May 6, 2021
A Note from CEO Kim Jowell
This week, we are celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week. Now more than ever, it’s important we honor our teachers and show our gratitude for their perseverance, flexibility and commitment to educating children—the future of our community.
Thanks to our local business partners, HEF and the district have been able to offer teachers discounts and deals at local restaurants and entertainment places. We’ve been hosting daily giveaways on social media for school supplies, gift cards and $500 School and Classroom Enrichment grants and created a special HEF Facebook frame to show our appreciation. Plus, students and community leaders have been sharing heartfelt messages to #ThankATeacher.

HEF is here to support and empower our teachers throughout the year with the resources and development they needand the recognition they deserve. Please join us on our social media platforms and show our teachers some extra love this week for all they do to strengthen public education in Hillsborough County!
2021 Legislative Session Comes to a Close
Florida lawmakers have wrapped up the 2021 legislative session. The budget and several education bills have been sent to Governor DeSantis for consideration.

During this 60-day session, Hillsborough Education Foundation continued to use our advocacy voice for increased funding for public education, our teachers, early learning and mentoring programs.

HEF raised concerns with House Bill 7045 over the lack of accountability and funding being shifted from K-12 public education with an expansion of the school voucher program. We believe schools receiving tax dollars should have the same level of accountability and guidelines in place and any additional state funding available should be invested in our underfunded public schools.

The Legislature agreed on a $101.5B budget, including $22.4B for education. We thank legislators for earmarking $550 million, a $50 million increase from the current year’s budget, to continue raising teachers’ annual salaries to at least $47,500, as well as using federal American Rescue Plan funds for one-time $1,000 bonuses for full-time classroom teachers and principals.

Despite education funding increases in recent years, the state’s investment per student remains below pre-recession levels. It’s unacceptable that Florida continues to rank among the lowest in the nation—43rd for K-12 public education funding. During a time of budget uncertainty and unprecedented challenges related to the pandemic, public schools need more resources and support to meet the needs of all students.
HEF Awards $500K+ in Scholarships to Graduating Seniors
Hillsborough Education Foundation is proud to support graduating seniors' dreams of continuing their education at a university, community college or technical college through our community scholarships.

We are in the process of awarding 200+ Class of 2021 Seniors with more than $500,000 in scholarships, ranging from $500-15,000.

“We never want families' incomes to be a barrier for students to reach their fullest potential. These scholarships can help reduce that financial strain, positively impact students’ lives and the future of our community,” said HEF CEO Kim Jowell.

HEF is grateful for our business partners, community organizations and individual donors who share our beliefs and are investing in the next generation through our scholarship program.
Surprise! A 4-year College Scholarship for a Mentee!
You can’t top moments like this! We recently surprised Jonathan, a Tampa Bay Technical High School Senior and one of the mentees in our Take Stock in Children program with a 4-year Florida Prepaid Scholarship to Florida State University!

Thank you to the Tampa Bay Seminole Club who is supporting Jonathan through this scholarship that covers his tuition for all 4 years of college.
Jonathan has an unweighted GPA of 3.86 and will be the first in his family to go to college. He shares that he has had to overcome the challenges of changing schools every year for more than a decade as his parents traveled from Florida to Ohio to support the family of six.

“Making it from immigrants who had nothing to having a son going to college in the United States is a big accomplishment for my parents and myself.” Jonathan says his father always stressed the importance of education, telling him: “This is your future. Put in the work and you’ll go places!”

Now, Jonathan IS going places—FSU to pursue a degree in Studio Art and a career in graphic design. Congratulations, Jonathan!
We are so proud of all of our graduating Take Stock in Children program mentees!

As graduation approaches, this month we'll be highlighting our graduating seniors on social media in our Senior Spotlight.

Help us celebrate our mentees' accomplishments and this tremendous milestone. Follow along on social media to offer well wishes and congratulate our students!
Students' Works Advance to National Competition after Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
It was incredible to see the amazing talent of our local middle and high school students who entered more than 1,500 art and writing submissions for the 2021 Hillsborough County Region Scholastic Art & Writing Awards!

Congratulations to this year's winners, whose work has been selected to advance to nationals next month.
Gold Medal
The colors and shapes of Identity by Emma Centrone
Gold Medal
El Asado by Mayra Hernandez
Silver Medal
Lost Generation by
Akshita Mathur
Gold Medal and American Visions Medal
2020 or 1963 by Gianna Settimi
Gold Medal
Butthead by Jolina Jasperson
Writing - Gold Medal/American Voices Medal: Biden Challenges Trump to Push-Up Contest in Lieu of Debate by Kai Nelson
The Industrial Company: Building Our Future Workforce
We are thankful for our donor, The Industrial Company, a subsidiary of Kiewit, who is helping to build a solid foundation for our next generation of workers through a gift to six Hillsborough County Public Schools technical programs! For more than a decade, TIC has been supporting students with scholarships and program grants through an endowment fund with HEF.
Through this partnership, six high schools with the highest needs have been selected to receive funding to provide critical materials and tools of the trade to help train our future workforce:
•Leto High School’s Electrical Program: $5,000
•Middleton High School’s Construction Program: $2,000
•Welding Programs at East Bay, Hillsborough, Jefferson and Tampa Bay Technical High Schools: $2,000 each

This investment in public education will prepare students for high-demand jobs in the construction industry and help ensure a prosperous future for our community. To learn more about how you can make a difference in students’ lives, visit
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 the Kiwanis Club of Tampa!
Over the past 20 years, the Kiwanis Club of Tampa and Tampa Kiwanis Foundation have given out nearly a half million dollars in scholarships through Hillsborough Education Foundation. The scholarships help deserving Hillsborough County Public Schools students achieve their goals of going to a technical college, community college or university.

“In Kiwanis, internationally our goal is kids. We think the future is really tied to good education. We feel in our community there’s a lot of kids who need help financially in being able to get into college. We’ve been very pleased to partner with Hillsborough Education Foundation in our programs,” said Dave Rogoff, Tampa Kiwanis Foundation President.

Last month, the club awarded $20,500 to eight high school seniors:
Arthur Henderson Memorial Scholarship: $2,500
  • Khoury, Robinson HS
  • Maria, Armwood HS
  • Ivelisse, Armwood HS
  • Monet-Jazel, Strawberry Crest HS
  • Isabella, Steinbrenner HS

Kiwanis Club of Tampa Technical Scholarship: $2,500 
  • Alex, Strawberry Crest HS
  • Cristian, Tampa Bay Technical HS

Pete Gilmore Memorial Scholarship: $3,000
  • Zixin, Hillsborough HS
Check out this video and see how the Kiwanis Club of Tampa Scholarships are making the future brighter for students and families!
Members take pride in being part of an organization that not only supports the community through funding, but also through service.

When the pandemic impacted our school district, volunteers helped HEF deliver vital supplies to our highest needs schools to ensure students had the tools they needed for eLearning.

“We want to change lives—that’s what Kiwanis is about. We don’t just write checks. We physically go out and help people. We build our community one child at a time,” said Phil Nolen, Kiwanis Club of Tampa Scholarship Committee Chair.

Throughout the years the club has also helped stock the shelves with supplies in our Teaching Tools Resource Center, and sponsored the STEM Fair and a School Excellence initiative. 

We are proud to shine a spotlight on the Kiwanis Club of Tampa's investment in public education and are grateful for the continued support from its members!