March 4, 2021
A Note from CEO Kim Jowell
HEF is all about strengthening public education, but that can't happen without the support of our community!

That’s why it’s so inspiring to see our local business leaders volunteer to spend a day recently in all 160 elementary schools within Hillsborough County Public Schools. It’s part of our CEOs in Schools initiative in partnership with Vistra Communications and the district.
(L-R) Oak Park Principal Ryan Moody, HEF CEO Kim Jowell, Tampa Bay Buccaneers VP of Community Impact Tara Battiato and Vistra Communications CEO Brian Butler.
It was a chance for senior executives to see what’s happening in our public schools—both the opportunities and the challenges, share their business knowledge with principals and students and hopefully form a lasting relationship that will turn into a year-round partnership to support our business leaders of tomorrow! In fact, we’re already seeing that happening.
I am grateful to everyone who participated in this critical program! These are just a few of the experiences from such an impactful day.
Students at Woodbridge Elementary present Tampa Bay Rays President Brian Auld with a special sign to thank him for his visit.
Links Financial CEO Penny Parks receives the star treatment with her name on the marquee at Tampa Bay Blvd. Elementary.
North Tampa Bay Chamber President Hope Kennedy reads to students at Riverwalk STEM Academy at Just Elementary.
Andrew Warren shows his badge to students at Burney Elementary and shares what his job is like as Hillsborough State Attorney. The kids had
A LOT of questions!
After Dustin Portillo's experience at Summerfield Crossings, the Caspers Company Community Relations Manager has already been back with bags for their feeding program, some swag & a new Media Center TV!
HEF is Advocating for Education
Our Schools and Students Need More Financial Support
The Florida Legislature resumed its regular session this week, and now more than ever students and our public schools are in dire need of additional resources to operate safely and to keep teachers and other essential personnel on the job.

Florida ranks 45th in the country for state education funding. HEF will continue to fight to strengthen public education by sharing our Advocacy Priorities with our local lawmakers. We're focused on 4 critical areas and urge our state senators and representatives to:
  • Invest in Public Education
  • Invest in Teachers
  • Invest in Early Learning
  • Invest in Mentoring Programs

We hope you'll join us in asking our legislators to prioritize funding for our K-12 public schools.
HEF Recognized as State Leader in
Closing the Digital Divide for Students
Recently, our CEO Kim Jowell was asked to participate in a statewide panel "Addressing the Digital Divide," to highlight HEF's work in ensuring our highest needs students have the technology and support they need to succeed in school.

Since the pandemic first impacted our district in March 2020, HEF has been leading the way to provide WiFi hotspots and laptops to help more than 1,000 Hillsborough County students.
Jowell shared how HEF has been working to find solutions to the digital divide, breaking down barriers surrounding internet access, and partnering with community organizations like the Children's Board (and panel co-presenter) to secure funding to support our digital equity initiative.

Click here to watch the webinar hosted by the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations and the Florida Philanthropic Network.
Off the Field, The Bucs Win BIG with our
Youth Leadership Program at Young Middle Magnet
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren't just Super Bowl champs, they're also champions for children in our community—supporting at-risk students, addressing social inequities and helping to bridge the gap in East Tampa.

This school year, Hillsborough Education Foundation teamed up with the Bucs and other partners to expand our mentoring program—launching the Buccaneers Youth Leadership Program at Young Middle Magnet School.
Now in its second semester, the program provides 25 students with unique player and staff mentorships, leadership development and community outreach opportunities.

Check out this video to see how the program is making an impact by building meaningful relationships and empowering Tampa Bay’s next generation of leaders.
Bucs Safety Antoine Winfield Jr. Matches
Super Bowl LV Fine with Donation to HEF
After Bucs safety Antoine Winfield Jr. was fined for flashing a peace sign to his opponent in Super Bowl LV, he has turned that memorable moment into something positive. The rookie matched his fine amount with a donation to HEF in support of our Youth Leadership Program at Young, where he serves as a mentor.
Winfield’s $7,815 donation will be matched by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Social Justice Fund, for a total contribution of $15,630 going to the school.

Thank you, Antoine Winfield Jr. for the donation and your ongoing support for students as a mentor!

Click here to read more about his generous donation and our CEO's response.
Happy National Reading Month!
 Every year, the month of March is National Reading Month, which always kicks off with "Read Across America Day" on March 2nd, Dr. Seuss' birthday.

We understand the importance of reading every day of every month and are committed to helping provide teachers and families with access to books and resources to help students continue to hone their reading skills.
FREE Books for Florida Families!
The Florida House of Representatives has partnered with Age of Learning to bring FREE access to its online digital library to every Florida child, regardless of age, income or reading level, from now through December 31, 2021.

To take advantage of this initiative, all you need to do is visit and create a free account!
Thank you to Rep. Chris Sprowls for sponsoring the bill and to all of our public education advocates in the State legislature!
Our work doesn't happen without the generosity of our donors. That's why we are dedicating a section in our monthly newsletter to showcase the individuals and companies making our mission possible.
For this month’s feature, we are celebrating Amgen Foundation!
When the COVID-19 pandemic impacted our school district last year, the Amgen Foundation helped address critical needs with a $50,000 donation to bridge the digital divide. The funding through its global relief efforts helped HEF get vital technology into the hands of our most vulnerable students to keep them connected to their teachers and eLearning platforms for continued academic success.
The Foundation is committed to inspiring our next generation of innovators by advancing excellence in science education. Over the years, Amgen Foundation has shown its dedication to developing the scientists of tomorrow, through its sponsorship of the Hillsborough Regional STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Fair. Support through HEF for the annual event provides K-12 students the opportunity to showcase their research projects that can provide practical solutions to build a better Tampa Bay.
The company also invests in strengthening the community where Amgen staff members live and work by matching contributions made to HEF through its Employee Giving Program.
Sharing HEF’s belief that teachers are foundational to student success, the Foundation supports creative projects that deliver high-quality science education by funding teachers’ requests through our School and Classroom Enrichment grants. The unique educational opportunities help engage students in their learning and promote better academic results.
We are proud to shine a spotlight on the Amgen Foundation's investment in public education and are grateful for its continued support!
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