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July 2018  
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In this edition of ConnectED:
  • Erase the Need, support our school supply drive 
  • Support our mission by attending the HEF EmpowerED Luncheon
  • Change a life, mentor a student in 2018-19
  • Volunteer in the Teaching Tools Store this summer! 
  • HEF Spotlight: College Success Coach Wildens Cajuste
The EmpowerED Luncheon is 6 weeks away!

We hope you can join us! Click here to purchase tickets or become a sponsor. 

In Hillsborough County,  1 in 2 public-school students qualifies for free or reduced-price lunch.  If lunch is difficult to afford, it's unlikely school supplies are in the family budget.

Could you imagine starting your first day of school without even a pencil?

With your help, we can ensure that every child is prepared to learn and succeed in the classroom by providing free school supplies to students most in need.

Click here to sign up as a supply drive host, see a list of public drop-off locations or to support the Virtual Supply Drive.

Questions? Contact Denise Becker at

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Change a student's life, become a mentor
If you are looking for a meaningful way to give back, consider becoming a mentor to a HCPS middle- or high-school student.  As a mentor, you will meet with your mentee at his or her school weekly throughout the academic year.  Click here  to learn more or to fill out an application.

To get matched with a student for the 2018-19 school year, contact Anna Laird at  or (813)463-4283.

Help out in the Teaching Tools Store this summer!
Help us get the Teaching Tools Store stocked for the 2018-19 school year! We are looking for individuals and groups to volunteer on week days in August.

For more information, contact Melanie Jimenez at  or  (813)574-0260.

Wildens Cajuste | College Success Coach


Responsibilities include:  Working with Take Stock In Children students in their college readiness process.

Time at HEF: 3 months

Who was your favorite teacher and why?
My favorite teacher was Ross Anderson. He is the founder of Men of Vision, a brotherhood service organization designed to help young men stay out of trouble. Mr. Anderson went above and beyond the call of duty. He encouraged me along with many other students to strive to be the best version of ourselves that we could possibly be.  

What was your first job?
My first job was a bakery assistant at Publix. Interacting with customers filled me with excitement every day I went to work. 
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
I would want the ability to travel in time. If I could travel in time I would stop a lot of tragedies from happening. 

What was your most memorable vacation?
My most memorable vacation location was traveling to Haiti the summer before I went into high school. I remember having a lot of fun with family and friends the entire vacation.