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Champions For Learning Announces 2017-2018 Board of Directors

Champions For Learning would like to announce their 2017-2018 Board of Directors. This group of professionals and community leaders are devoted to working diligently to help impact Collier County students and teachers.

“Our Board of Directors consists of individuals who are very committed to impacting students and teachers by enriching the environment for learning,” says Lynn Davidson, Board Chair. “Each board member brings their own expertise and passion to the organization and I am honored to serve among them. These community leaders exemplify the engagement that Champions For Learning needs to continue supporting students and local classrooms.”

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Post Hurricane Irma Student Resources

Due to Hurricane Irma, we have complied lists of resources for students to use.

Click here for resources to complete the FAFSA verification process.

Click here for Hurricane Irma resources.


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Announcing Tom Riley as 2017-2018 Heart of the Apple Recipient

Champions For Learning is proud to announce that Tom Riley has been named the 2017-2018 Heart of the Apple Award recipient for the significant impact he has made in Collier County. Riley is Founder & Chairman of Thomas Riley Artisans’ Guild – a fine interior woodworking company that has been committed to local youth and education since its inception.

Each year, Champions For Learning awards a Heart of the Apple in recognition of sustained and committed leadership in support of building the culture of learning in our community through the mission of Champions For Learning.

Riley’s commitment to “nothing less than monumental” in every endeavor, includes his dedication to education in the community. He has provided internships and opened his workshop to thousands of students through programs that demonstrate the importance of hard work, respect and passion. Riley has also supported the Golden Apple program by donating his and his team’s time and talent to create the hand-carved lecterns and stage setting that is used at the annual event to this day. Over the years, Riley has contributed the work of his team of artisans to support the Champions For Learning mission.

Susan McManus, President, Champions For Learning, says, “We are proud to honor Tom who has had a lasting commitment to our educators and students. He has shown great support of education through his involvement with Golden Apple. Tom’s passion to help support local teachers and students truly embodies the Heart of the Apple Award.”

Thank you to Tom Riley for helping to connect students to their future.

The Heart of the Apple and the Golden Apple recipients will be honored at the 28th Annual Golden Apple Celebration of Teachers Dinner presented by Suncoast Credit Union on April 16, 2018, at the Naples Grande Beach Resort. Opportunities to sponsor a school to attend the event are available. For more information on event sponsorships and ticket sales click here.

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Announcing the 2017-2018 Glass Slipper Recipients

Champions For Learning is proud to announce the 2017-2018 Glass Slipper recipients.  The recipients are Nancy Blackburn, Lynn Davidson, and Anne Fleming.

Each year, the Glass Slipper event is held to honor women leaders for their dedication and service to the children of Collier County. This event and recognition program benefits young ladies who are graduates of Champions For Learning student programs, and helps meet their needs as they currently seek post-secondary education.

Join us in honoring the Glass Slipper recipients at a cocktail reception, which will be held on March 21, 2018 in a custom model residence in Quail West by Stock Signature Homes. There will be heavy hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction to benefit Champions For Learning student scholarships. Tickets for the event are $50.

For tickets please contact Heather Noel at (239) 643-4755 or HNoel@ChampionsForLearning.org.

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Congratulations to the 2017-2018 Teachers of Distinction


We are proud to announce the Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program’s 2017-2018 Teachers of Distinction. This year, Hurricane Irma provided an opportunity for each school to bring forward a teacher and best practice to highlight on behalf of their school. From this group of Teachers of Distinction, Champions For Learning’s community-based selection committee will identify five teachers to highlight as Golden Apple recipients. Click here to see the list of Teachers of Distinction.

The Teachers of Distinction and the Golden Apple recipients will be honored at the Golden Apple Celebration of Teachers Dinner presented by Suncoast Credit Union on April 16, 2018, at the Naples Grande Beach Resort.

We’d like to thank our presenting sponsor, Suncoast Credit Union and all of the support they provide educators and students.  We would also like to thank additional Golden Apple Champion Level Sponsors:  CenturyLink, Moorings Park, Naples Daily News, NBC-2 Waterman Broadcasting and Perna-Rose Foundation for Hope.

Opportunities to sponsor a school to attend the event are available. For more information on event sponsorships and ticket sales click here.

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Suncoast Scholarship Now Open

The Suncoast Credit Union is partnering with Champions For Learning to offer five (5) $2,000 scholarship awards to high school graduates in the Class of 2018.  Class of 2018 high school graduates in Suncoast Credit Union’s 21-county service territory have the opportunity to apply for financial support to continue their education, thanks to a $116,000 investment in scholarships by the Tampa-based credit union’s Foundation.

Applications are now open and are available. Click here to download the application.

All applications must be received by 5pm on January 12, 2018 at the Champions For Learning office, 3606 Enterprise Avenue #150, Naples, FL  34104.

This year’s Suncoast Credit Union Scholars program represents a continued philosophy of the foundation to support education initiatives and the well-being and potential of children.  Since its inception in 1990, the Foundation has contributed more than $19 million including more than 600 student scholarships valued at nearly $1 million.

“We believe the best way we can build better communities is by investing in education and health-related initiatives for children,” said Cindy Helton, Executive Director of the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation.  “Through the Suncoast Credit Union Scholars program, we have the opportunity to invest in individual human potential, which is particularly rewarding.”

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Champions For Learning Earns Highest 4-Star Rating From Charity Navigator

Champions For Learning’s strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator.

This is the second consecutive time that Champions For Learning has earned this top distinction.

“Champions For Learning’s exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public,” according to Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator. “Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction of our 4-star rating. This adds Champions For Learning to a preeminent group of charities working to overcome our world’s most pressing challenges. Based on its 4-star rating, people can trust that their donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity when they decide to support Champions For Learning.”

“We are extremely proud to be receiving a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator,” says Lynn Davidson, Chair of the Board of Directors. “Our Board of Directors and staff work hard to make sure that 100% of the community contributions go directly to the programs that enrich student learning through educators and ensure students achieve their college and career goals.”

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Attention 11th Graders! Real World Learning Model Application Now Open!

Start planning for your future today! The Real World Learning Model College and Career Prep Program provides weekly support for college access, financial aid instruction, career exploration and readiness, goal-setting and self-advocacy skills for 11th-12th grade students and families.

Students in 11th grade, from public or independent high schools, regardless of income level, are eligible to apply. This program is provided at no costs to students and families thanks to community contributions and a generous grant from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation.

Deadline for the application: October 30, 2017

Click here to download the application.

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Don’t Forget FAFSA is Now Open!

Need help paying for college? Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and quick. It gives 12th graders and college students access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or technical school. In Florida, colleges will also determine your eligibility for state and school aid. Applying early is the key to ensuring you are eligible for the maximum amount of aid.
The 2018-19  FAFSA is now open! 
For more locations to get free assistance to complete your FAFSA click here.
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Night of Champions Honorees Announced!

We are proud to announce their 2017-18 Night of Champions honorees.

These honorees are being recognized at the Night of Champions event on Wednesday, January 31, 2018, at the Naples Grande Beach Resort. These individuals will be honored for their impact on the lives of students through mentoring, leadership, collaboration and community involvement with educators or students. These honored Champions exemplify what it means to make a commitment to our students and their future.

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