporate contributors can be confident that the associates and volunteers are mission focused enabling the organization to provide more than $288 million in scholarships that help families with demonstrated financial need to access to a high-quality education,” added Melissa Soza Fees, Ph.D.

Individuals and corporations support Catholic Education Arizona and The Diocese of Phoenix Catholic High Schools because of their impressive student results:

  • 4% graduation rate
  • 97% of graduates matriculate to higher education or military service
  • 1000s of hours of community service are conducted annually

Catholic Education Arizona partners with Arizona businesses and individual taxpayers to make private education affordable and accessible.  A School Tuition Organization serving the Diocese of Phoenix, CEA offers Arizona residents and businesses an opportunity to help change lives. Arizona tax credit legislation allows individuals and corporations to direct their tax dollars for tuition scholarships.

Corporate partners filing as S or C Corp, LLCs filing as S Corp and insurance companies paying premium taxes can direct up to 100% of their state tax liability to Low Income and Disabled/Displaced scholarships through CEA. CEA partners with Meritage Homes, Cigna, Earnhardt Auto Centers, Grand Canyon University, Lumen Technologies and Dignity Memorial as well as many small businesses.

Catholic Education Arizona is the largest provider of scholarships to underserved families attending private schools.  Since 1998, over $288 million has been raised to benefit students in the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Phoenix and 143,000 scholarships have been awarded. Learn more about how CEA is changing lives one scholarship at a time. Visit or call 602-218-6542 to learn more.

Contact: Debra Preach, Chief Development Officer
Catholic Education Arizona
(602) 218-6542