March 2019
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In this edition of ConnectED:
  • HEF'S Take Stock in Children Program Welcomes New Students
  • HEF Participates in Florida's Legislative Session
  • Feeding Hungry Students with 26,000 Meals!
  • Citi Helps Students Prepare for the Workforce
  • One Month Left to Give a Lifelong Gift
  • Female Leaders Unite at the Girls R.I.Z.E Empowerment March
  • Lee Elementary - Redesign Plans Unveiled
  • Golf Tournament Raises Over $90,000 for Students and Teachers
  • HEF Spotlight - Susan Oliver
HEF'S Take Stock in Children Program Welcomes New Students

New students recite the Pledge during their orientation session

On March 16th , we held a New Student Orientation and welcomed 
38 new students into our Take Stock in Children program. During the orientation session, the students recited the Take Stock Pledge which includes a statement of accountability and a promise to strive for excellence in their education.

Take Stock in Children is a program that aims to give academically successful, yet at-risk students, an opportunity to succeed.   In addition to a minimum 
2-year Florida Prepaid Scholarship, each student is paired with a dedicated adult mentor  to serve as a positive role model in addition to a College Success Coach who guides them through the college application process. 

Interested in becoming a mentor with TSIC Just one hour of your time per week can make a LIFETIME of difference! To get matched with a student for the 2018-2019 school year, contact Anna Laird at   or (813)463-4283.

HEF Participates in Florida's 
Legislative Session

From left to right: HEF President, Kim Jowell; Florida Senator, Janet Cruz; HEF Board Chair, Kimberly Thresher; TSIC Program Manager, Anna Laird

On March 5th began a 60-day legislative session, and members of HEF's leadership team took a visit to Tallahassee that week to meet with lawmakers and advocate for the School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program as well as other local legislative priorities. 

Since 2001, the Florida Legislature has allocated over $46 million to the School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program , raising over twice that amount in matching dollars from the private sector.  For the 2018-2019 school year, $4 million was raised to fund 121 projects across 62 school districts throughout the state of Florida, including Hillsborough. Allocated funds that HEF received provided funding for Teaching Tools, Take Stock in Children and Classroom and School Enrichment Grants

The growth and impact of these programs would not be possible without the support of this grant, so thank you Senator Cruz for supporting education and continuing to advocate for this funding!

Feeding Hungry Students with 26,000 Meals!

         Non-perishable meals provided to students in need

On March 14th, HEF delivered 5 boxes with 1,440 non-perishable meals to Oak Park Elementary. These meals were the last of 26,000 that were provided to us by Berkeley Preparatory School and Feeding Children Everywhere who partnered to package them back in February on Super Bowl Sunday.

Currently, 67% of students in Hillsborough County rely on reduced-price or free school lunches. During breaks from school, these families often experience an increased struggle to afford food. In preparation for Spring Break, the  meals  were made available to teachers during Teaching Tools shopping hours throughout February and beginning of March. Boxes of meals were also taken to Achievement Schools without a food pantry.

Thank you Berkeley Preparatory School and Feeding Children Everywhere for helping us provide nutritious food to students that need it most!

Citi Helps Students Prepare
for the Workforce
Take Stock in Children students participate in Citi Career Day

On  March 20th students in our  Take Stock in Children program visited Citi's corporate office in Downtown Tampa for  Citi Career Day The 26 participating students heard from Gregg Morton , President of Citi Tampa , and HEF Board Member who shared a little bit about himself and his career with Citi. 

Following a tour of Citi's campus, representatives from the HR department spoke to the students about interview skills, offered them resume tips and conducted mock job interviews. Virginia Baker, College and Career Readiness Coordinator for Go2Work Tampa Bay, conducted a soft-skills workshop and facilitated a skills assessment.  Throughout the day, students also heard from professionals in a variety of fields including law, cyber security and technology.

Thank you Citi for providing our students with this opportunity!

One Month Left to Give a Lifelong Gift
Education is the greatest gift anyone can receive and Florida Prepaid College Savings Plans allow you to give that gift!  Plans start at just $47 a month and from now through April 30th , you'll receive $30 off the application fee with our promo code: HILLS1819

Plans can be used out-of-state and with scholarships! You can even transfer plans to eligible family members or request a refund - regardless of what the future holds, your investment is safe!  Florida Prepaid has helped over 1 million families save for college, and you can be one of them! Learn more here:

Female Leaders Unite at the Girls R.I.Z.E Empowerment March

Students hold up colorful signs with inspirational messages

The month of March was  Women's History Month and on  March 12th , members of Hillsborough Education Foundation's team proudly joined over 200 students and community members for a march downtown. Through this march, local and state female leaders demonstrated solidarity towards the importance of educating, valuing and empowering girls to think big and reach for their goals

The march began in front of Rampello K-8 Downtown Partnership School went past the George Edgecomb Courthouse and ended at the ROSSAC building. Throughout the march, girls from several Hillsborough County schools held up colorful signs and chanted messages of empowerment. Once at ROSSAC, the group made their way into the School Board Auditorium where the girls heard from several female role models including Judge Cheryl Thomas. In her closing statement, Judge Thomas said, "Just know, one of the best and most beautiful things you can wear is happiness, honesty and confidence...go out there, work hard and earn it, because in your own way, you are all amazing!" 

Lee Elementary - Redesign Plans Unveiled

Computer renderings of the new building to be renamed Tampa Heights Elementary Magnet

In September of 2017, following Hurricane Irma, our community mourned the loss of one of Hillsborough County's most iconic schools - Lee Elementary. In spite of the damage caused by the disaster, the students and faculty resiliently continued to learn and work in temporary classrooms. However, they will soon have a place to call their own again! On March 15th, JE Dunn Construction and FleischmanGarcia unveiled some of the first computer renderings for the new building. The meeting held at Young Middle Magnet featured an informal gallery walk in the media center where community members learned about the build and design updates.

The new building, to be renamed Tampa Heights Elementary Magnet School, is scheduled to be completed by November 2020 with construction beginning in June this year.

Sol Fleischman is the founder, chairman and CEO of FleischmanGarcia and also one of our board members. We are very proud of his work on this project and  excited for the new construction! 

Golf Tournament Raises Over $90,000 for
Students and Teachers

From left to right: Superintendent Jeff Eakins, Lanness Robinson, Conn Crabtree, Frank Nelson, Kim Jowell, Chris Farkas

On March 11th, Baston-Cook Construction hosted the 15th annual Play FORE Education Golf Tournament at Avila Golf and Country Club, raising over $90,000 for students and teachers.

Since 2004, proceeds from the annual tournament have gone to Hillsborough Education Foundation to support scholarships, mentoring, free school supplies, and other programs aimed at teacher development and student success. 

For a full album of pictures, click here

None of this would be possible without our Presenting Sponsor, Batson-Cook and all of our other wonderful donors! 

Susan Oliver  | Career Development Coordinator

Responsibilities include: Providing job coaching to Hillsborough Technical College students as they prepare for careers in a variety of fields. 

Time at HEF: 4 Months

Who was your favorite teacher and why?
My favorite teacher was Ms. Navaroli. She worked in the American school in Strassburg Kaserne, Germany. It was exciting and a little unsettling to travel to to a different country with my Army dad and family, but she made everyone feel welcome and capable. Ms. Navaroli had polio as a child. She was not able to use her right hand to straighten her right arm. I remember how she held book after book in the crook of her arm as she shared her love of reading with us. 

What was your first job?
At 16, I got a job at Burger King, but a friend soon convinced me that working in the mall was the way to go. I worked at the Jewelry Box and then Baker's Shoes where I enjoyed great employee discounts. 
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
If I could have a superpower, I would choose to be able to instantly transport myself places like I Dream of Jeannie when she blinked or the like the Star Trek crew when they beamed themselves to different places. My family lives in many places, my older son Kyle is in Lesotho, Africa with the Peace Corps, and my younger sound Dylan is a busy college sophomore at Florida Southern. It would be great to blink in for a quick hug whenever I wanted to see any of them.

What was your most memorable vacation?
Our family trips to Cocoa Beach are my most treasured vacation memories. I grew up hanging out with friends on the beach and going to Ron Jon when it was a tiny shop. My family has vacationed there since my grown sons were babies. It is always a great mix of reading, surfing and  generally lazying about with my family.