August 7, 2020
Back to School Needs are Greater than Ever
A Note from CEO Kim Jowell
School starts August 24th with the first four weeks of school 100% online learning. Those are words I never imagined that I would write or say. I have also said and heard the word “unprecedented” more times than I can count—but it is a perfect description of the situation that we are all facing. This pandemic has exposed and exacerbated educational inequities for students of color and low socioeconomic status. Our teachers and district are working hard to not let the achievement gap widen for these students, but they cannot do it alone. Every student should have access and opportunity to benefit from a high-quality education. As a community we must do our part, we must step up and help. 

We will continue to work tirelessly to close the digital divide and provide supplies, virtual mentoring, college and career readiness programs, classroom grants and more to support our students and teachers. A lack of resources should not be a barrier for students to learn. 

Investing in Mentoring - Why It's So Important!
We are looking forward to welcoming a new class of students into our Take Stock in Children mentoring program this fall, but first we need 100 additional mentors to help make a difference in the lives of these students.

Mentoring is a proven dropout prevention strategy. Studies show students with a mentor have better school attendance, better attitudes toward school and are more likely to enroll in college. It’s why we advocate for the state to increase funding for mentoring programs like ours focused on academic achievement and personal success for at-risk students.

Our mentoring program provides students with a caring mentor, college success coach and opportunity for a Florida Prepaid Scholarship.

It’s been a game changer for so many students, like Deisy. She is entering her senior year at Durant High School and looking forward to a bright future—thanks to guidance from her mentor.
“I was able to get an amazing mentor. Having someone who is there and wants you to achieve your goals is pretty amazing," Deisy said. "If you're thinking about becoming a mentor—go for it! That journey you’re going to take is going to be very impactful to you and your mentee, because you’re going to leave something in their lives that they’ll cherish forever.”
Jazheel Lenegar currently mentors both Deisy and her cousin and also served as a mentor to Deisy's older sister until she graduated high school.

“I feel like I’m giving back to my community," Jazheel said. "When I leave our mentoring sessions, I know that I made a difference. I might have brightened their day—and they definitely did that for me. I enjoy that.”
Right now, due to COVID-19 changes, we are looking for flexible volunteers who would be comfortable mentoring a student virtually for the 2020-21 school year. For more information and to apply, visit:
HEF Receives COVID-19 Heroes of Tampa Bay Award!
7,000 people across Tampa Bay voted, and out of 58 nominees, we are so excited to be one of 19 recipients honored with a COVID-19 Heroes of Tampa Bay Award! Mayor Jane Castor presented CEO Kim Jowell with the award during a virtual ceremony a couple weeks ago.

We are incredibly proud of this recognition for our team’s work during the pandemic to support Hillsborough County Public Schools teachers and students in need through such an unprecedented time in education by providing essential supplies, helping to bridge the digital divide and so much more.

Thank you for voting for us, believing in us and helping us strengthen public education in Hillsborough County! Our work continues...
Student Spends Summer Raising Awareness about the
Digital Divide & Encouraging Peers Engaged in eLearning
With online summer learning presenting challenges for some of Hillsborough County Public Schools most vulnerable students, community members of all ages are rallying to help provide support and resources.

Dylan, a 7th Grader at Randall Middle, reached out to HEF to see how he could support fellow students who lacked resources and struggled to connect to their eLearning platforms.
To kick off his project and encourage kids who were participating in online summer learning, Dylan created goodie bags for students at two of our highest needs schools—Broward Elementary and McDonald Elementary.
We Need Volunteers!
Our students and teachers need us and we need help serving them! HEF has plenty of ways you can volunteer—while limiting your exposure.

Check out our new volunteer portal

From delivering or bagging school supplies to mentoring students in our district, there are a variety of opportunities for individuals and businesses to engage in volunteering and support our students and teachers in Hillsborough County.
This weekend, August 7th-9th, is Florida's Tax-Free Holiday! If you're going to be out shopping, consider picking up a few extra school supplies and dropping off the items at Westfield Brandon or Westfield Citrus Park for our Stuff the Bus Supply Drive!

There are so many ways you can get involved and help #EraseTheNeed:

For more information, visit:
HEF Receives $50,000 from Lightning Player Alex Killorn
Proceeds from Dock Talk t-shirt sales topped $50K!
What started out as some fun on his jet ski during the pandemic turned into so much more for Tampa Bay Lightning’s Alex Killorn - and Hillsborough Education Foundation!

Alex presented a check to Chief Advancement Officer Michael McCollum LIVE on Killorn's #IGTV Dock Talk with Killer Finale.

In case you missed it, check out this story from ABC Action News about the impact Alex's donation will have on students in Hillsborough County.
HEF in the News & Shared on Social
Watch: CEO Kim Jowell
joins Hosts Cyndi Edwards
and Danny New on
WFLA News Channel 8’s Daytime to talk about our annual Supply Drive.
Check out this heartfelt note from a mentee to her mentor, Kimberly! Kimberly posts, "I vow to continue doing all I can to be inspirational, influential & instrumental to every young lady I encounter."