Helena Lagos

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Helena Lagos was an American entrepreneur ​ and businesswoman ​ who was the Executive Director ​ of Rebel Venture Fund. [1] ​ She was one of six people who died in a fatal crash on April 9, 2018 near Scottsdale, Arizona ​. [2]

Professional photo of Helena Lagos.

Personal Life & Activities

Lagos was born in Honduras ​ and immigrated to the United States ​ in 2008 when she was the age of 12 years old. [✔] ​ She arrived in the state of Nevada ​, which is where she would live the rest of her life. She grew up just north of the city of Las Vegas ​. [3] [4]

She was girlfriend of James Pedroza. The two had ben together for six months, and according to friends, were pushing strong. The two enjoyed their company together and loved life. [5]

Photo of Helena Lagos.

High School

Lagos is an alum of Legacy High School where she graduated with a weighted GPA of 4.63 and with an unweighted GPA of 3.83. [6] ​ She is class of 2014 and received an advanced honors diploma. [7]


After high school, she attended the University of Nevada-Las Vegas ​ where she received her Bachelor's degree ​ in International business ​ in 2018. [8]

She was a part of the groups: Global Entrepreneurship Experience, Leadership Retreat, and Las Vegas OCA. [9]

At Global Entrepreneurship Program, she was one of the reserved number of creative, high-achieving students are selected each year to study entrepreneurship and business on a global scale. [10]

She was also one of the Las Vegas OCA Mentee in 2015, which is a program that  selects a number of students each year and are paired up with mentors of diverse backgrounds. [11]

Photo of Helena Lagos.


During High school, she was the secretary at Nevada DECA where she maintained record of all officer meetings, phone calls, and activities. For two years, she was a sales representative at Aldo. [12]

For nearly a year, she was the intern at Accion, an award-winning nonprofit organization that helps small businesses and entrepreneurs with micro-financing and business education. [13]

While in college, she worked in the Sales and Marketing Development department at Terra Exports. She would also become the Director of The Rebel Venture Fund, which is the University of Nevada-Las Vegas ​' student-led venture capital fund. [14]

Upon her graduation in 2018, she was given the role of Executive Director at Rebel Venture Fund. [15]


In the evening of April 9th, 2018, Helena Lagos, Mariah Coogan ​, Anand 'Happy' Patel, and her boyfriend, James Pedroza, were all on board the Piper PA-24 Comanche when it crashed into a golf course moments after taking off. The group had been at the Phoenix Lights Festival for the weekend and were headed back to Las Vegas, Nevada ​. [16]

Moments before the fatal crash, Coogan had video recorded herself and others while inside of the plane and shared it on her Instagram ​ account. [17]

The owner of the plane, James Pedroza, was not driving the plane at the time - the pilot's name has not been disclosed to the media. Investigators have related two possible scenarios that caused the crash. They believe that plane caught fire, or, that it was at capacity with 6 people on board. An investigation is ongoing. [18] [19]

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