March 3, 2022
A Note from CEO Kim Jowell
Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen the positive impact our innovative Digital Equity initiative has had on more than 2,400 students. The program has been invaluable to help close the digital divide and achievement gap for many students whose families can’t afford the technology kids need for academic success.
 
Right now, we are at a critical point in our program and need more funding to be able to continue this important work.
 
In this newsletter, you’ll read more about our new monthly giving webpage and how you can be a changemaker for children by becoming a recurring donor. Your gift of $60 per month can provide a student with a laptop, which the family keeps, and internet access for a year.
 
Currently, we have 400 students in need on our waiting list, who have been referred by their schools for assistance, and the number grows every day. I hope you will consider investing in our students to help strengthen public education today.
Check out our new Give Monthly Webpage
HEF CEO & Local Leaders Discuss Area Challenges & Solutions
Our CEO Kim Jowell joined nine other local influencers, including City of Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, Tampa Bay Business & Wealth CEO Bridgette Bellow and President of Ferman Autogroup, Jim Ferman for Leadership Tampa Bay’s Power of Access.

The premier event brings community leaders together for roundtable discussions about the challenges facing Tampa Bay and ideas to help make our region a better place to live and work.
Panelists tackled issues such as:
  • Education: How can we increase the success of students in lower-income areas with one of the lowest state education funding rates in the country?
  • Increased housing costs: How can we ease the price pressure and resolve the lack of inventory, as well as provide assistance to renters?
  • Increased traffic: What are alternative transportation options to offset the area’s increased population and congestion on existing roads?
They also discussed ways to work together in the region to expand the greater economy and attract new companies, decrease deaths from the surging opioid epidemic, among other topics like diversity and inclusion and climate change.

The event provides the opportunity for Leadership Tampa Bay Alumni to share their ideas with other local leaders, network and help impact change in our community.
Advocating for Education Funding
HEF’s Advocacy Committee is dedicated to speaking up at the local and state level for what we as an organization believe is best for our students and teachers. Comprised of members from our Board of Directors and community volunteers invested in education, the committee tracks proposed legislation, among other actions, that can impact our district—both positively and negatively.

Increased funding for K-12 public schools and teacher compensation align with our Advocacy Priorities. This session, the committee is reaching out to our elected officials to voice HEF’s support for legislation that would increase the Base Student Allocation (flexible funding for the district) to help provide equitable educational opportunities for all students and help cover increasing, long-term operational costs.

The committee is also expressing opposition to the House of Representatives’ proposed budget that withholds $200 million in funding for a dozen districts in Florida, including Hillsborough County, that implemented mask mandates during the pandemic. Florida consistently ranks among the lowest states in the nation for education funding. We believe redirecting any much-needed funds from our district would be harmful to students and impact the ability to meet their needs.

We encourage you to join us and contact local lawmakers to share your views on these two important issues. March 11th is the last day of this year's regular session.
Sparkling Windows at HEF Thanks to an Act of Kindness
What a great surprise! To celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day 2022, Cole Robinson, owner of Fish Window Cleaning, brought her team out to HEF's historic Howard Avenue office to clean our windows for free!
Originally started in 1995, Random Acts of Kindness Day is based on the idea that even the smallest action can have a big impact. Since then, the holiday has continued to grow every year, with many well-known companies and organizations joining to support the "pay it forward" message.
"It's a great reminder to be present in our communities," Robinson said of Fish Window Cleaning's participation.

Random Acts of Kindness Day isn't the only time Robinson volunteers to help support HEF, either. As a mentor for Take Stock in Children and a CEOs in Schools participant, she continuously contributes to our mission of strengthening public education and empowering students.
"I'm a big fan of Hillsborough Education Foundation," Robinson said. "If we didn't have the support of this amazing nonprofit, we'd have a lot less success stories out there and I'm just really proud to be in partnership with them."

Thank you so much Fish Window Cleaning! We can't wait to pay it forward!
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 Skanska!
Skanska has been supporting Hillsborough Education Foundation for more than two decades. Through contributions to school projects and career programs as well as event sponsorships for our Excellence in Education Awards, annual fishing and golf tournament and HCPS Operations Gala, the construction and development company is committed to improving the lives of the students and teachers we serve in Hillsborough County.
"At Skanska, we believe that education is one of the most powerful agents of change. It is the key to unlocking success and branches through every aspect of life,” said Daniel Abou-Jaoude, Vice President – Account Manager for Skanska. “Education not only improves health and livelihood, but it contributes to a prosperous community and drives long-term economic growth. We believe in supporting education in the communities that we operate. And that extends to teachers too. When our students win, we all win.”
We are incredibly grateful that this year, Skanska is the new Title Sponsor for our 2022 Play FORE Education Golf Classic teeing off on Monday, March 7th at the prestigious Avila Golf and Country Club. The impact of this tournament and Skanska’s involvement ranges far beyond a round of golf. Each swing, chip and putt helps ensure all students have the tools and support they need to drive their academic and personal success.

“Investing in education is a core value for us. HEF breaks down barriers to ensure our schools, teachers and students all achieve excellence in education,” said Abou-Jaoude. “At Skanska, our motto is Building What Matters -- we are just as passionate about who we build for as we are about what we build. And that means supporting events like Play FORE Education that inspire others to join us in building up our teachers, students and schools.”
Skanska is not only supporting the golf tournament financially, but its team is also giving the gift of their time, helping to bring in new companies to make a difference in students’ lives and on the future of our community.

”Our staff devotes their time and talent to ensure that every child has equal opportunity. Because at Skanska, we believe we are better together.”
We are proud to shine a spotlight on Skanska's investment in public education and appreciate the company's continued support!
$aving for the Future with Florida Prepaid
We know the cost of college, no matter how far off, can seem overwhelming. Yet as a committed parent, you want to make sure your child has all the tools needed to succeed in school and in life. Our partner, Florida Prepaid, wants the same for your child!

Lock in future tuition costs for less and earn $125 for each year of college purchased—up to $500 total by enrolling in a Florida Prepaid college savings plan before April 30th.