Classroom full of young students, elementary school years, learning from teacher who's sitting down smiling at classroom, Hillsborough Education Foundation

OUR IMPACT

Strengthening Public Education Builds a Better Community

We believe that public school success is vital to our county’s prosperity. HEF is working to move the needle and help every student consistently achieve positive academic and personal growth. We are dedicated to ensuring that all students have equitable opportunities to benefit from high-quality public education so they graduate prepared for postsecondary, career and life success.

Effective teachers are foundational to student achievement in the classroom and beyond. That’s why HEF invests in teachers by providing resources they need to help students succeed. We work to increase graduation rates and ensure our teachers are effective by providing free school supplies, scholarships and classroom grants through a number of diverse channels.

We believe that a community engaged in making educational excellence a priority will transform Hillsborough County.

Highlights from Our Year

In the 2021-2022 school year…

  • 100% of the seniors in HEF’s Take Stock in Children mentoring program graduated from high school with a standard diploma
  • We distributed $4.1 million in school supplies to serve 105K+ students to ensure they have the tools needed for academic success
  • Caring volunteers in our community dedicated 5,246 mentoring sessions to 328 students
  • We awarded more than $1 million in scholarships to deserving students

We’re Making

a difference

See how your involvement enriches the lives of students and teachers.

Jesus

Take Stock in Children Student

Bob Sanders, community partner of Hillsborough Education Foundation, older man standing in school hallway

Bob

Community Partner — Williams Company Construction

Yasmina

Take Stock in Children Student

Joanne Sudman, Mentor at Take Stock in Children Hillsborough Education Foundation, older woman standing in school hallway smiling

Joanne

Mentor

Nicole Golden, Cleveland Elementary Teacher, Hillsborough Education Foundation

Nicole

Cleveland Elementary Teacher

John Rose, Volunteer of Hillsborough Education Foundation, older man in classroom smiling, wearing blue shirt

John

Volunteer

Jesus

Take Stock in Children Student

Jesus applied for Hillsborough Education Foundation’s mentoring program because he has big aspirations for a bright future! “It is a huge blessing to me and my family. My brother could not go to college because our family could not afford it. This scholarship will give me an opportunity to go to college, get a degree, get a good job and be happy.,” says Jesus.

The Jefferson High student knows his hard work will pay off and credits the program and his mentor with helping him keep his grades on track, manage his time wisely and engage in community service opportunities.

“I have gained so much insight on my work and how to improve and fine tune it,” says Jesus. “Having a mentor gives me someone to talk to about anything.”

Bob Sanders, community partner of Hillsborough Education Foundation, older man standing in school hallway

Bob

Community Partner — Williams Company Construction

Bob Sanders and colleagues from Williams Company Construction volunteered for a very special delivery at Sulphur Springs K-8 Community School. The team unloaded box after box of Yoobi folders, pencils, erasers, scissors and more onto a cart—preparing to surprise dozens of teachers in their classrooms with the supplies they desperately need to effectively advance student achievement.

“These teachers need the tools to teach these kids. If we can help provide them—we’re happy to do it,” Sanders says.

Hillsborough Education Foundation invests in teachers, along with our community partners like Williams Company, to provide added supplies and support.

“We like to support the schools we do construction work for. This gets us closer to why we are doing this—the kids and the teachers,” says Sanders. “These kids are fabulous. Their teachers are a blessing to everyone. It’s an honor for us to be involved.”

Yasmina

Take Stock in Children Student

Yasmina, a Bloomingdale High School student, has a strong passion for social justice and wants to attend university to study criminal justice and psychology but, as an immigrant and the oldest of five children, she didn’t know how she and her family would afford a college education—until she learned about Hillsborough Education Foundation’s mentoring program.

I joined the Take Stock in Children program because I wanted to secure a scholarship for my college education and achieve my goals. I wanted to make it easier for my family by taking advantage of a program that could provide me with guidance on college education and future career opportunities.

Mentees are paired with a college success coach and mentor and have the opportunity to earn at least a 2-year Florida Prepaid Scholarship. Yasmina says she’ll make the most of this opportunity.

This scholarship would give me the chance to pursue higher education and open doors to a brighter future. It is not only a great accomplishment for me personally, but it also brings hope and pride to my family.

Joanne Sudman, Mentor at Take Stock in Children Hillsborough Education Foundation, older woman standing in school hallway smiling

Joanne

Mentor

Mentor Joanne Sudman spent 43 years in education as a speech and language pathologist. Now retired, she wanted to continue to give back to students as a mentor.

“It’s probably the best way we can touch the lives of those students who are in need and help them,” says Sudman.

Joanne meets with her mentee several times each month during school hours. She hopes her support and guidance will help empower her mentee to achieve both academic and personal success—and plans to be one of her biggest cheerleaders long after graduation.

“I hope our relationship continues throughout college and the rest of her life—as long as I’m here,” Sudman says. “I’ve never seen a child so determined and focused. I have no doubt it’s going to lead her where she wants to go.”

Nicole Golden, Cleveland Elementary Teacher, Hillsborough Education Foundation

Nicole

Cleveland Elementary Teacher

Nicole Golden has been a teacher in Hillsborough County Public Schools for three years and works at Cleveland Elementary—one of our district’s 50 highest needs schools.

Not all her students have the supplies they need to succeed. She relies on Hillsborough Education Foundation’s Teaching Tools Resource Center—a store where Hillsborough County teachers in Title I schools can shop once a month—to help stock her classroom.

“I come to this store all the time. This is one of the first places I came when I was trying to build my classroom,” says Golden. “I have peace of mind that I can teach what I need to teach with the tools and resources.”

Last year, one shopping trip averaged $289 in supplies.

“When you don’t have to come out of pocket and have everything you need to teach and give your kids, it’s a great feeling! So, thank you!”

John Rose, Volunteer of Hillsborough Education Foundation, older man in classroom smiling, wearing blue shirt

John

Volunteer

John Rose has spent more than 1,000 hours volunteering for Hillsborough Education Foundation—and was named our 2019 Volunteer of the Year.

“I originally started volunteering because I wanted to give back to the schools,” says Rose.
Rose, who is a teacher at Dorothy Thomas School, spends his time stocking shelves and doing whatever is needed around our Teaching Tools Resource Center—a store where Hillsborough County teachers in Title I schools can shop once a month for the classroom supplies students need to succeed.

“I know that Teaching Tools helps a lot of schools in need where students don’t have the necessities to get through the school day,” says Rose. “To give back to those schools is a great accomplishment and I feel like I’m doing my part.”