ConnectED Header
October 2017
Visit us online Donate
In this edition of ConnectED:
  • Give the gift of education this #GivingTuesday
  • Student scholarship application period opens Nov. 1
  • HEF awarded Consortium of Florida Education Foundations grant
  • Save the Date: 2018 Excellence in Education Awards
  • HEF Spotlight: Cheryl Hedrick
  • Some exciting STEM news (involving underwater robots!)
  • Change a student's life, become a mentor
  • Helping students in Puerto Rico

#GivingTuesday is coming up on November 28

With the holidays fast approaching ,there's no better time to give the best possible gift - the gift of education . And if you're looking for a way to get creative with your gift-giving this year, consider giving the gift of education to children in need, on behalf of a loved one, by making a donation to the Hillsborough Education Foundation this #GivingTuesday.

Your gift could help send students to college through scholarships and mentoring, put free school supplies into the hands of kids in need and inspire learning by funding classroom innovative projects. 

The international day of giving back is Tuesday, Nov. 28

Visit our homepage  in November to join the movement.
Student scholarship application period opens Nov. 1
HEF works closely with community supporters and generous donors to provide scholarship opportunities for deserving students who attend Hillsborough County Public Schools. Last year, 312 scholarships were given out, with a value totaling $1.4 million.

HCPS students may apply for two types of scholarships through HEF 
Nov. 1, 2017 - Jan. 10, 2018:

Senior Community Scholarships:  High-school seniors may apply for scholarships with just one application. Scholarships start at $1,000. 

Take Stock in Children Scholarships:  Students who have a GPA of at least 2.5, qualify for free or reduced price lunch and are in grades 7th-9th may apply for Florida Prepaid scholarships through HEF's Take Stock in Children program. 

HEF receives $258,000 grant from consortium
The  Consortium of Florida Education Foundations recently awarded the Hillsborough Education Foundation about $258,000 in matching funds through the School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program. The grant will help fund several HEF programs and initiatives, including: 
  • The Teaching Tools Store, a brick-and-mortar store where Title I teachers can pick up free school supplies for their students in need.
  • Take Stock in Children, a scholarship and mentoring program for at-risk HCPS students. Part of the funding will be used to send groups of students to tour state colleges. 
  • School and Classroom Innovative Projects,which are awarded to teachers to provide unique learning experiences for their students.
  • Career and technical education opportunities for kids, including funding for district culinary students to get catering experience on a large scale at HEF events. The grant will also fund a program called Project COMPETE!, which ensures -regardless of income status - an opportunity for all students to be active in career and technical student organization competitions by providing students from low-income households with uniforms and travel expenses.

We are so grateful to have such an amazing partner in CFEF. You are helping us change kids' lives! 

Mark your calendar for the 2018 Excellence in Education Awards on Jan. 16, 2018 at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. This event is all about honoring Hillsborough County Public Schools' top educators and support staff. The Straz will be transformed into a  Winter Wonderland  to celebrate the nominees, finalists and winners of the Ida S. Baker Diversity of the Year, Instructional Support Employee of the Year and Teacher of the Year awards. 

Cheryl Hedrick | Senior Associate Director, 
Scholarships & Innovative Projects

Responsibilities include: Managing Classroom Innovative Projects and the scholarship application process and distribution. 

Years at HEF: 8

Who was your favorite teacher and why? Mr. Summerville, 5th grade teacher. He was part of a special program called TYCEP (2-year cooperative educational program). We started an animal club to get petitions signed to save the blue whale. He took us to his farm to learn about farming and hunting. We also made woodchuck stew in one of our classes.

What advice would you give a student who does not like to do homework? Learn as much as you can because you never know when that information will come in handy later in life. (see movie: Slumdog Millionaire)

What was your first job? My first job was a "fashion advisor" at Ormond Shops. I stayed there for 7 years and became an assistant store manager through college. 

If you could have a super power, what would it be? Be able to float and/or fly.

What was your most memorable family vacation? Alaska, because it was so different from anywhere I had seen before. Whales, otters, salmon and glaciers.

Motorola gives $5,000 to fund girls' robotics camp
Girls who attend Hillsborough County Public Schools will get an exciting opportunity in February - the chance to build robots that operate under water. 

Mission: Tampa Bay is being made possible once again this year in part through a $5,000 Innovative Generation grant from the Motorola Solutions Foundation. 
The camp is offered to girls in sixth through 12th grades with an interest in STEM. Priority will be given to students who attend economically disadvantaged schools. They will receive guidance from National Geographic Explorer Erika Bergman, and their  robots will be used in classrooms to study marine biology. 

The Hillsborough Education Foundation was one of nine organizations awarded an Innovative Generation grant. The winners were selected out of 23 applicants through a competitive judging process with each applicant being reviewed and scored by a panel of STEM professionals through the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations. 
Change a student's life, become a mentor
If you are looking for a meaningful way to give back, consider becoming a mentor to an HCPS middle- or high-school student. As a mentor, you will meet with your mentee weekly throughout the school year (September-May) at school.  Click here  to learn more or to fill out an application.

Schools with the most need: 
Durant High  | Strawberry Crest High  | Tampa Bay Tech High  | 
Turkey Creek Middle | Alonso High

To get matched with a student this school year, contact Brandi Melton at or (813)574-0275.

HEF, HCPS team up to raise funds for kids in Puerto Rico

From Oct. 9-20, the Hillsborough Education Foundation and Hillsborough  County Public Schools partnered to raise funds to help students in Puerto Rico affected by the recent hurricanes return to their educational environment. Together, with the generosity of the community, we've raised more than  $2,500  to send to Puerto Rico's Department of Education. The money will be used to help rebuild and restore the U.S. territory island's academic infrastructure. 

Huge thank you to everyone who contributed!