September 2, 2021
A Note from CEO Kim Jowell
Now three weeks into the start of the new school year, we know there have already been some ups and downs. We empathize as school leaders, teachers, students and families continue to face challenges with the COVID-19 Delta variant. Individually and as a community we continue to adapt; but there are few entities with the complexity and size of our school district that have been stretched to such unfathomable limits.

At our annual EmpowerED luncheon on September 15th, we’ll be reflecting on those obstacles we’ve overcome and the lessons we’ve learned to emerge stronger as a community to deliver education for any circumstance. I hope you’ll join us for this hybrid event taking place virtually and in person at Armature Works. If you haven’t registered already, now is the time. Together, we can help ensure every student has the opportunity to benefit from a high-quality public education.
Register for EmpowerED by September 10th
Closing the Achievement Gap for Students
at our Highest Needs Schools
Even amid the incredible challenges Hillsborough County Public Schools faced during the pandemic, district leaders project they've cut the number of “D” and “F” schools in half. Based on preliminary analysis of FSA data, the district says 14 out of 28 schools that had a school grade of "D" or "F" in 2019, made incredible gains last school year and are no longer in that category—some even jumped more than one letter grade!
Superintendent Addison Davis credits the hard work of teachers and school and district leaders who ensure students have rigorous coursework paired with high expectations, individualized instructional support and wraparound services for families, as well as extended learning opportunities during "Saturday School" and summer enrichment programs. HEF along with other community partners provided more than $2 million in direct and in-kind donations to make sure all students in our highest needs schools in the Transformation Network have the tools and resources necessary for academic success.

We'd like to congratulate everyone involved in this major accomplishment! We know there's more work to be done and pledge our continued advocacy and support to close the Achievement Gap for our most vulnerable students.
HEF and Students Need YOU to Serve as a Mentor
Mentor a student. Change a life!
School is in session and we are in need of more incredible mentors for students in HEF's Take Stock in Children mentoring program.

Do you have 30 minutes a week you could give to a deserving student? With flexible virtual mentoring options, you can make a difference in a student's life right from your home or wherever it's convenient for you!

Check out our interactive map to see which schools have the greatest need for mentors and apply today at
Our mentee, Isabella, shares how her mentor has made a difference in her life and how our program is putting her on the path to college with a 2-year Florida Prepaid scholarship.
HEF & CEO Recognized by Hillsborough Co. School Board
HEF's CEO Kim Jowell and all our staff members are passionate about strengthening public education in Hillsborough County.

We work tirelessly to support students and teachers through advocacy, investment of resources and our programs. While we don't do it for the accolades, we certainly appreciate being recognized by the Hillsborough County School Board and Supt. Davis.
Led by Vice Chair Dr. Stacy Hahn, who also serves as one of our HEF Board of Directors, the board highlighted some of our accomplishments:
  • 1,700+ students served through our Digital Equity initiative during the pandemic.
  • $1M+ awarded in scholarships for seniors last school year.
  • $2M+ worth of school supplies and resources provided to teachers and students in need during the 2020-2021 school year.
  • 678 teachers & support personnel celebrated at our 2021 Excellence in Education Awards.

Our success relies on strong relationships and we are proud to be a strategic partner with the district to maximize the impact on student success!
Registration Begins Tuesday, September 7th
for CEOs in Schools
CEOs in Schools is an innovative program that brings CEOs and senior level executives into Hillsborough County public elementary schools for an unforgettable learning experience.

On November 5th business leaders will have the chance to see the challenges and opportunities facing our students, teachers, administrators and public schools every day. CEOs can also share their knowledge with principals (the CEOs of our schools) and our next generation of professionals.

We hope you will join us in this initiative that provides a new perspective on the role school and business relationships play in preparing our future workforce for academic and personal success.
Feeding Families, Nourishing Minds
As students head back to the classroom, nourishing their bodies is important to feed their minds.

Thanks to a generous donation from Chick-fil-A Tampa Bay through the support of U.S. Hunger, we were able provide 650+ Full Cart food boxes to families at 8 of our highest needs schools. Each box has 127 meal servings of healthy and tasty, shelf-stable items.

"It's good, because sometimes we have to think about how much money we spend on food," said Raquel, a 3rd Grade student.
Families at Temple Terrace Elementary were thankful for the food boxes
they received at their
Back-to-School Open House.
Families also received boxes at: ✏️Adams Middle ✏️DeSoto Elementary ✏️Giunta Middle
✏️James Elementary ✏️Kimbell Elementary ✏️Mango Elementary ✏️Sulphur Springs K-8
School Supplies Help #EraseTheNeed
Viewers donated 2,000 pounds of school supplies to WFLA's Supply Drive for HEF!
Our official School Supply Drive season is wrapping up this month, but the need for more pencils, notebooks and other basic supplies continues throughout the school year to support students and teachers.

How You Can Help
From hosting a supply drive to purchasing from our Amazon Wish List or making a donation, there are a variety of ways you can help get these critical tools into the hands of students who need them most.
Our work doesn't happen without the generosity of our donors. That's why we dedicate a section in our monthly newsletter to showcase the individuals and companies making our mission possible.

For this month’s feature, we are celebrating King High School students: Emma, Onella and Toluwa!
Many teens may have spent the summer hanging out with friends, watching movies or making TikTok videos—not these three high school seniors! The young ladies were inspired to do something to make a difference for students in need in Hillsborough County.

"My mom is a teacher in this district, so she knew about Hillsborough Education Foundation and that’s where I started volunteering with her. I got to see all the good that HEF does. I thought I would take it one step further and actually get the donations," said Emma.

Emma teamed up with friends Onella and Toluwa to launch the Road to Success School Supply Drive to collect supplies for HEF's Teaching Tools Resource Center and fellow students at King High. They set out to ask local businesses for their support—and several amazing partners stepped up to help.
Target donated $150 in gift cards and Walmart and Staples donated supplies.

The group dropped off collection boxes at: Mahana Fresh, Staples, Salvation Army, Ice Dreammm and recently added the Glazer Children's Museum.

To help raise awareness, the teens also created a logo and Instagram page @roadtosuccessdrive.

Their Supply Drive ends this Saturday.
"We really hope to create more equity in education. We want more students to be equipped with the tools they need on their road to success," said Toluwa. 
The students say they often see peers struggling to afford supplies and teachers spending their own money to provide for their classrooms. The organizers hope this drive will have a lasting impact on students and all of Hillsborough County.

"It makes me feel good that I’m helping this community, because these kids are the future. If we help them succeed, then it just contributes to the betterment of society," Onella said.
We are proud to shine a spotlight on Emma, Onella and Toluwa and appreciate their efforts to ensure all students are on the Road to Success!