October 1, 2020
A Note from CEO Kim Jowell
Achieving Equity in Education seems like an insurmountable goal, but it gives me hope for our students and the future of our community to see the overwhelming support we received for our EmpowerED livestream event, focused on Building Equity in Education. So many people want to help remove the barriers standing in the way of our most vulnerable students reaching their full academic potential.

During our event, through the generosity of our sponsors and donors, we were able to raise $125,000 to invest in closing achievement gaps for students. If you were unable to join us, you can watch EmpowerED here.

Equity in education is critical for us to have a thriving community. Education is the number one factor that will determine the strength of our next generation of workforce and leaders. If we want Tampa Bay to be the best it can be today and for all of our tomorrows, then it starts with investing in education.

We are committed to achieving equity in education, but it will take time and more resources. We hope we can count on your continued support.
HEF Calls for Universal Access to Internet
According to the The Brookings Institution, tens of millions of Americans do not have access, especially in rural areas, or cannot afford quality internet service—Hillsborough County students and families suffer from these same disparities.

The report goes on to say of the approximately 50 million students sent home by school closings, more than 9 million lack home internet access, principally because the household cannot afford it.
-The Brookings Institution
This crisis is causing our most vulnerable students to miss educational opportunities and fall even further behind in their studies, because they cannot participate in class or access educational resources online.

Our Digital Equity Team is addressing the need and providing access to Hillsborough County students eLearning from home. HEF continues to push for solutions—including universal access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet. It should not be seen as a luxury, but as a critical utility that’s available to everyone. 

Recently during HEF’s EmpowerED event, Former FL State Representative and HEF Board Member Sean Shaw responded to the question: What do you think about universal access to internet?
HEF's Take Stock in Children Mentee Named
National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist
We are incredibly proud of our Take Stock in Children program scholar, Ankit, who was recently named a semifinalist for the National Merit Scholarshipone of 16,000 in the country!

Ankit, a Plant City High School senior, recently shared his inspiring story during our EmpowerED 2020 event and encouraged everybody tuning in to consider becoming a mentor.

Watch Ankit's moving message below!
To ensure more hardworking and deserving students like Ankit can benefit from the opportunity to participate in our mentoring program, sign up to be a mentor today at EducationFoundation.com/Mentor-A-Student!
2020 Sue House Volunteer of the Year
Congratulations to our 2020 Sue House Volunteer of the Year, Bob Emerick!

Bob is our second-longest serving Teaching Tools Resource Center volunteerserving 890 hours throughout 17 years!

Check out his reaction to the news!
Publix Donates Nearly $23,000 to Help HEF Provide Supplies to Students, Teachers and Schools in Need
With students and teachers resuming classes, both online and in person, Hillsborough Education Foundation understands the need for essential school supplies and resources is greater than ever—especially for some of our most vulnerable students.

Thanks to the generous donations of Publix customers and associates within Hillsborough County, HEF recently received nearly $23,000 to help local teachers and students prepare for the school year.
Our work doesn't happen without the generosity of our donors. That's why we are dedicating a section in our monthly newsletter to showcase the individuals and companies making our mission possible.

For this month’s feature, we are celebrating Caspers Company McDonald's! 
In addition to EIE, Caspers’ support extends to several other HEF programs including the Teaching Tools Resource Center, teacher development, new teacher orientation, scholarships and in-kind donations.
Caspers Company McDonald's has made a tremendous difference in the lives of students and teachers in Hillsborough County for decades—founded on the philosophy of giving back to the people they serve.

Through time and financial support, the company’s commitment to strengthening public education has helped enrich our community and forge a brighter future for a thriving workforce of tomorrow.

25 years ago, the locally owned company became the founding sponsor of Hillsborough County’s Teacher of the Year—recognizing outstanding teachers for their dedication to the academic achievement of their students at HEF’s annual Excellence in Education Awards (EIE).
Company leaders also generously give of their time. Every year, they participate in classroom surprises—handing out school supplies and recognizing Teacher of the Year finalists. Blake Casper, who runs the third-generation family owned business, has been a long-serving member of HEF’s Board of Directors. Vice President Bob Conigliaro serves on our Marketing Committee and Community Relations Supervisor Dustin Portillo is part of our Advancement Committee.
“Caspers Company has been a champion for education since 1958,” said Bob Conigliaro, Caspers Company McDonald's Vice President. “From founding sponsor of Hillsborough County’s Teacher of the Year program to hundreds of thousands of incentive items to help encourage students to higher levels of achievement, we have been there to give for every ask. There is no greater community responsibility for our business than to help strengthen the educational infrastructure that will produce the leadership that will in short order, take the reins.”

We are proud to shine a spotlight on Caspers Company McDonald’s and grateful for their partnership and dedication to investing in public education in Hillsborough County.