By JILL METZ, Step Up For Students
Did you know that during the 2015 fundraising season (Jan. 2-July 7) for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, the corporate community pledged $2.4 million per day in support of Step Up For Students? Step Up For Students is honored to have the support from hundreds of generous corporations that are located anywhere from Florida to California and many points in between.
In fact, 38 corporations elected to partner with Step Up For Students for the first time in 2015 and the total pledge commitments from all companies ranged from $2,000 to $100 million. These corporations often find themselves divided by industry competition, however, they are uniting for the profound cause of providing educational opportunities to Florida’s youth.
As an 11-member strong fundraising and development team, we know our gratitude is echoed by the 77,079 students who are currently benefiting from a scholarship, and we look forward to collaborating with the corporate community in 2016 as we seek to expand the program by 25 percent in an effort to meet the growing demand from interested families.
We wanted to take this opportunity to highlight four individuals who have personally witnessed the transformations afforded through a Step Up scholarship:
“What an unbelievable gift. As a single mom, to be able to put my son in a positive environment … To let him learn and focus on learning seemed too good to be true. But it happened.”
– June Welcome, mother to Ryan Tetoff, Step Up For Students graduate.
“I’m very blessed that Step Up has brought the love of school back to my kids… They’re getting an education and I can see the light shining in them. They love to learn. They started going and they just excelled.”
– Adrienne Cirino, mother to Layla and Jeremiah, both Step Up scholars at PHA Preparatory School.
“I don’t think my mom and I could afford my private school on our own.” Miguel also wants all the Step Up For Students partners to know that “they are extremely nice’’ for helping him and other children find schools that work for them.
-Miguel Martinez, fifth-grade scholar at Kingdom Academy.
“I’m just so grateful. This never would have been possible without the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program.’’
–Denisha Merriweather, Step Up scholar who was first in her immediate family to graduate high school and continued onto the University of West Florida, where she graduated, in 2014 and is a current graduate student at the University of South Florida.
Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Jill Metz has worked for Step Up For Students for nine years and is director of development. When she’s not hitting the pavement looking for donors to support Florida’s low-income schoolchildren, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters.