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May 2018  
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In this edition of ConnectED:
  • Congratulations, Hillsborough graduates! 
  • Erase the Need, support our school supply drive
  • Honoring educators during Teacher Appreciation Week
  • Florida Economic Forum raises $55,000 for college scholarships
  • Thank you for supporting teachers on Give Day Tampa Bay
  • HEF launches summer internship program
  • HEF supporter honored at HCPS Volunteer Awards
  • Change a life, mentor a student in 2018-19
  • Volunteer in the Teaching Tools Store this summer! 
  • HEF Spotlight: Amber Sale, Development Coordinator
Congratulations to 11,000-plus Hillsborough grads!
This month, more than 11,000 high-school graduates walked across the stage during 34 Hillsborough County Public Schools graduation ceremonies. The Hillsborough Education Foundation served as proud graduation broadcast sponsor. We are honored to work with HCPS to help prepare students for life.  We wish  each and every graduate the best of luck in their next chapter.

Miss graduation? Need to watch it again? Click here to view a replay of any HCPS graduation.

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

Media Partners


Honoring educators during Teacher Appreciation Week
The week of May 6-12, HEF celebrated an extremely important group of people - our HCPS teachers! Thanks to some amazing community partners, we treated our Teaching Tools Store shoppers to snacks, giveaways and other goodies to show our appreciation. Nearly 700 teachers visited the store throughout the week to stock up on much-needed school supplies for their classrooms. 

We want to thank our Teacher Appreciation Week partners 
who provided food or giveaways: 

Suncoast Credit Union | Thirty-One  | Rasmussen College  | Tampa Bay Times Newspapers in Education | Target | Caspers Company | Chick-fil-A | Kids in Need Foundation | 
Melissa Schumacher | Wright's Gourmet House | Atlantic Bay Mortgage 
| California Pizza Kitchen | Lakeshore Learning | World of Beer

Florida Economic Forum raises $55K for scholarships

On May 21, the Economic Club of Tampa hosted the 2018 Florida Economic Forum Luncheon at  Armature Works, raising $55,000 to fund
college scholarships for students in HEF's Take Stock in Children program. 

The luncheon's theme was "The Business of Professional Sports" and featured panelists from our local sports teams: Tampa Bay Rays President Matt Silverman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers COO Brian Ford and Tampa Bay Lightning President Steve Griggs. Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman served as moderator. 

Special thanks to the Economic Club of Tampa, as well as all event sponsors and attendees for supporting students in need! 

Thanks for your support on Give Day Tampa Bay!

With YOUR help, we raised $3,523 in donations to our mission on Give Day Tampa Bay, a 24-hour online day of giving organized by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. Give Day, which fell on May 1 this year, provides local nonprofit organizations with the chance to  promote and raise money to support their mission. 

This year, we encouraged education supporters to make a gift in honor of their favorite teacher and share stories about that teacher on social media using  #ThankATeacher

Give Day donations help HCPS students in need (and their teachers) via school/classroom project funding, free school supplies, scholarships, mentoring and more.

Huge thank you to everyone who made a Give Day donation or helped us spread the word in your own social networks! 

HEF launches summer internship program

Thanks to funding from Bank of America, 14 lucky HCPS students will have the chance to gain some valuable work experience in the coming months through our summer internship program. Students in HEF's Take Stock in Children program will be placed at eight local nonprofit organizations as interns. Six students have already started their internships. Additionally, Bank of America will host a financial literacy workshop for the students later this summer. Participating employers are the Boys and Girls Club, Computer Mentors, Feeding Tampa Bay, Florida Aquarium, Hillsborough Education Foundation, Metropolitan Ministries, Tampa Housing Authority and United Food Bank of Plant City. 

Thank you Bank of America for supporting this important program! 

Larry Wilder honored with volunteer award
On May 10, we got the opportunity to honor one of our most dedicated supporters -
From left to right: HEF Board Chair Kim Thresher; Our Students, Our Future Award recipient Larry Wilder; HEF Board Secretary Blake Casper and Superintendent Jeff Eakins.
Larry Wilder, founder of Wilder Architecture. HEF Board Chair Kim Thresher presented Larry with the Our Students, Our Future Award at the 2018 HCPS Volunteer Awards at TPepin's Hospitality Center. Each year, this award goes to someone who volunteers their time and professional expertise to enhance educational opportunities for HCPS students. For the last 12 years, Wilder Architecture has hosted the Hooked on Education Fishing Tournament, which has raised nearly $1 million over the years to benefit HEF. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Larry and his colleagues, we have been able to send many at-risk students to college. Additionally, Larry has supported our Teaching Tools program. 

Thank you, Larry, for your unwavering support!  

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 June and July.

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

Amber Sale | Development Coordinator

Responsibilities include:  Donor stewardship, annual renewals, database entry/management.

Years at HEF: 2

Who was your favorite teacher and why?
Mrs. Shuman (4th grade) - she encouraged me to continue researching subjects of interest and to continue writing and art classes, which I have a passion for; she was an inspiration for me to continue challenging my creativity.

What was your first job?
I was in retail at Abercrombie and Fitch.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
To read minds, so seeking the truth would become exponentially easier.

What was your most memorable vacation?
My trip to London as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders; I had the opportunity to cheer in Wembley Stadium during the International Bowl, when the Buccaneers played against the New England Patriots - it was a once in a lifetime opportunity which so many will not be able to achieve, and it was incredible!