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Renovation of The Frank and Ellen Daveler Center for Innovation in Learning Officially Begins

PRESS RELEASE

(February 3, 2021 – Naples, FL)  PBS Contractors broke ground to mark the start of the construction for the $500,00 Frank and Ellen Daveler Center for Innovation in Learning at Champions For Learning on Friday, January 29, 2021.  The project includes both an expansion and a renovation and the new Center for Innovation in Learning will provide a collaborative, multi-use space for teachers, students, parents, volunteers and community partners to support one another.

Champions for learning staff renovation projectLeading the renovation kickoff ceremony were several members of Champions For Learning’s Board of Directors, including Barbara Melvin, Dr. Bruce Mousa, Chuck Carlsen, Stephanie Lucarelli and Susan McManus.

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.

Aligning with the Davelers’ life experiences, the Center will have a heightened focus on developing the entrepreneurial spirt 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. The Frank and Ellen Daveler Center For Innovation in Learning is scheduled to be complete by Spring 2021.

Mr. Frank Daveler, Champions for Learning's Center for Innovation in Learning

Frank Daveler embodied the spirit of innovation, not just in his decades-long career, but in his devotion to uplifting the next generations of entrepreneurs.  Believing in the power of curiosity and a love for learning, Frank was honored to facilitate countless students’ ambitions as they pursued their own success through opportunities otherwise inaccessible.

The new Frank and Ellen Daveler Center for Innovation in Learning will expand the capacity and opportunities for Champions For Learning to support collaboration and innovation with teachers, students, parents, volunteers and community partners,” explained Susan McManus, President & CEO, Champions For Learning.  “The expansion and renovation of the remainder of the first floor will provide much needed space, technology and enhanced efficiency and will illustrate the entrepreneurial spirit that the Davelers valued.”

In addition, Mr. Daveler will be honored at this year’s Celebration of Champions event, a virtual celebration honoring those who exemplify what it means to make a commitment to our students and their futures through mentoring, leadership, collaboration and community involvement with educators and students. Individuals may register to watch the virtual experience and participate in the online auction at no cost. To register, visit https://championsforlearning.org/celebration-of-champions/.

About Champions For Learning™
Champions For Learning™, the education foundation in Collier County, is an independent, community-based, non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that strives to create life-changing learning experiences for every student. With a vision of a community that is 100% engaged in support of student success, Champions For Learning serves a unique role in bringing the community together to support a culture of learning and innovation. The organization has been awarded the highest four-star rating for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency by Charity Navigator and achieved the highest distinction as an exemplary Local Education Foundation. Become a Champion for Learning and visit ChampionsForLearning.org.

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Champions For Learning Reveals 2020-2021 Celebration of Champions Honorees

PRESS RELEASE

(February 01, 2021 – Naples, FL) Champions For Learning is proud to announce their 2020-2021 Celebration of Champions honorees.

The honorees are being recognized at the Celebration of Champions virtual experience on Friday, February 26, 2021 at 6:00pm. These individuals will be honored for their impact on the lives of students through mentoring, leadership, collaboration and community involvement with educators or students. The honored Champions exemplify what it means to make a commitment to our students and their futures.

Celebration of ChampionsThe 2020-2021 Celebration of Champions honorees are: Frank Daveler, Lynn Davidson, Beverly Feagin, Kiara Gonzalez-Duran, Yadira Vintimilla, as well as this year’s Heart of the Apple recipient, Nany Potter. To learn more about the 2020-2021 Champions, please visit: championsforlearning.org/featured-champions/meet-the-champions.

“We look forward to sharing the stories of this year’s Champions and the impact they have made in our community,” says Susan McManus, President of Champions For Learning. ”The Celebration of Champions honorees truly exemplify how our community comes together to make a difference in the lives of students and their families.”

Proceeds will ensure Champions For Learning student programs will continue to help change lives for generations to come through College & Career Readiness programs and scholarships.

We would like to thank our generous sponsors:
Presenting sponsor: Florida Gulf Coast University

Major sponsors: Karen & William Lutz, Naples Daily News, Naples Illustrated, Stock Development and Suncoast Credit Union.

Individuals may register to watch the virtual experience and participate in the online auction at no cost. To register, simply go to championsforlearning.org/celebration-of-champions. Virtual watch party sponsorships are also available. For more information, please contact Jason Kurek at 239-643-4755 or JKurek@ChampionsForLearning.org.

About Champions For Learning™
Champions For Learning™, the education foundation in Collier County, is an independent, community-based, non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that strives to create life-changing learning experiences for every student. With a vision of a community that is 100% engaged in support of student success, Champions For Learning serves a unique role in bringing the community together to support a culture of learning and innovation. The organization has been awarded the highest four-star rating for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency by Charity Navigator and achieved the highest distinction as an exemplary Local Education Foundation. Become a Champion for Learning and visit ChampionsForLearning.org.

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Champions For Learning Class of 2021 – Update

Despite starting their senior year in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, the Champions For Learning Class of 2021 has been resilient and adapted to changing circumstances.  We were thrilled to see our students come into our office one-by-one and socially distanced for their individual senior photos.

We will continue to provide updates on their progress.  To date, the ninety (90) seniors have submitted more than 250 applications for college, university, or technical programs with already more

than 120 acceptances.   Students are diligently applying for scholarship sources to ensure the best opportunities for them to gain financial support to earn their education as close to debt-free as possible.

As we all know, life continues to be challenging, and we are so proud of our seniors and grateful for the support of our staff and volunteers in continuing to help students work through these challenges.

 

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Meet the Champions

Meet The Champions 

 

 

 

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Inspired To Give

From Student to Teacher, Meet Kiara 

Through Champions For Learning I’ve been inspired by my mentor, community, and the students I teach. My name is Kiara and I am a Kindergarten teacher at Village Oaks Elementary in Immokalee and a 2012 graduate of the Champions For Learning programs.

My whole life has been about learning. Learning to be a better student, a better community member, and a better teacher. I strive to be the best educator I can be because of those who advocated and believed in me as a student.

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Tom Gamber: Star of Giving Recipient

After serving twenty-five years in the Navy and teaching for five years In San Jose, California, Tom Gamber decided to move to Naples, Florida in 2000, At this time, he started to repair and teach the community about computers.

With his passion for computers and a little help from his friends at Greater Naples Leadership, Tom learned about Champions For Learning ten years ago.

At first, he started by donating computers to a few students who needed them for school but realized many more students had the same need.

In total, Tom has donated over 142 refurbished computers to Champions For Learning and has restored all 38 student lab computers to Windows 10, all through his partnership with Microsoft.

“This work for me is so important because I know that these computers are going to students who need them, if I can help even one student in his studies, I know that I have made a difference,” said Tom.

He hasn’t stopped there; Tom has also mentored students for the last eight years. “For me mentoring is exciting and I feel like I learn just as much as the students do. My favorite part about mentoring is receiving the student’s perspective on today’s issues,” said Tom.

Tom has been mentoring much longer than his time in Naples, “all teachers are mentors, as a high school teacher in San Jose, teaching inner-city students, I had to be that mentor for them,” said Tom.

During his time as a teacher, Tom built more than forty computers for students to have a place to do their homework or to just come in and play games. Later, he taught the same students how to build computers from scratch that they could take home.

“If I can teach the students I mentor anything it is that there are three stages in life; the first is learning, the second is earning, and the third is returning,” said Tom. He hopes to instill a passion for giving back to the community in his students.

As for being awarded the Star of Giving award, Tom was shocked. “I didn’t realize how big of a deal this was for students. For me, computers are my passion and I take each one as a challenge. I am proud and grateful to be a part of an organization that gives back and also invests in the future of the community,” said Tom.

The Star of Giving award was presented by Waterside Shops on behalf of Champions for Learning. The community celebrated a day of shopping at Waterside Shops on December 11th, where 10% of total sales benefited Champions For Learning!

 

To donate click here

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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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