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Healthy employees = successful employees at Step Up for Students
Supporting the well-being of employees ties into the core values of Step Up For Students: Everyone is an asset and[...]
A pair of Step Up scholarships are a ‘godsend’ for the Hopstetters
By ROGER MOONEY An email arrived in Michele Hopstetter’s inbox on July 16 that made her cry. “Happy tears,” she[...]
Step Up earns another 4-star rating from Charity Navigator
Step Up For Students has again received a coveted four-star rating from Charity Navigator, the nation’s top charity evaluator. The[...]
Saltchuk companies contribute $160,000 to help Florida schoolchildren
By ASHLEY ZARLE Saltchuk and its Florida-based companies TOTE, Tropical Shipping, Shoreside Logistics and StratAir, have announced a $160,000 contribution[...]
‘Just because I have autism doesn’t mean I can’t shine’
Editor’s note: This is the second in an occasional series exploring career challenges and successes for those individuals on the[...]
Of baby supplies, care packages for soldiers and feeding the needy: The tale of one student’s charity
By ROGER MOONEY After he helped deliver food to an orphanage in the Dominican Republic in late February, Jack Figueredo[...]
First Hope Scholarship brings peace to fifth grader
Editor's note. This story was originally posted on Jan. 14, 2019 on redefinED, another blog sponsored by Step Up For[...]
Brave warrior, inspiring model flourishes with scholarship
Editor's note: This story was originally posted on June 28, 2018. We are taking a look back at some of[...]
Cristo Rey’s first graduating class took the path less taken
By ROGER MOONEY A pamphlet for a new private Catholic high school arrived in the mail one day when Abi’ya[...]
Step Up manages 5 education choice scholarships: Which one do you qualify for?
By Roger Mooney The collapse of the real estate market in 2008 signaled the crumbling of the luxurious lifestyle for[...]
A Virtual Pomp and Circumstance: Step Up celebrates Class of 2020
By LISA A. DAVIS Hundreds of parents, guardians, students, and teachers joined Step Up For Students online May 21 to[...]
Adopting special needs children turned the Cogan family into a Krewe
By ROGER MOONEY TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – There were more children like Karwen back in her native China, born with clubfoot[...]
The many puzzle pieces that tell the story of Ryan Sleboda
By ROGER MOONEY If it were any other spring but this one, Ryan Sleboda would stand in front of the[...]
Adults on the autism spectrum are asking employers for one thing: A chance
Editor’s note: This is the first in an occasional series exploring career challenges and successes for those individuals on the[...]
The world is watching and sweating along with the students in Father Lopez virtual gym class
By ROGER MOONEY It’s 9 a.m. on a Tuesday, Larissa Maloney, standing on a mat in the corner of her[...]
How 9 Gardiner students and their teacher opened the world to Audible
By ROGER MOONEY Nine Gardiner Scholarship students on the autism spectrum wrote an essay and gave the world a gift[...]
Busy 48 hours includes trip to State Capitol, trophies for Piney Grove Boys Academy
By ROGER MOONEY Alton Bolden, principal at Piney Grove Boys Academy in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, has a new name for[...]
Young violinists bring joy to audiences and teachers
By ROGER MOONEY DUNEDIN, Fla. – Manny Perez used to stand in the back of the violin ensemble, hoping to[...]
The fire still burns for Rev. H.K. Matthews as he fights for education choice
By ROGER MOONEY JACKSONVILLE, FL – Leaning his 92-year-old body on a wooden cane as he walked, the Rev. H.K.[...]
Mount Zion students show they care with supplies sent to hurricane survivors
By ROGER MOONEY St. PETERSBURG, FL – The plastic boxes, originally meant to hold school supplies like pencils and markers[...]
Reading scholarship boosts confidence, scores
By LISA A. DAVIS In third grade, Kiersten Covic’s reading score on the Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) was high enough[...]
Breakthru Beverage Florida donates $35 million to Step Up’s scholarship program
By ASHLEY ZARLE FORT LAUDERDALE – Breakthru Beverage Florida, one of the largest distributors of wines, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages[...]
Supporters to rally in Tallahassee for Gardiner Scholarship
Step Up For Students scholarship supporters and recipients have rallied several times before in Tallahassee. Back in 2010 the rally[...]
Cal-Maine Foods donates $100,000 to help fund scholarship program for lower-income students
By ASHLEY ZARLE January 10, 2020 | DADE CITY, Fla.– Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., the largest producer and marketer of eggs[...]
Step Up helps Xioamara grow into a strong and successful high school student
By Catherine Durkin Robinson When her daughter Xioamara Kitchen was born prematurely and with a heart defect, Deaundrice held the[...]
Time to nominate students, teachers, parents for Step Up’s Rising Stars Awards
By ROGER MOONEY It is time to recognize outstanding members of the Step Up For Students family – students, teachers[...]
A different way of learning gives Gardiner scholar the academic LIFT he needs
By ROGER MOONEY MIAMI LAKES, Fla. – Joshua Sandoval sat at a table inside the LIFT Educational Academy and, with[...]
Making the most of the opportunity, resources, investment that come with Step Up scholarship
Editor’s Note: This is the final installment in a three-part series for Giving Tuesday on how the Florida Tax Credit[...]
Volunteering at MDA camp in high school helped former Step Up scholar find his life’s calling
Editor’s Note: This is the second installment in a three-part series for Giving Tuesday on how the Florida Tax Credit[...]
Step Up scholarship leads to top grades in high school and pre-med classes at Notre Dame
Editor’s Note: This is the first installment in a three-part series for Giving Tuesday on how the Florida Tax Credit[...]
#99ReasonsToGive to Step Up For Students this GivingTuesday
By JUDITH THOMAS On Tuesday, Dec. 3, Step Up For Students is participating in Giving Tuesday and would like your[...]
Jacksonville teen reaps benefits of Step Up Scholarship
By JEFF BARLIS When Kayla Fudge was a newborn, her mother struggled to take care of her. In swooped Kayla’s[...]
Today (and every day) we celebrate you, Step Up donors
By JUDITH THOMAS Today, Step Up For Students celebrates National Philanthropy Day. We want to thank all those who have[...]
Jailine Garcia has a wish: ‘I kind of want to do something in our world’
By ROGER MOONEY CLEARWATER, Fla. – One day last summer during a school-sponsored trip to Spain and Italy, Jailine Garcia[...]
UPCIC contributes $2.5 million to Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program
By ASHLEY ZARLE FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.– Step Up For Students announced Nov. 5 a $2.5 million contribution to the Florida[...]
Step Up For Students ranked 18th among America’s Top 100 favorite charities
By ROGER MOONEY Step Up For Students continues to provide education choice to Florida schoolchildren from disadvantaged backgrounds and its[...]
Trip to Microsoft Store combines coding with cool for Bible Truth Ministries Academy students
By ROGER MOONEY TAMPA, Fla. – The Microsoft Store at International Plaza was filled with students from Bible Truth Ministries[...]
Republic National Distributing Company donates $65 million to help fund scholarship program for lower-income students
By Ashley Zarle TAMPA, Fla.– Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC), one of the nation’s leading wholesale alcohol beverage distributors, has[...]
If you can sing it, you can learn it: How music is helping schoolchildren improve their reading
By ROGER MOONEY    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. –During the weeks leading up to the start of fifth grade, when Cee J[...]
Step Up For Students opens online “merch” store
By LISA A. DAVIS There’s no doubt everyone has it in one form or another, like a T-shirt with a[...]
With 2 mouse clicks and a login, telepractice brings speech therapy to Gardiner student’s rural home
By ROGER MOONEY Beth Flowers logs onto the computer set up in the dining area of the family’s home, and[...]
Want to be a Step Up SuperFan? It’s easy and no capes required
By JUDITH THOMAS Want to be a Step Up For Students hero, but can’t find your cape? Here’s the next[...]
Step Up offering leadership course for private school leaders and aspiring leaders
By ROGER MOONEY Step Up For Students Office of Student Learning is offering the Choice Leader of Excellence Certification program[...]
Lofty grades, lofty goals lead to QuestBridge Scholarships for Jesuit High graduates
By ROGER MOONEY TAMPA – Trace Nuss was in the library at Jesuit High School a few weeks before Christmas[...]
Read! Read! Read!
By CAROL MACEDONIA If this graphic above caught your attention, read on.  As a parent of a now-grown son who[...]
Florida Parent Network becomes Florida Voices For Choices
By LISA A. DAVIS ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Florida Parent Network is now Florida Voices For Choices, a change[...]
Young readers learn value of collaboration as friends help a skunk find his stink
By ROGER MOONEY It’s a sad day for a skunk who loses his stink, especially when the skunk is the[...]
A science project and a hit movie has this scholar reaching for the stars
By ROGER MOONEY PENSACOLA, Fla. – Zanaya Chase wants to be a fashion designer. Or a scientist. Or, a fashion[...]
Step Up’s Jacksonville office ranked among best places to work in that city
BY ROGER MOONEY The honors continue to roll in for Step Up For Students. The nonprofit’s Jacksonville office was ranked[...]
Latin, Julius Cesar and a second chance at senior year
By ROGER MOONEY DAVIE, Fla. – Josh Carlson pulled up a chair inside the office of the school guidance counselor[...]
Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits commits $150 million to Step Up scholarship program
BY ASHLEY ZARLE MIAMI, Fla.– Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, the world’s preeminent distributor of beverage alcohol, announced it has[...]
Covanta funds Step Up scholarships, fuels future environmental leaders
SPECIAL TO STEP UP FOR STUDENTS Tampa middle school students from Tampa Bay Christian Academy are well on their way[...]
From held back to no holding back
Torey Glover, left, and his twin, Trinidy Glover, right, pictured with their mother, Kim Glover, experienced a stunning academic turnaround[...]
Step Up For Students among best places to work in Tampa Bay
By ROGER MOONEY Step Up For Students has been recognized as one of the best places to work by the[...]
Private school, public district collaborate to benefit teachers, students
St. Andrew assistant principal Bambi Giles, left, and principal Judi Hughes worked together for more than four years in Lee[...]
Patience, understanding bring scholarship student back from brink
Glad Tidings Academy teacher Andrene Donaldson, left, makes it a point to respond with patience and understanding when working with[...]
Recession crushed family business but not the dream of quality education for their boys
With the help of Florida Tax Credit Scholarships from Step Up For Students, Jonas, left, and Jack Figueredo are thriving[...]
Skylar Goeb didn’t let a rough start to life prevent her from soaring
By ROGER MOONEY ZEPHYRHILLS – Sitting opposite where his 8-year-old granddaughter stood near their dining room table, George Hill, nodded[...]
The family no one knew was homeless
Isabella, Ruthanne, and Gabriella Dumas have a home at Saint Ambrose Catholic School in Deerfield Beach, Fla. By JEFF BARLIS[...]
Step Up honors memory of family with The Baker Perseverance Award
By ROGER MOONEY NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Baker family name was synonymous with Temple Christian School for nearly[...]
Once bullied, now safe, happy, and thriving
By JEFF BARLIS BELLE GLADE, Fla. – When she’s in class, the look on Armani Powe’s face is solemn, focused.[...]
Forbes ranks Step Up For Students 19th in list of America’s top 100 charities
By ROGER MOONEY Step Up For Students continues to climb the charts of America’s leading nonprofits, breaking into the top[...]
WellCare Health Plans contribute $3 million to fund 446 FTC scholarships
BY ASHLEY ZARLE WellCare Health Plans, Inc., a leading provider of government-sponsored managed care services, recently announced a $3 million[...]
GEICO funds 1,041 scholarships for Florida’s underprivileged schoolchildren
By ASHLEY ZARLE TAMPA, Fla.– GEICO recently recommitted to supporting underprivileged K-12 schoolchildren in Florida by providing education options through Step[...]
Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company makes $4 million contribution to Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By ASHLEY ZARLE Step Up For Students announced recently a $4 million contribution to the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program[...]
Caldwell Trust Company celebrates 25th anniversary and continued support of Step Up For Students
By ASHLEY ZARLE Caldwell Trust Company, an independent trust company with more than 25 years of investment experience and one[...]
Dairyland increases contribution to $600,000 to Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By ASHLEY ZARLE Dairyland, a member of the Sentry Insurance Group of companies,  recently announced a $600,000 contribution to Step[...]
Globe Life makes $25,000 contribution to Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By ASHLEY ZARLE Globe Life, the top volume issuer of ordinary individual life insurance policies in the United States, announced[...]
Choice scholarship provided brothers an extended family
By JEFF BARLIS CLEARWATER, Fla. – Tyler McDonald, 19, and his brother Preston, 18, stand out in a crowd. Tall[...]
Raymond James a partner with Step Up from the start
By ROGER MOONEY The partnership between Raymond James Financial and Step Up For Students goes back to the earliest days[...]
Calling all Florida Tax Credit Scholarship renewal families: Applications now open
By JUDITH THOMAS Florida Tax Credit (income-based) Scholarship parents, we have great news for you.   You can now apply for[...]
Gardiner scholar’s high school experience the stuff of his mom’s dreams
By ROGER MOONEY Nicolas Ratliff-Batista is a senior at Monsignor Pace High School in Miami Gardens with a 4.5 GPA[...]
Consider donating to Step Up on #GivingTuesday
By ROGER MOONEY On Nov. 27, Giving Tuesday, Step Up For Students wants you to consider supporting children in Florida who need a clearer path to a better education.[...]
Time to nominate VIPs for Rising Stars Awards
By ROGER MOONEY Is there a Step Up For Students scholar in your school who is outstanding in academics? The[...]
Adopted siblings thrive in private school after severe neglect in early childhood
Editor’s note: To mark National Adoption Awareness Month, we highlight the tax credit scholarship that serves children who are or[...]
Become an Imagination Day superhero Sunday at Westfield Citrus Park mall
By ROGER MOONEY Tampa Bay area families, join us for Imagination Day this Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. at[...]
Here’s your chance to thank a donor with your own video
By ROGER MOONEY Mayra Gallardo can sing solo in front of as many as 2,000 worshipers at her church and[...]
Step Up For Students ranked 31st out of 100 charities in the nation
By ROGER MOONEY Step Up For Students added another recognition to its growing list of honors as it serves some[...]
Military family on mission to raise awareness for Gardiner scholarships
By JEFF BARLIS TAMPA, Fla. – Two months after her son was diagnosed with autism, Laurie Guzman felt broken and[...]
Scholarship, private school led a tormented girl to happiness
By JEFF BARLIS MIAMI – It’s hard to miss Nicole Meneses at Pneuma Christian Academy. If she’s not front and[...]
Scholarship helps smiles return for student and her parents
Editor’s note: This story was originally posted on redefinED on February 10, 2017. By JEFF BARLIS Maria and Marcos Verciano will never[...]
School choice gave this educator a LiFT
By JEFF BARLIS SEMINOLE, Fla. – Kim Kuruzovich’s daughter Gina has moderate autism, speech apraxia and dyslexic tendencies. She began[...]
Waste Management donates $5 million to the Step Up for Students Scholarship Program to help 744 Florida schoolchildren
By ASHLEY ZARLE POMPANO BEACH, Fla.– Waste Management, the leading provider of comprehensive waste management environmental services in North America, announced[...]
From bullied and failing to Hope, honors and college
By JEFF BARLIS GROVELAND, Fla. – The sign at their church trumpeted the opening of a new private school: HOPE[...]
Choosing the right school helped turn tragedy into triumph
By JEFF BARLIS ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – In the damp, rising heat of a late-morning graduation ceremony in May, with[...]
Liberty National Life Insurance Company gives back by donating $25,000 to Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By PAUL SOOST Liberty National Life Insurance Company, a provider of life and supplemental health insurance, announced on Sept. 25[...]
Nontraditional education, career path leads intern to Step Up For Students
By LORIE JEWELL Teachers started telling me in the fourth grade that I had a talent for writing. At 10,[...]
Interim HealthCare Inc. donates $25,000 to Step Up For Students
By LESLY CARDEC, Interim HealthCare Inc. SUNRISE, Florida – Interim HealthCare Inc., a leading national franchisor of home care, hospice, and[...]
Multiple school choice options are just right for this family
By PATRICK R. GIBBONS Today is back-to-school day for most school districts in Florida. But for the Plucinski family of Central[...]
After school choice helps her, she helps Puerto Rico
By JEFF BARLIS Last fall, as she started her senior year in high school, IvonD’liz Chernoff was full of love[...]
Continental National Bank helps Florida schoolchildren with $100,000 contribution to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By PAUL SOOST  MIAMI – Continental National Bank recently celebrated its $100,000 contribution to Step Up For Students, funding 15[...]
American Income Life donates $25,000 to Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By PAUL SOOST American Income Life, a provider of life, accident and supplemental health insurance, announced on June 25 a[...]
Scholarship student soars after hurdling language barrier
By JEFF BARLIS The day after Maria Corrales’ tear-soaked graduation ceremony from St. Brendan High School, her mother, Carmen Urquijo,[...]
Football? Academics? Scholarship student chooses both at Dartmouth
By JEFF BARLIS Robert Crockett III is engaged in hand-to-hand combat with his uncooperative red-and-white striped necktie as a photographer[...]
Frontline Insurance helps Florida schoolchildren with a $1.1 million contribution to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By PAUL SOOST  Frontline Insurance, a provider of property and casualty insurance for coastal homeowners, announced on May 10 a[...]
Student Spotlight: Scholarship student enjoying the calm after the storm
  By JEFF BARLIS The lean, angular kid arrived at his new school three years ago, whip-smart and rage-filled. TJ[...]
Johnson Brothers of Florida helps lower-income children with a $9.6 million contribution to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By PAUL SOOST  TAMPA — Johnson Brothers of Florida, one of the top beverage distributors in the state, announced on[...]
Brothers making great strides at Jacksonville School for Autism
By GEOFF FOX Ethan Alexander was decompressing in a multi-purpose room at Jacksonville School for Autism. The lights were out[...]
Wright Flood donates $1 million to Step Up For Students Scholarship Program to help 153 Florida schoolchildren
  By PAUL SOOST Wright Flood, the largest provider of federal flood insurance policies in the U.S., recently announced a[...]
For wayward boys, a wild balm of a school
By JEFF BARLIS Fighting, skipping, smoking pot – Jake Clayton’s freshman year in a public high school was a disaster,[...]
A private school off the beaten path was the key to a major turnaround
By JEFF BARLIS Kelly Perkins was in a full-blown panic when she woke up at 5:15 a.m. and her son[...]
Step Up For Students’ team member Nina Gregory shares a personal story
By GEOFF FOX For many people, March is a time to enjoy college basketball, reset clocks and bask in the[...]
Monin donates $70,000 to Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By PAUL SOOST Monin, Inc., producer of premium syrups, gourmet sauces, fruit purées and fruit smoothie mixes for coffees, iced[...]
KAR Auction Services makes $1 million contribution to scholarship program
  By PAUL SOOST KAR Auction Services, Inc. (NYSE: KAR), a global vehicle remarketing and technology solutions provider, on Feb.[...]
Choice scholarship saved life of bullying victim
By JEFF BARLIS The note was written on a torn piece of paper slipped through a slot in Hannah Waibel’s[...]
No limits: Gardiner Scholarships fuel big dreams for the Alexander family
By GEOFF FOX Abby Alexander is a 9-year-old entrepreneur who has developed – and hit the local market with –[...]
Cigar City Brewing gives back by donating $30,000 to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By PAUL SOOST  TAMPA, FL – Cigar City Brewing, a Tampa-area brewery, announced on Feb. 2 a $30,000 contribution to[...]
Born drug-addicted and poor, a Step Up graduate’s story set for a happy ending
By LISA A. DAVIS If Ashley Elliott’s story continued to unwind the way it began, it was sure to be[...]
Republic National Distributing Company takes center stage and donates $65 million to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By PAUL SOOST Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC), the nation’s second largest wine and spirits wholesaler, announced on Feb. 6[...]
Seaside Engineering and Surveying announces $20,000 contribution to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By PAUL SOOST BAKER, FL – Seaside Engineering and Surveying, LLC., a provider of professional surveying and civil engineering services,[...]
School choice scholarship was her ticket out of extreme poverty
By JEFF BARLIS At Seven Rivers Christian School in Lecanto, there’s a list of core values for students. Among them:[...]
EverBank inspires hope for Florida schoolchildren through $1.5 million contribution to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By PAUL SOOST EverBank, a division of TIAA, FSB, today announced a $1.5 million contribution to the Step Up For[...]
The right school choice made all the difference for De’Asia Waters
By JEFF BARLIS Demetria Hutley-Johnson can laugh about it now, but not long ago her daughter, De’Asia Waters, was having[...]
From bullying victim to valedictorian
Editor's note: This story was originally posted on redefinED on July 18, 2016. It's an interesting look at how bullying[...]
Breakthru Beverage Florida donates $45 million to Step Up For Students for scholarships serving lower-income Florida families
By PAUL SOOST MIAMI – Breakthru Beverage Florida, one of the largest distributors of wines, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages in[...]
Seton Strong: Finding the normal after Hurricane Irma
By DAVID TUTHILL Maria Niebuhr, first year principal of St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School in Naples, Florida, sits behind her[...]
St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School in Orlando: Where everyone is welcome
By GEOFF FOX In a middle school science room at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic hangs a quote from Albert Einstein:[...]
School choice scholarship ‘saved’ bullying victim
By JEFF BARLIS  Middle school is tough for a lot of kids. For Valentin Mendez, it was hell. At night,[...]
Siblings from Argentina adjust and thrive thanks to Step Up For Students’ scholarships
Editor’s note: This story originally appeared on the redefinED blog on Aug. 7, 2017. The blog is hosted by Step[...]
A post-hurricane story: ‘Right now, we just survive’
By GEOFF FOX Dawn Baker, principal of Temple Christian School in North Fort Myers, Florida, struggled to remain stoic as[...]
UnitedHealthcare celebrates season of giving with record-setting contribution to Step Up For Students
By SHELBY HOBBS, Special to Step Up For Students NAPLES, Fla. – In this season of giving, UnitedHealthcare announced Dec.[...]
Scholarship fosters better relationship between school and adoptive brothers
Editor’s note: November is National Adoption Month, which allows us to spotlight that the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship, the nation’s[...]
Scholarship gives strength to bullied student
By DAVID TUTHILL Jacob Monastra came home from school in tears every day. He struggled in class and was often[...]
Jacksonville private school, scholarship fueled student’s emotional turnaround
By JEFF BARLIS  Lost.That’s where Pamela Howard feared her son, Malik Ferrell, would end up after years of struggles at different[...]
Scholarship alum grateful after being selected in the NFL draft
By JEFF BARLIS    Anthony Walker Jr. sat in his home, ear to cell phone, new coach on the line. Then[...]
Tampa Catholic grad going from one scholarship to another
By JEFF BARLIS    When she walked across the stage as a freshly minted graduate of Tampa Catholic High School in[...]
Scholarship, Kingdom Academy spurred turnaround for Miami student
By JEFF BARLIS  Eleven-year-old Henezy Berrios’ sparkling brown eyes crinkle in the corners when she smiles, which is just about all[...]
From street life to college life – thanks to a private school scholarship
By JEFF BARLIS  Deion Washington didn’t plan to speak to lawmakers. But as he sat with classmates in a committee meeting[...]
With the right school and a portable scholarship, she found her voice and graduated with honor
By JEFF BARLIS  Eliya McDonald was in ninth grade when everything fell apart.First her mom was diagnosed with frontal lobe epilepsy,[...]
School choice scholarship helps Orlando graduate literally soar
By JEFF BARLIS As a boy, Orlando Rivera dreamed of being a pilot. He grew up in the shadow of[...]
Josh Clay’s boulevard of unbroken dreams
By DAVID TUTHILL Josh Clay sometimes speaks at such a frantic speed he needs to slow himself down. But he[...]
Florida Farm Bureau Group helps Florida families with $500,000 donation to Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By PAUL SOOST GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Farm Bureau Group, a multi-line Florida based property and casualty insurance company,[...]
 School Spotlight: De LaSalle Academy strives to make each day great for students
By GEOFF FOX Hanging on a wall near the front desk at De LaSalle Academy is a large paper rendering[...]
Summit Bank supports educational success through $100,000 contribution to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By PAUL SOOST PANAMA CITY, FL – Summit Bank, N.A., a regional provider of personalized, concierge-style financial services, announced Oct.[...]
Public, private schools’ partnership lifts up Orlando neighborhood
By JEFF BARLIS Every week, students and parents at Calvary City Christian Academy, a K-12 school in one of Orlando’s[...]
Step Up For Students honors insurance industry, Tower Hill for generous contributions
By SHELBY HOBBS, Special to Step Up For Student ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – Florida insurance companies have been protecting more[...]
Wesley Hamilton: Another Bill Gates?
  By GEOFF FOX Wesley Hamilton, a curious, curly-haired six-year-old was blessed with a high IQ. When he was 3,[...]
Little Catholic school has big impact on Step Up scholar
By JEFF BARLIS Eventually, Jodi Haley said, she had enough. She felt she had no choice but to remove her[...]
Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company announces $2 million contribution to Step Up For Students
By PAUL SOOST FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Step Up For Students  announced Oct. 12 a $2 million contribution to the Florida[...]
Tower Hill Honors Hispanic Heritage month with record-setting contribution to Step Up For Students
By SHELBY HOBBS, Special to Step Up For Students TAMPA, Fla. – Step Up For Students and Tower Hill Insurance[...]
Insurance industry leaders provide record-setting contributions to Step Up For Students
By SHELBY HOBBS, Special to Step Up For Students JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida’s insurance industry has stepped up to support[...]
Study: FL private school choice students more likely to get to college, get degrees
Editor’s note: This story originally appeared on the redefinED blog on Sept. 27, 2017. The blog is hosted by Step[...]
SKECHERS steps in to help disadvantaged Florida schoolchildren with Step Up For Students scholarships
By PAUL SOOST CLEARWATER, Fla. – SKECHERS USA, Inc., a global leader in the performance and lifestyle footwear industry, today[...]
Eduardo Rivero’s amazing turnaround
By GEOFF FOX Eduardo Rivero was a sixth-grader reading at a fourth-grade level when school started last year. He was[...]
Student found the right kind of peer pressure with scholarship
By JEFF BARLIS Heidi Gonzalez saw the warning signs. Her daughter Samantha Delgado had just started sixth grade at her[...]
Dairyland Auto® and Dairyland Cycle® increase contribution five-fold to Step Up For Students to $500,000 for the 2017-18 school year
By PAUL SOOST Dairyland Auto® and Dairyland Cycle® today announced a $500,000 contribution to the Step Up For Students Scholarship[...]
Earthquake, then bullying leads Haitian girl to new educational path
By JEFF BARLIS Shalala Dubuisson was 13 years old when a massive earthquake devastated Haiti in 2010, killing tens of[...]
Thank you, donors, for helping the Crum family exercise educational options
By STEP UP FOR STUDENTS STAFF Our scholarship families come from all backgrounds, and have different reasons for seeking out[...]
Against all odds, the Famianos persevere
By DAVID TUTHILL When others looked at Danielle and Nicholas as young children, they only saw their special challenges. But[...]
AutoNation Celebrates $3 Million Contribution to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program with a School Supplies Drive
By PAUL SOOST AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE: AN), America’s largest automotive retailer, announced Tuesday a $3 million contribution to Step Up For Students. The funding will provide as many as 459 K-12 scholarships for the[...]
Step Up’s Wall is an old soul – and total geek
By DAVID TUTHILL Keaton Wall is the youngest worker in Step Up For Students’ Clearwater office, but he may also[...]
Mt. Moriah Christian Fundamental Academy molds industrious young students
  By  GEOFF FOX A three-classroom school tucked inside a church in south St. Petersburg, Florida, is proving that a[...]
Family Spotlight: Futrells benefit by Step Up, Best Buy Education partnership
By GEOFF FOX Missy Futrell and her husband Carl wanted nothing more than to raise a family of their own.[...]
Step Up For Students launches alumni network  
  By LISA A. DAVIS Step Up For Students is excited to announce the creation of the Step Up For[...]
Two minutes with Step Up President Doug Tuthill
Doug Tuthill, president of Step Up For Students, recently took a few moments to talk about his vision for the[...]
School Spotlight: Pace Brantley School in Longwood
By GEOFF FOX It was just after 10 a.m. and dozens of students at Pace Brantley School were in the[...]
School Spotlight: The Broach School Tampa Campus
By GEOFF FOX Classes were changing at The Broach School Tampa Campus and veteran teacher Susan Gettys was busy steering students[...]
Step Up For Students named education nonprofit of 2017 by Tampa Bay Business Journal
By GEOFF FOX  CLEARWATER The Tampa Bay Business Journal on June 8 named Step Up For Students Nonprofit of the Year[...]
Step Up For Students named a top employer in Jacksonville
By LISA A. DAVIS Step Up For Students has been selected by the Jacksonville Business Journal as one of the[...]
Congratulations on your master’s degree, Denisha!
By LISA A. DAVIS From middle school on, we’ve watched Denisha Merriweather grow from an uncertain and failing young student[...]
Former lawmaker joins Step Up For Students board
Editor’s note: This story originally appeared on the redefinED blog on April 26, 2017.  The blog is hosted by Step Up For[...]
Student spotlight: Darius Lue
  By GEOFF FOX Outgoing, loyal, charismatic, hard-working. The adjectives used by officials at Seffner Christian Academy to describe senior[...]
School Spotlight: Hope Ranch Learning Academy
By GEOFF FOX Nataleigh Monterio put on her pink riding helmet and light-up cowboy boots. Smiling wide, she stepped onto[...]
Meet Judith Thomas, Step Up’s new social media manager
Judith grew up in Germany and first came to live in the U.S. in January 2004 as an au pair[...]
Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits announces $150 Million commitment to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By PAUL SOOST Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (Southern Glazer’s), the largest North American wine and spirits distribution company, announced[...]
Meet Ben Zanca, Gardiner scholar
By GEOFF FOX Doctors didn’t expect Ben Zanca to live very long. Even before his birth, fluid was drained from[...]
Students, parents and educators recognized during Step Up’s Rising Stars Awards
By LISA A. DAVIS For two weeks in February Step Up For Students shined the spotlight on scholars, parents and educators[...]
Step Up expands Teaching and Learning Exchange tool for teachers, parents and students
By LISA A. DAVIS There’s something amazing going on in Step Up For Students partner schools and hundreds of teachers,[...]
Step Up scholarship helps boost Ariely’s grades and confidence
By GEOFF FOX Linery Burgos’ voice cracked with emotion as she spoke about the academic progress of her oldest daughter,[...]
My Story: Ariely Burgos
By ARIELY BURGOS   My name is Ariely Burgos and this is my story. I was born in Belleville, New[...]
PNC donates $2 million to Step Up For Students to provide 329 scholarships for local students
By PAUL SOOST  WEST PALM BEACH – The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC), one of the largest diversified[...]
Wright Flood donates $1 million to Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By PAUL SOOST ST. PETERSBURG – Wright Flood, the largest provider of federal flood insurance policies in the U.S., recently[...]
By GEOFF FOX Ampy Suarez laughed heartily, while her husband Jose raised his eyebrows with a sigh.  The couple, who[...]
Victory: The fight against the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program is over; children prevail
By STEP UP FOR STUDENTS STAFF We have gratifying legal news to share. The Florida Supreme Court today rejected a[...]
Celebrating 15 Years of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship: Graduate Chris Yother dreams to protect Americans
By GEOFF FOX  Chris Yother could have slipped through the cracks. A Merritt Island resident, he was one of nine[...]
Student Spotlight: Kamelia Martin was a girl without hope
BY GEOFF FOX Nine years ago, Kamelia Martin was born perfectly healthy in Bulgaria. Yet, her adoptive mother, Christen Martin,[...]
Girls run for the joy and life lessons of it at St. Pius V Catholic School
By LAUREN MAY, Guest Blogger At St. Pius V Catholic School in Jacksonville we're excited to have a new extracurricular[...]
Student Spotlight: Step Up graduate Savannah Lang contemplates the future
BY GEOFF FOX Savannah Lang has time to weigh her options. The 2015 graduate of Merritt Island Christian School (MICS)[...]
Republic National Distributing Company contributes $55 million to Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By PAUL SOOST  TAMPA – Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC), the nation’s second largest premium wine and spirits distributor, announced[...]
Monin donates $60,000 to Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By PAUL SOOST CLEARWATER – Monin, Inc., producer of premium syrups, gourmet sauces, fruit purées and fruit smoothie mixes for[...]
HMSHost partners with Step Up For Students; contributes $400K
By PAUL SOOST BETHESDA, MD — Global restaurateur HMSHost has pledged $400,000 to Step Up For Students, a nonprofit that[...]
ABB OPTICAL GROUP announces $10,000 matching contribution to Step Up For Students
  By GEOFF FOX ABB OPTICAL GROUP, a leading distributor of optical products in the U.S., announced today it’s kicking[...]
Students Spotlight: Alani Charles on a mission to help others
By GEOFF FOX Ten years after graduating from The Rock School, a K-12 Christian school in Gainesville, Alani Charles is[...]
Behind the Scenes: Organizational and Professional Development Team
By ANDREA THOERMER Hello from the newest department at Step Up For Students: The Organizational and Professional Development Department. Our[...]
UnitedHealthcare donates $10 Million for Step Up For Students Scholarships
  By PAUL SOOST FORT MYERS, Fla.  – UnitedHealthcare on Tuesday donated $10 million to Step Up For Students, which[...]
Breaking boards and breaking barriers:  What on earth do these two things have in common?
By SUSAN SLEBODA, GUEST BLOGGER My son, Ryan is 15 years old. He has autism spectrum disorder. Ryan has been[...]
Student Spotlight: Graduate Travis Blanks
By GEOFF FOX The joy in Travis Blanks’ voice was obvious. He had recently returned from scenic Cabo San Lucas,[...]
My name is Travis Blanks
By TRAVIS BLANKS, Guest blogger My name is Travis Blanks. I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself,[...]
Reflections on the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship’s 15th birthday
Editor's note: This is the first post in a series celebrating 15 years of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program.[...]
Synchrony Financial donates $1 million to Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By PAUL SOOST| ALTAMONTE SPRINGS – Synchrony Financial, a premier consumer financial services company with an 80-year heritage, has announced[...]
New school year kicks off; enrollment and application deadlines loom
By LISA A. DAVIS With the final Florida schools kicking off the 2016-17 school year in the coming days, Step[...]
Student Spotlight: Lacey Nowling, Faith Christian Academy, Jay, Fla.
By JEFF BARLIS As early as sixth grade, Lacey Nowling knew her love for children was calling her to become[...]
Report: Florida scholarship students make gains despite disadvantages
Editor’s note: This story originally appeared on the redefinED blog on Aug. 17, 2016. The blog is hosted by Step Up[...]
Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits announces monumental $125 million contribution to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
  By PAUL SOOST MIAMI – Step Up For Students and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (Southern Glazer’s), the nation’s leading wine[...]
Advice from teachers: Starting the year out right
By GEOFF FOX We asked educators to share their best advice with parents on how to start out the year[...]
Let the voting begin: Step Up nominated for best Tampa Bay area nonprofit
By LISA A. DAVIS Step Up For Students is excited to announce that we’ve been nominated as ‘Best Local NonProfit’[...]
Student Spotlight: Darius Cook of Orlando
By GEOFF FOX Darius Cook wants to someday become an entrepreneur. He isn’t sure yet what type of business he[...]
Johnson Brothers of Florida Announces $7 million donation to Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By PAUL SOOST  Johnson Brothers of Florida, one of the top beverage distributors in the state, announced its $7 million[...]
No parent should feel forced to lie about their address for a better school
Editor’s note: This story originally appeared on the redefinED blog on June 7, 2016. The blog is hosted by Step Up[...]
Jordan Massie transitions from hurt to healer, thanks to school choice
By RON MATUS Two years ago, Jordan Massie was lost and hurt. Rocked by turbulence at home, she was skipping[...]
Student Spotlight: Deondre Pride, Victory Christian Academy in Lakeland
BY JEFF BARLIS When Deondre Pride transferred to Victory Christian Academy as a junior in high school, it took him[...]
Breakthru Beverage Group celebrates $65 million contribution to Step Up For Students Scholarship Program
By PAUL SOOST FORT LAUDERDALE – Breakthru Beverage Florida, one of the largest distributors of wines, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages[...]
Step Up announces new chat feature for its website
By MICHAEL JACOBSON Step Up For Students is proud to announce the addition of another customer service option to our[...]
Axiom Bank makes $300,000 contribution to Step Up For Students
By PAUL SOOST Axiom Bank, a federally chartered community bank, today announced a first-time contribution of $300,000 to the Step[...]
Step Up For Students achieves coveted four-star rating from Charity Navigator
By LISA A. DAVIS For the fifth consecutive year, Step Up For Students, the nonprofit organization that helps administer Florida’s[...]
Pausing to honor a colleague
BY REDEFINED STAFF We pause today for a funeral and introspection. Sherri Ackerman, formerly the associate editor of this blog,[...]
Donor Corner: IBERIABANK
By PAUL SOOST IBERIABANK, a 129-year-old subsidiary of IBERIABANK Corporation, is pleased to announce a $2 million contribution to Step[...]
Student Spotlight: Kira Murillo, Meadowbrook Academy, Ocala
By SHERRI ACKERMAN As a first-grader, Kira Murillo developed stomach pains every Sunday night. That’s how much she hated going[...]
How to bring more than 10,000 people together to save the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program
By CATHERINE DURKIN ROBINSON Florida Voices For Choices The goal was to get over 10,000 scholarship supporters to Tallahassee and[...]
Hope Academy gets a taste of Tallahassee
BY SARA CLEMENTS Around 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 41 students  and nine chaperones from Hope Academy in Homestead[...]
Gardiner Scholarship mom offers tips on finding a school for your child with special needs
  By SHERRI ACKERMAN A licensed speech therapist, Stacey Thomas interned as a University of South Florida graduate student at[...]
Donor Corner: Circle K
By LISA A. DAVIS With its recent donation of $2 million for scholarships, Circle K, part of Alimentation Couche-Tard, is[...]
Step Up For Students launches regional meetings; recognizes top scholars, educators and parents  
By LISA A. DAVIS St. PETERSBURG – One by one their names were called, and nearly two dozen Step Up[...]
Thank you, donors!
  After filling the 2015-16 program cap of $447 million in just seven months, Step Up For Students is grateful[...]
Tally Rally to #DropTheSuit draws more than 10,000 Florida Tax Credit Scholarship supporters from across the state
By LISA A. DAVIS TALLAHASSEE - They came by bus, many traveling through the night, by personal vehicle and some[...]
Hollywood to get a glimpse of Step Up For Students during Grammy events
By LISA A. DAVIS   Charity of the Year will never be a category at the Grammy Awards, but Step[...]
Student Spotlight: Katie Cutford
 By SHERRI ACKERMAN   When Katie Cutford attended her neighborhood district school in Lake City, classmates sometimes made fun of[...]
School Spotlight: Lake City Christian Academy
Editor’s note: This story originally appeared on the redefinED blog on Dec. 14, 2015. The blog is hosted by Step Up[...]
Gov. Scott approves expanded Gardiner Scholarship for special needs students
By TRAVIS PILLOW, redefinED Editor’s note: This story originally appeared on the redefinED blog on Jan. 21. The blog is hosted[...]
Student Spotlight: The Garnes children (Malkia, Rukiya, Osakwe, Anaya, Ngozi, Naima and Aakil Garnes)
By SHERRI ACKERMAN   When her three eldest children were ready to start their formal education, Deidre Christopher-Garnes sent them to[...]
School Spotlight: PenTab, Miami Gardens
By SHERRI ACKERMAN When PenTab Academy opened 13 years ago inside a Miami Gardens church, it had one teacher and[...]
Step Up scholars improving at schools that participate in Success Partners program, report shows
By LAUREN BARLIS Many Step Up For Students scholars are making dramatic learning gains at their schools of choice, according[...]
PLSA renewal applications now open for the 2016-17 school year
By STEP UP FOR STUDENTS STAFF Step Up For Students is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications[...]
Student Spotlight: The Cherry Family
  By SHERRI ACKERMAN When Demetrius Cherry’s commissions plummeted at his cell phone sales job two years ago, his family[...]
BAEO enters legal fray to defend Florida tax credit scholarships
Editor's Note:  This post originally ran Dec. 14 on the redefinED blog, which is hosted by Step Up For Students, and is[...]
School Spotlight: Tampa Bay Christian Academy, Tampa
By SHERRI ACKERMAN Shaneka Paul struggled with a 2.0 grade point average her freshman year at Tampa Bay Christian Academy,[...]
Donate to Step Up For Students for #GivingTuesday
By LISA A. DAVIS It's here. ‪#‎GivingTuesday‬, the global kickoff to the holiday giving season. Why give to Step Up[...]
Giving thanks to Step Up For Students’ generous donors
By JILL METZ, Step Up For Students Did you know that during the 2015 fundraising season (Jan. 2-July 7) for[...]
Student spotlight: Hayden Hernandez and Cambria Rogers
By SHERRI ACKERMAN It didn’t take long for Jenna Rogers to realize her son’s neighborhood school wasn’t working for him.[...]
Southern Wine & Spirits of America Celebrates $100 Million Commitment to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program with a Statewide Book Drive
By PAUL SOOST Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. (Southern), the nation’s leading wine and spirits distributor, on Nov. 30 celebrated[...]
Step Up For Students to participate in #GivingTuesday on Dec. 1
By LISA A. DAVIS Step Up For Students is excited to announce for the first time it will participate in[...]
Step Up For Students launches “Coffee & Conversations” with PLSA parents in Capitol City
By LISA A. DAVIS Step Up For Students Family and Community Affairs (FCA) team recently began hosting “Coffee and Conversations”[...]
Student Spotlight: Liam Thomas
  By SHERRI ACKERMAN Liam Thomas has Down syndrome and benefits from weekly occupational and speech therapies. But the 9-year-old[...]
School Spotlight: Morning Star School, Pinellas Park
By Sherri Ackerman Part of the Florida Catholic Diocese system, Morning Star School in Pinellas Park has educated students with[...]
Donor Corner: Humana Inc.
By Lisa A. Davis Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) is more than a health insurance company, it’s a healthy living leader[...]
Step Up For Students hits milestone of reimbursing $1.2 million in a week for Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts program
By Lisa A. Davis Within the past week, Step Up For Students has sent three payment files to the bank[...]
Green goblins, teal pumpkins and safety tips: It must be Halloween
By Lisa A. Davis Goblins, witches and ghosts OH MY! Yes, it’s that time of year again when adults and[...]
Student spotlight: Ryan Tetoff, graduate of Chaminade-Madonna College Preparatory in Hollywood, Fla.
By Sherri Ackerman June Welcome looked forward to sending her son, Ryan Tetoff, to his neighborhood school. By first grade,[...]
Introducing Step Up For Students new website
By Lisa A. Davis Step Up For Students is excited to present a new and improved website at the same Step[...]
Education savings accounts and trusting parents
Editor's Note: This post originally ran Oct. 23 on the redefinED blog, which is hosted by Step Up For Students, and is[...]
Teachers unions, school choice & the Democratic Party’s retreat 
Editor's note: This post originally ran Oct. 20 on the redefinED blog, which is hosted by Step Up For Students, and[...]
Acknowledging Bullying Prevention Awareness Month in October and beyond
By Lisa A. Davis I don’t remember how it started, but I recall vividly how it ended. The mean girl[...]
Introducing My Story: Your story told by you
By Lisa A. Davis As Step Up For Students continues to grow, so does our community. Our community is made[...]
Faith Manuel reflects upon the journey of school choice for all three of her children
Editor's note: Step Up For Students welcomes Faith Manuel as a guest blogger. Faith has had three children use the[...]
Florida Tax Credit Scholars: It’s your time to renew for the 2016-17 school year
By Lisa A. Davis While the 2015-16 school year is in its third month, it’s already that time of year[...]
Step Up For Students graduate Denisha Merriweather shares her success story
Editor's note: Around here at the Step Up For Students office, Denisha Merriweather is a household name, so to speak.[...]
Proudly alternative and pro school choice
Editor’s note: This story originally ran Sept. 29, 2015 on the redefinED blog, which is hosted by Step Up For[...]
Funding now available for first round of approved Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts students
  By Lisa A. Davis About 2,400 Step Up for Students’ Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts families should have noticed something[...]
A Catholic school turnaround in Florida’s rural heartland
Editor's note: This story originally ran Sept. 28, 2015 on the redefinED blog, which is hosted by Step Up For[...]
Look who rode in on her friendly horse: Jen Canning, one of Step Up For Students’ newest team members
By Jen Canning, Step Up For Students Executive Assistant Howdy y’all! I’m Jen, one of the newest members of the[...]
Step Up For Students Receives $2 Million Donation to Fund Scholarships for Low-Income Students
By Paul Soost, Step Up For Students Assistant Director  of Marketing TEMPLE TERRACE -- Circle K, part of Alimentation Couche-Tard, and[...]
Digital Media Solutions invests in Step Up For Students’ new fundraising initiative for Florida schoolchildren
Digital Media Solutions, a Clearwater-based media company providing results-based technology to help businesses grow, has contributed $2,500 to Step Up[...]
Future Fla. House speaker: State should ‘fully fund’ school choice
Editor's Note: This story originally ran Sept. 16, 2015 on the redefinED blog, which is hosted by Step Up For[...]
Step Up For Students’ David Bryant talks shop at the University of Florida’s business school’s Alumni Café
By David Bryant, Step Up For Students I recently had the great pleasure to go back to my business school alma[...]
Step Up For Students proudly supports Bright Ideas, a STEM competition for teens
By Sherri Ackerman Do you know a high school student who wants to change the world? Someone who loves STEM[...]
Step Up For Students starts new fundraising effort for scholarship support services
By Lisa A. Davis Since the Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship was created by lawmakers in 2001, more than 400,000[...]
Breitburn Energy pledges $1.2 million to support Step Up For Students’ scholarship program for low-income K-12 students in Florida
By Lisa A. Davis TAMPA – Step Up For Students and Breitburn Energy Partners LP (NASDAQ:BBEP) announced this week a new partnership[...]
A lesson in history: Labor Day
By Lisa A. Davis The modern Labor Day has long been associated with the official end of summer, and it[...]
The distorted history of Florida tax credit scholarships
Editor's note: This post first appeared on Aug. 31 on redefinED, a blog sponsored by Step Up For Students. It is written[...]
Protect Your Children from Cyber Crime
By Estefania "Nia"  Nunez-Brady We’ve all heard the horrific stories about children being lured from their home at the hand[...]
Florida Tax Credit Scholarships draw more disadvantaged students
Editor's Note: This story originally ran on the redefinED blog, which is hosted by Step Up For Students, and is[...]
Step Up  For Students’ technology team – Behind the Scenes – in the forefront of technology
By Gina Lynch, Step Up For Students The SUFS Information Technology team is never really seen by anyone except for[...]
Kurnik: ‘We homeschool because it is the best situation for our special needs child’
Editor's Note: This post originally appeared as an article in the 2015 Back to Homeschool issue of the FPEA Connect magazine.[...]
Donor Corner: Allegiant Travel Company
Editor's Note: Step Up For Students would not be able to provide life-changing scholarships to low-income Florida children without the[...]
New PLSA reimbursement system launches in early September
By Lisa A. Davis Summer has come to a close, and Step Up For Students looks forward to serving more[...]
Step Up For Students prepares to roll out new program to assist low-income students in south Pinellas
Lisa A. Davis Volunteer Florida, the Governor’s Commission on Community Service, recently awarded Step Up For Students an AmeriCorps Grant[...]
Step Up For Students earns highest rating from Charity Navigator for fourth consecutive year
By Lisa A. Davis For the fourth consecutive year, Step Up For Students has earned a four-star rating for sound[...]
Student Spotlight: Denisha Merriweather, Step Up graduate; USF graduate student
By Sherri Ackerman The daughter of a teenaged mom and high school dropout, Denisha Merriweather thought she was destined for[...]
School Spotlight: Merritt Island Christian School
By Estefania “Nia” Nunez-Brady If Principal Jamie Bopp could use only one word to describe Merritt Island Christian School (MICS),[...]
Student Spotlight: Savannah Lang, Merritt Island Christian School graduate
By Estefania “Nia” Nunez-Brady Rhonda Ford wanted more of a say in her only child’s education. But the divorced mom[...]
School choice is good for teachers, too, says Step Up President Doug Tuthill
By Doug Tuthill, Step Up For Students President Editor’s note: This commentary originally ran in Education Week. With her recent passing, Marva Collins[...]
Plenty of sleep + good nutrition = energetic and alert student
By Ashley Foster, Guest Blogger As parents prepare for the upcoming school year, it’s important to ensure their school-age children[...]
Behind the Scenes with a Donor: Frontline Insurance Blog Interviews
  Editor's Note: This post kicks off our semi-regular feature: Behind the Scenes, where we give you an inside look[...]
Meet The Team
Hello Step Up family and supporters, We're pleased to meet you or get reacquainted with you! We will be providing content[...]
2015 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday in Florida Starts Friday
By Lisa A. Davis It's that time of year again. Summer fun is winding down and back-to-school preparation is upon[...]
Layla and Jeremiah Cirino
By Lisa A. Davis Meet Layla and Jeremiah Cirino of Kissimmee. They began their academic life attending their neighborhood school,[...]
A message from Step Up For Students President Doug Tuthill
Welcome to Step Up For Students’ newest way to connect to you: our families, donors and community partners. We’re excited[...]
Welcome
Welcome to the Step Up For Students blog, “Stepping Beyond the Scholarship.” We’re excited to have you join us as[...]
Derek Schroeder
After a decade of their son using a Step Up For Students scholarship, Lisa and Michael Schroeder wanted another student[...]
Killian Korkes
When Kelly Korkes visited Christ the King Lutheran School for the first time, she fell in love with its small[...]
Denisha Merriweather
Denisha Merriweather attended Esprit de Corps Center for Learning in Jacksonville with help from a Step Up For Students scholarship,[...]
Mario Tobar
Mario Tobar was in his freshman year of high school when his mother, Kenia Palacios, confronted him about his choices[...]
Sophia Brown
Due to complications with her birth in 2006, Sophia Brown was in need of intensive medical care after entering the[...]
Gilbert Brothers
Imagine coming home to discover your house was foreclosed on. Beverly Gilbert doesn’t have to imagine. That was the reality[...]
Semaj Iwan Mack
Even in the womb, doctors noticed Semaj Iwan Mack was considerably smaller than other babies. By the time he was[...]
Gabriel Shimoni
Kathryn Miller worried when her son Gabriel Shimoni started waking up sick to his stomach in the mornings and complaining[...]
Jordan Garcia
By  PERRY ATHANASON Cristina Valdes noticed her fourth-grade son’s interest in learning start to fade and his behavior slip during[...]
Kevin Rodriguez
By  PERRY ATHANASON At 13, Kevin Rodriguez is an old soul. He does not talk much, but listens intently. He[...]
Gianna Viale
By  PERRY ATHANASON When Gianna Viale started first grade at the Good Shepherd Catholic School in Orlando, she had no[...]
Demonte Thomas
On graduation day 2013 for Franklin Academy in Tallahassee, the sanctuary at Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church was packed with 1,500[...]
Gaby Garcia
Orlando Garcia never imagined he’d be a single father, and his friends didn’t think he could handle it. When his[...]
Kevin Kelly
While most young men who play high school football dream about making it to the pros, Kevin Kelly knows that[...]
Isaiah Vargas
Isaiah Vargas entered the world addicted to drugs. As the toxins were purged from his tiny body in the hospital,[...]
Anastasia
Vivian Calhoun is raising a princess. She didn’t plan on it, but it’s working out just fine. She gets to[...]
Jenkins Family
Sharla and Donald Jenkins are raising six children, but less than a year ago, they were parents of two. After[...]
Davion Manuel-McKenney
As Step Up For Students celebrates over 10 years of providing low-income families the opportunity to attend the school of[...]
The Robaina Family
As Step Up For Students celebrates 10 years of providing low-income families the opportunity to attend the school of their[...]
Melody Cherfils
Melody Cherfils never thought she would want to be a doctor. By the eighth grade she had failing grades and[...]
Shamel Donawa
Life lessons hit Shamel Donawa the hardest when she was growing up. But as an adult she can find some[...]
Luis Aponte Jr.
As Step Up For Students celebrates over 10 years of providing low-income families the opportunity to attend the school of[...]
Tyla Cadore
As Step Up For Students celebrates over 10 years of providing low-income families the opportunity to attend the school of[...]
Mercedes Gonzalez
Hector and Maria Gonzalez knew something was wrong midway through their daughter Mercedes’ second year at preschool. Mercedes had always[...]
Danielle Stone
When Danielle Stone crosses the stage next June to collect her diploma at Miami’s Archbishop Curley Notre Dame, she’ll join[...]
Jacob Rogers
Tammy Ducat will never forget the day two years ago when she and her son Jacob Rogers were attending the[...]
Keyante Scott
Of the 11 children Dorothy Stephenson has raised – two hers and the rest relatives - all but one attended[...]
Shawnay Glenn
Shawnay Glenn’s neighborhood school seemed like a good fit as she began her formal education. Prekindergarten through first grade were[...]
Melody and her daughter Shawnay
​ Melody Rodriguez dreamed of finding a small private school for her daughter, Shawnay, to blossom academically and socially. But[...]
Eddie, Emily and their son Julian
​ Eddie and Emily Cruz rely on the Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts program to help send their son, Julian, to[...]
Sualba Alejandro
Ten-year-old Sualba Alejandro planted her Size 3 feet on the Faith Christian Academy stage in Orlando and tried to stay[...]