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Alumnus Update: Tyler

After graduating from the Champions for Learning and Naples High School in 2017, Tyler decided to leave the Sunshine State for the Mountain State. Now he is in his senior year at West Virginia University majoring in Finance.

For Tyler, going to college was only a distant thought. Growing up in a single-parent home, he wasn’t really sure what steps he had to take or how to make college a possibility. Though Champions For Learning he joined the Take Stock in Children Program where he was paired with his mentor Bill Beynon. During his weekly lunch meetings with Beynon where their discussions ranged from the stock market to college planning, Tyler received the guidance he needed to reach his goals.

Tyler continues to lean on his mentor for guidance and advice, professionally and personally! Tyler has been able to intern with his mentor at Capital Wealth Management and hopes to follow in his footsteps and also be a financial advisor one day.

“My mentor has become one of my best friends, he has been able to guide me beyond my four years of high school and continues to be in my life,” said Tyler.

Despite COVID-19 Tyler has continued his internship virtually! He has been able to learn about wealth management and has had one on one experience with clients helping with their investment portfolios.

Campus involvement was key for Tyler in being able to give back in his campus community. Tyler quickly became involved in Greek life by rushing Sigma Nu where he is now the Vice President of his fraternity. Tyler also became involved in his Student Government Association and his Global Business Brigades Club as a translator.

“I am so thankful for Champions For Learning because it was through them that I was able to meet my mentor and learn how to take advantage of all of my opportunities. I learned the value of volunteering and giving back,” said Tyler.

 

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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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Champions For Learning Announces 2020-2021 Glass Slipper Recipients

Champions For Learning is proud to announce the 2020-2021 Glass Slipper recipients. The honorees are Gina Lostracco, Martha Rozman, Denise Murphy.

Each year, the Glass Slipper event is held to honor female leaders for their dedication and service to the children of Collier County. This event and recognition program benefit young ladies who are graduates of Champions For Learning student programs and helps to generate funds for the third and fourth year of their post-secondary education.

Join us in honoring the Glass Slipper recipients at a cocktail reception, which will be held on December 9, 2020 from 6-8pm at the Club at Olde Cypress There will be heavy hors d’oeuvres and a virtual silent auction perfect for your holiday shopping. Tickets for the event are $50.

For tickets please visit ChampionsForLearning.org/news-events/glass-slipper or call (239) 643-4755

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Champions For Learning Awards more than $79,705 in Grants to Collier County Teachers

Today, Collier County teachers were surprised by their principals and school staff with funding for their Classroom Grants through Champions For Learning! This is a unique way for the community to make a difference for so many students through the support of their teachers’ ideas and projects.  In this challenging year, this support will mean so much more to our teachers and students.

Champions For Learning awarded 141 grant checks that totaled $79,705 to 41 schools. The funds help teachers to implement creative and innovative learning experiences for students in the classroom and virtually.

These classroom grants were requested by Collier County teachers through the online grant portal on Champions For Learning’s website. There are still opportunities to fund teachers’ great idea this year. Visit www.ChampionsForLearning.org/CWACgrants to support local classrooms today!

Thanks to a charitable gift from Suncoast Credit Union, which supports the technology and capacity for the classroom grant portal, 100% of community contribution goes into supporting teacher grants.

“Suncoast Credit Union is proud to work with Champions For Learning to support teachers during this time and contribute to a community that is engaged in support of student success,” said Cindy Helton, the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation Executive Director.

This year, in addition to Classroom Grants, schools received basic supplies through the “10 for the Team” project.  For every $10 received, a student received a backpack containing the needed supplies to start school. With more than $14,000 raised, 2,340 students across twelve elementary schools benefitted from this community-led project.

The following provided significant contributions to fund specific teacher grants:  Suncoast Credit Union, Florida’s Support Education License Plate Fund, Lucie Jenny MacCarthy Music Fund of the Community Foundation of Collier County, Ray Harman in memory of Karen Harman, Carol & Charles Pedretti, Perna-Rose Foundation for Hope, Women In Naples Giving Support (W.I.N.G.S.)

Help provide life-changing learning experiences to students! You can also help fund Classroom Grants through the License to Learn Fund (Florida Education Tag). Collier County community members can buy the new version of the tag now, $20 of the annual $25 fee is donated to Champions For Learning and 100% of the funds support classroom grants.

To view a full list of funded grants click here!

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FAFSA Is Now Open

The FAFSA (Free Application For Federal Student Aid) is the application that students must complete to apply for financial aid which can be used to attend eligible colleges or technical schools. The application opens annually October 1st.  Students should complete the FAFSA beginning senior year of high school and every year they are enrolled in college.

To access the FAFSA click here!

The FAFSA is used to determine what federal aid a student may qualify for.  In Florida, colleges and private organizations also use the FAFSA to determine eligibility for state and institutional aid. Completing the FAFSA is the access point for students to the majority of grants and scholarships, regardless of income or academic status.

 

The first step to completing the FAFSA is to create a FSA ID for the student and parent.  We’ve created a step-by-step tutorial for creating a FSA ID .  Once the FSA ID has been processed (about 3 business days) the student will receive an email and can then complete the FAFSA.

 

 

We’ve also created a step-by-step tutorial to walk a student and parent through completing the FAFSA for the first time.

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Alumnus Update: Tien

After graduating from Naples High School and the Champions For Learning program, Tien embarked on an educational journey that led him to places like Fiji, Peru, Ecuador, and Panama.

Tien is in his last year at the University of Florida finishing his degree in Agribusiness with a minor in disabilities in society. He will be continuing his education at the University of Miami pursuing his master’s degree in Aquaculture.

During his time at the University of Florida, Tien has been a part of the MEDLIFE group which gave him the opportunity to travel to both Ecuador and Peru. He also volunteered through the Global Business Brigades Club that led him to Panama. Through his Sustainability and EcoTourism class Tien had the chance to learn in Fiji as well.

Tien started as a Pre-med major, but on his MEDLIFE trip to Peru, he realized that he had another passion. His drive for business and longtime love for fishing led him to find the perfect combination of the two. Tien hopes to one day have a fish farm of his own.

His favorite learning opportunity came to him this past summer in midst of a pandemic! Tien had the opportunity to intern with Shimmick Construction in Long Beach, California, to help with the development of the Gerald Desmond Bridge.

“The best part about my internship is that I was able to strengthen my accounting skills that will be crucial in my future endeavors as a business leader,” said Tien.

Through Champions For Learning Tien was able to see all of the different opportunities that were available to him.

“Champions For Learning prepared me for a successful college experience and fostered a desire to give back to the community that has given me so much,” said Tien.

 

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Happy World Teacher’s Day!

Happy World Teachers’ Day!

The 30th Annual Golden Apple Celebration of Teachers looked different this past April due to COVID-19. However, we still wanted our teachers to have the great experience of sharing their inspiring messages and being introduced by
one of their students!
To view the full Golden Apple TV Show Click Here       

Sarah Bratcher
Lake Park Elementary
Raising Leaders Through Songs and Public Speaking

 

Eileen Fuentes
Sabal Palm Elementary
Metacognition + Social Emotional Learning = Confident, Balanced Scholars
Elizabeth Garcia
Manatee Middle
A Student-Centered Classroom

 

 

 

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Investing in Education is an Investment in the Future of Our Community

Because of you, our programs have given students, educators, and community members an opportunity to work together to face challenges and celebrate triumphs. We continue this work to provide life-changing learning
experiences for every student and want to support them in learning the life skill of adapting while staying firmly focused on their future. During this challenging time, we continue to listen, adapt, and respond to the
needs of our educators and students. The Classroom Grant online portal allows teachers to request classroom grants that will come directly from the community to create innovative learning experiences for their students. Thanks to Suncoast Credit Union, which supports the technology and capacity for the grant portal, 100% of community contributions go toward supporting teacher grants. You can fund a specific request from a teacher by visiting https://www.finditfunditflorida.com/collier/.

Champions For Learning is working with our elementary school principals and teachers to provide our students with the tools they need to resume their schooling. With more than 60% of students returning to Collier County Public Schools for instruction on campus, our students will have the opportunity to learn with district-provided laptops and devices appropriate to their grade levels and will be provided with face masks and hand sanitizer. However, the guidelines outlining social distancing will require that each student uses their own individual school supplies. They will not be able to share their crayons or scissors and teachers will need to help
students keep their own supplies organized.

Every $10 donation will provide a student with a backpack full of items needed to start school. The average request from principals is 300 backpacks with supplies. Please contact us if you are interested in sponsoring supplies for a specific school.

Through enhanced programming, foundational skill development, and engagement of over 450 volunteers supporting students, our students are equipped and prepared for their future learning and career goals.

The strong outcomes of the Class of 2020 demonstrate this readiness. Even in the face of COVID-19, the Class of 2020 surpassed last year’s outcomes and 100% have stayed on track toward their post-secondary
aspirations.

Beyond the students directly served, over 12,000 students gained access to financial and college readiness resources, through partnerships and community outreach. This year challenged us and provided us many opportunities to adapt and learn new things. The adaptations this year served our students and program well and many will continue to be expanded upon in the year to come.

It is because of your advocacy and support that Champions For Learning is able to adapt and leverage resources to help ensure our students and teachers can continue to work toward their vision for the future, even
when the way of achieving those goals may be changing. Help us continue to support students and educators in Collier County.

Your gift to Champions For Learning empowers our community members, teachers, and staff to continue to interact with students in ways that dynamically enrich all their lives. No gift is too small; your gift can be combined with others to support life-changing learning experiences for students across our community.

Click here to make a donation! 

 

 

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Alumnus Update: Lindsay

From student government, to completing eighteen college credits during high school alumnus Lindsay has seized every opportunity that has come her way. Her determination has helped her continue to reach for the goals she has set for herself.

As a graduate of the 2020 Champions For Learning class and a Palmetto Ridge High graduate, Lindsay is now in her first official week of classes at Florida Gulf Coast University. She is majoring in Finance with aspirations to one day enter the non-profit sector.

While many of her classes have now gone virtual, Lindsay is excited about being able to get back to learning.

“I’m excited to be living on campus this year! Although this all feels and looks a little different then I imagined I still want to get involved and become part of my campus community,” said Lindsay. She is already looking into joining her campus activity board and a sorority.

“Champions For Learning has lifted me up during this time and because of the support that I was able to receive in weekly lab sessions, I feel prepared to take on anything that comes my way,” said Lindsay.

Lindsay is attending Florida Gulf Coast University debt-free!

“Champions For Learning motivated me to pursue my dreams and also gave me the support and push I needed by helping me fill out my FAFSA and helping me find local community scholarships to fund my education,” said Lindsay.

Lindsay’s biggest goal is to become a leader in her community, she wants to help other students realize that they too can reach their educational goals.

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Back To Learning

Champions aren’t born; we lift each other up. Although our school year is getting started differently, we are so grateful for our teachers, administrators, parents, volunteers, and community partners for helping our students get back to learning!

Now, more than ever, it is fundamental to student success to keep learning moving forward, whether virtually or in-person and our community recognizes that our educators are the champions that students need in their corner.

Please join in and help our educators, schools, and families in one or more of the following ways:

  • Fund a teacher’s great idea by visiting https://www.finditfunditflorida.com/collier/ or by purchasing a License For Learning License plate with 100% of the proceeds going directly into classroom grants.
  • With more than 60% of students returning to Collier County Public Schools for instruction on campus, our students will have the opportunity to learn with district-provided laptops and devices appropriate to their grades and will be provided with face masks and hand sanitizer. However, the guidelines outlining social distancing will require that each student uses their own individual school supplies.   They will not be able to share their crayons or scissors and teachers will need to help students keep their own supplies organized.   A $10 donation can sponsor a backpack full of the items that a student will need to start school. To donate visit: https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=E206032&id=41
  • Join in and become a virtual volunteer! For more information, visit https://championsforlearning.org/volunteer/
  • Class of 2021 be ready for what’s next! Champions For Learning is preparing students for life after high school check out our student resources, updated regularly!  www.Championsforlearning.org/resources
  • Learn more about Champions For Learning by attending a Virtual Champions 101. Learn about how our work is impacting students, families, and teachers in Collier County. Champions 101s are informational sessions that serve as an introduction to who we are, what we do, and how to help. https://championsforlearning.org/learnmore/

Our community is engaged and energized in support of student success. Please join in and help us to create life-changing learning experiences for every student in Collier County.

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