May 2023

Great teachers can transform a student's day, shape a child's life and impact the future of our community. Educators are foundational to our students' academic and personal success. That's why every day, we are so grateful for the nearly 14,000 instructional staff in Hillsborough County Public Schools and are excited to celebrate their impactful work during Teacher Appreciation Week.


I hope you will join us in showing gratitude for all teachers do. We know the influential role that educators play, but who better to share how teachers are making a difference, than their students...

Showing Educators Love During Teacher Appreciation Week

HEF's Teacher Appreciation Week celebration kicked off yesterday in our Teaching Tools Resource Center with a throwback to the 50s. The store is honoring teachers "Through the Decades" with treats and raffles.

This week, as many as 500 teachers can use their final shopping trips to finish the year strong and gear up for back to school with free supplies and resources.

Mayor Castor and HEF staff are sharing our gratitude in special #ThankATeacher video messages this week!

Help us spread the word: Teachers can register to win gift cards or a $500 classroom enrichment grant on our Facebook page!

Plus, we appreciate the 28 business partners in our community who are offering school staff amazing deals and discounts throughout the week to celebrate.

Check out how your donation can support teachers

Advocating for Public Education

Florida lawmakers wrapped up the 60-day, 2023 Legislative Session Friday by passing the state's proposed $117 billion spending plan.

The budget must be reviewed by the Governor, who has authority to veto any line-item, and be signed into law to take effect on July 1.

The budget includes $26.7 billion for education funding. Highlights include:

➡️ The average per-student spending will climb to $8,648, a $404 increase from last year. This increase is largely due to shifting the funding of 7 categoricals, such as instructional materials and classroom supplies, into the Base Student Allocation.

➡️ An additional $252 million for a multi-year plan to boost teacher salaries.

➡️ $350 million was put into reserves for unanticipated financial impacts from the expansion of the school voucher program.

➡️$250 million for school safety officers and initiatives, a $40 million increase.

➡️$160 million Mental Health Allocation for students, an increase of $20 million.

Get all the district's Legislative Updates

Mayoral Ball Benefits HEF's Mentoring Program & Students

View some of the memorable moments here from the 2023 Mayoral Inaugural Ball.

Every four years, the Economic Club of Tampa hosts the Mayoral Inaugural Ball, celebrating Tampa's recently-elected Mayor. Friday night, we honored the City's 59th Mayor, Jane Castor, who was re-elected to another term. Proceeds raised from the black-tie event benefit HEF's Take Stock in Children mentoring program and the students we serve.


As part of the gala, mentor Dave Amis and his mentee, Nate, a Sickles High School junior, reflected on how the program has impacted their lives. They also shared their story on FOX 13's What's Right with Tampa Bay.


The $100K in proceeds from this Mayoral Ball will provide an additional 20 students with a 2-year college scholarship to support their dreams of continuing their education after graduation.

Learn how you can become a mentor & support our program

Preparing Students for Graduation and Life

HEF's College and Career Readiness programs are helping Hillsborough County students prepare for life after high school graduation and postsecondary success!


Recently, our School Student Center of Postsecondary Exploration (SCOPE) held a Women in the Workforce luncheon where young ladies at King High had the opportunity to meet with accomplished women from a variety of industries to discuss their passions, potential careers and the different benefits and challenges of certain fields.


One of the ways our Take Stock in Children mentoring program also prepares students for life beyond high school is by organizing visits to local colleges and universities, including the University of Tampa. One recent group of mentees had the chance to tour UT's historic campus and see if the school felt like a good fit for them.

See how HEF is preparing students for success after graduation

Reeling in Support for Students at the

2023 Larry Wilder Memorial Fishing Tournament

It was great to be back on the water this year for the 2023 Larry Wilder Memorial Fishing Tournament benefitting HEF! 


We had 38 teams head out from Westshore Yacht Club for a memorable day fishing and soaking up the Florida sunshine. Thanks to our generous sponsors, we raised $119,500 in sponsorships to help support students and teachers in Hillsborough County.


We would like to give special recognition to the Wilder Architecture team for their continued partnership in organizing this widely anticipated event. Plus, congratulations to this year's Alex Anston Hooked on Education Memorial Scholarship recipient, Hillsborough High Senior Hiral Shukla, and our tournament winners!


Check out more fun moments & great catches here!

Watch the video: See what the winners reeled in!

Investing in Education

CJ Tyler, Senior Financial Analyst at Vinik Sports Group, recently won $3,795.75 in a 50/50 raffle that the Lightning Foundation started and employees could donate to during the playoffs.

He was able to choose a charity to benefit—and selected Hillsborough Education Foundation!

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