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Featured Champions

Announcing The Frank and Ellen Daveler Center for Innovation in Learning at Champions For Learning

Champions For Learning, The Education Foundation of Collier County,  is pleased to announce the $500,000 contribution from Frank Daveler and his late wife, Ellen, to launch the Frank and Ellen Daveler Center for Innovation in Learning at Champions For Learning.

In 2016, Champions For Learning purchased the first floor of our office building.  Thanks to the generosity of Mary Seaton Breese, Lavern Norris Gaynor, and Mary Garwood Ingram, the space became the permanent home of Champions For Learning.  Since then, Champions For Learning utilized two-thirds of the space and the other third had been occupied by a tenant, who has since moved.  This gave Champions For Learning an opportunity to transform this additional space into a Center For Innovation in Learning.

The new Center would expand the capacity and opportunities for Champions For Learning to support collaboration and innovation with teachers, students, parents, volunteers, and community partners.  The expansion and renovation of the remainder of the first floor will provide much-needed space, technology, and enhanced efficiency.

Aligning with the Davelers’ life experiences, the Center would have a heightened focus on developing the entrepreneurial spirit in our community around learning.  An entrepreneurial spirit supports the ability to innovate solutions to complex social, economic and environmental challenges. This center will enable students, teachers, volunteers, and community partners toward this goal, and continue to provide the collaborative capacity for Champions For Learning to facilitate the Future Ready Collier network.

Frank Daveler embodies the spirit of innovation, not just in his decades-long career, but in his devotion to uplifting the next generations of entrepreneurs. Having funded, with his late wife Ellen, substantial entrepreneurship programs at the University of South Florida and Florida Gulf Coast University, the Davelers’ lasting legacy will live on with Champions For Learning through the Frank and Ellen Daveler Center for Innovation in Learning. At a spry 102, Frank’s passion for the work, and for the young people, is clear. Believing in the power of curiosity and a love for learning, Frank has been honored to facilitate countless students’ ambitions as they pursue their own success through opportunities otherwise inaccessible.

“Frank’s profound understanding of how investing in others, particularly young people, can transform not only their lives, but the entire community is the driving force behind his philanthropy and the founding principle for this Center,” states Susan McManus, President, and CEO of Champions For Learning.  “On behalf of students, teachers, and our entire community, we are grateful for Frank’s support and vision for our future.”

The Frank and Ellen Daveler Center For Innovation in Learning is scheduled to be complete by Spring 2021.

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Featured Champion: Danny Pate

“If we want to raise our community up and have a sustainable quality of life, we have to focus on education,” says Danny Pate, Vice President of Operations for CenturyLink, Champions For Learning Board member, and chair of the Golden Apple Event Committee.

Danny and his family moved to Naples in January 2015 and quickly got involved after learning about Champions For Learning.

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Featured Champion: Sharon Hood

“Having an undergraduate degree in elementary education, I have always admired teachers,” says Sharon Hood found/publisher of èBella magazine and MarketCrank Inc. Champions For Learning media partner, and former Champions For Learning board member, “I’m always inspired by how creative teachers can be and their ability to bring this creativity into the classroom.”

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Featured Champion: Cindy Helton

The work of innovative teachers making a difference for students is top on the list for Cindy Helton, Executive Director, Suncoast Credit Union Foundation.

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Featured Champion: Beverly Feagin

“Education is the key to opportunity,” says Beverly Feagin, Champions For Learning board member, chair of the Volunteer Leadership Council and College Goal Sunday Volunteer.

This firm belief in education first led Beverly to become involved with Champions For Learning by volunteering for College Goal Sunday. College Goal Sunday trains volunteers to help families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This resource will make filling out the FAFSA much easier for students and families.

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Featured Champion: China Pierrelus

As a child of Haitian immigrants, China dreamed of one day receiving a degree and making her parents proud. As a first generation student, China faced many hardships.

China did not allow these obstacles to deter her. With the help of Champions For Learning and her mentor, China was able to earn a degree in Community Health from Florida Gulf Coast University. China currently works with the Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida where she educates the community about living a healthy lifestyle. She is also being honored as a Champion at our Night of Champions event on February 10, 2016 at the Naples Grande.

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Featured Champion: William R. Barker

“The consequence of a quality education becomes more apparent to me every year that passes,” says William R. Barker, Chair of Champions For Learning’s Board of Directors, “It’s vitally important to the health of ourmary beth and bill barker community to support our teachers and students.  Teachers impact all students and we celebrate that fact by shining a light on the best practices of our teachers each year through Golden Apple.  And our programs for students involve mentors that help them model the way to a successful education and set them on a positive life path encouraging us all through their hard work and dedication to getting a quality education. Many are first generation college students.”

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Featured Champion: Suncoast Credit Union Foundation

DSCF4713“Suncoast Credit Union Foundation believes that by investing in students and teachers, we are providing the support system to make a strong community,” says Cindy Helton, Executive Director of the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation.

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Featured Champion: Mike Adams/Adams Food Inc. McDonald’s

“Education is important. Children are our future. They’re the ones who will be running our country,” says Mike Adams Sr., founder of Adams Foods Inc., which  is a family owned company that operates 19 SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESMcDonald’s Restaurants in Southwest Florida.

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