March 2023

In the recently released 2023 Regional Competitiveness Report, education is one of the key indicators that, if moved in the right direction, can create a more prosperous future for all of us living in Tampa Bay.


The report's education findings are the same staggering statistics that drive our work and are cause for concern:

  • Less than half of our area's children are ready for Kindergarten.
  • Slightly more than half our region's third graders pass the state's reading assessment test.

"A better educated, more prepared workforce will translate to improvements in average wages, median household incomes and overall lift the region," the report states.


Our community is the sum of all of us. Investing in and supporting education today is critical for our collective future.

Read the Region's Results

Advocating for Public Education

The Florida Legislature kicked off its 2023 legislative session last Tuesday in Tallahassee. This year, there are a lot of bills up for discussion impacting education that we are monitoring.


With support from our Board and Advocacy Committee, HEF's leaders are talking with lawmakers, sharing our work and asking for continued commitment to public education.


HEF CEO Kim Jowell and Chief Program Officer Anna Corman met with several legislators at the Capitol during opening week of the session. The 60-day regular session is scheduled to wrap up on May 5th.

Check Out Our Advocacy Priorities

Senior Surprised with Scholarship to Cover College Housing

Recently, Suncoast Credit Union recognized Armwood High School student and Take Stock in Children mentee, Daisy, with a scholarship that will cover a full academic year of housing at one of Florida's 40 public colleges and universities. Her school of choice? The University of South Florida!


Daisy is one out of only ten students across the state to receive this scholarship and could not believe the good news when Suncoast Credit Union, HEF and her mentor surprised her at school.

Get the Rest of the Story 

Students' Award-Winning Art & Writing on Exhibition

This year, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards returned to an in-person ceremony at Blake High School to recognize 81 Gold Key recipients, 86 Silver Key recipients and 195 Honorable Mention recipients.


From the Gold Key recipients, judges selected five American Visions Nominees for art and five American Voices Nominees for writing. Two students were also named a Writing Gold Key Portfolio Winner and an Art Gold Key Portfolio Winner.


The student work is on display at The University of Tampa's Scarfone/Hartley Gallery now through March 18. ο»ΏPublic viewing hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.

See the Students' Works

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