Previous Grants Awarded

2024 Grant Cycle

AmSkills Apprenticeship Foundation, Inc.

AmSkills Workforce Community Engagement Initiative, $20,000.00

The AmSkills Workforce Innovation Center, opened on October 4th, 2023, and serves as a vital hub for workforce skills training in the Tampa Bay Region. Spanning 14,000 sq. ft., the Center is in Holiday, Pasco County, a low-income community, and offers hands-on programs for residents with little-to-no experience and those looking to advance their skills. The facility is located within three miles of the AmSkills Advanced Manufacturing Academy located at Anclote High School (first in Pasco County), providing students additional afterschool opportunities. Training areas include machining, automation, robotics, public works and mechatronics. AmSkills also offers Florida Department of Education registered Pre-Apprenticeships & Apprenticeships, and other nationally recognized certification programs including Smart Automation Certification Alliance (SACA), and Universal Robotics Training Center. The Project aims to 1) Introduce AmSkills programs to the community, encouraging participation in special events, classes, workshops and the AmSkills Career Discovery Bootcamp which prepares candidates for job interviews with multiple hiring employers on the final day, and 2) Provide additional skills training for hired individuals, fostering upward mobility. Funds will support marketing & community outreach efforts, community engagement via special events such as open houses, workshops, use of the AmSkills Mobile Billboards to promote programs within the community, and program costs.

Florida Dream Center, Inc.

EmpowerCraft: Expanding Trades for Sustainable Livelihoods, $52,000.00

Florida Dream Center (FLDC) will expand its current Work Readiness Training curriculum to include welding, electrical, or plumbing certifications for socially challenged demographics in Pinellas County. FLDC defines socially challenged individuals as those who have criminal records, struggling with addiction, or homeless/experiencing poverty.

Through this project’s collaborative efforts, individuals facing reintegration difficulties will have the opportunity to certify in trade industry skills, place in employment, and receive supportive services for themselves, their families, and their employers. As relating to the definition of social change (‘the alteration of mechanisms within the social structure’ – Encyclopedia Britannica, 23 Aug. 2022) this project will also empower employers to increase the number of ex-offenders they hire as they witness an increase in their retention rate to at least 90%.

The addition of these National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) curricula will create alternative, in-demand trade skills training that will expand employment placement opportunities to individuals who have some limitations to working as roofers or construction workers but can still work. The funds awarded will be used specifically to purchase the new curriculum books, class trade tools, equipment needed to complete the performance skills tests, tablets for module testing, and new curriculum set-up fees. All items are one-time purchases.

Learning Independence for Tomorrow dba LiFT Academy

Community Partners Internship Program, $39,942.00

Learning Independence For Tomorrow, Inc. (LiFT) has been dedicated to empowering neurodiverse individuals across various age groups, from kindergarten through 12th grade to adults aged 23 and above. Established in 2013, our proven track record boasts a remarkable 95% graduation rate and an impressive 85% workforce placement. The focal point of our endeavor is the Community Partners Internship Program, designed to break down barriers to employment for neurodivergent adults affected by conditions such as autism, Down syndrome, ADHD, dyslexia, Tourette syndrome, learning disabilities, processing disorders, and developmental delays.

Since its inception in 2014, the program has been instrumental in providing transformative work experiences, enabling participants to explore diverse career paths, harness their unique talents, navigate workplace challenges, acquire valuable skills in varied employment settings, and ultimately secure paid employment. The program has forged partnerships with over 30 local businesses, both large and small. These collaborations have been pivotal in creating opportunities for a demographic that often faces challenges in securing meaningful employment. The funds we seek will be utilized to enhance the Community Partners Internship Program by facilitating on-site training, recruiting and supporting job coaches, engaging local businesses, providing transportation to and from worksites, and covering other program-specific costs.

MacDonald Training Center, Inc.

CommUNITY Works: Creating Economic Opportunity Through Inclusion, $50,000.00

In fall of 2023 MTC launched CommUNITY Works—a collaborative program with other service providers to further employment opportunities for people with all disabilities, making Tampa Bay a more inclusive community. MTC seeks to bridge the gap between job seekers with disabilities and available jobs in our community by delivering innovative, highly customized curriculum based on established, standardized work readiness protocols, and MTC’s decades of experience providing workforce development training.

This training program includes classes in communication and interpersonal skills leading to job performance; customer service; financial literacy; public transportation management as well as job-seeking skills; and other “soft” life skills necessary for employment.

We developed this collaborative program to meet the needs to the community. We just concluded a pilot of this program with CUP (Coffee Uniting People), a nonprofit coffee house, that hires people with and without disabilities to work together in an inclusive workplace. In spring 2024, we plan to begin taking the success of our pilot program and replicating it with other agencies. In order to expand our capacity to replicate this program out to our partners, we need to hire an experienced special education professional to oversee the delivery and implementation of the program. These funds will help support the initial hiring of an additional Special Education teacher/Program Manager for the CommUNITY Works program.

Metropolitan Ministries, Inc.

Rise to the Top Expansion Project, $25,000.00

Rise to the Top provides adult education, employment, and comprehensive wraparound services to people who are experiencing poverty and homelessness in Hillsborough and Pasco counties. A Community Foundation grant will allow Metropolitan Ministries (MM) to expand this program in Pasco by funding certification course fees and the Pasco Adult Education Advisor salary/benefits. In 2024, MM will complete our Pasco campus expansion, adding 24 residential units and providing the opportunity to reach more clients. 100 people will be provided with education services and 275 people will be provided with employment services.

Rise to the Top helps clients achieve educational goals that qualify them for higher wage employment. Adult Education Advisors complete educational assessments and help clients enroll in a program that best matches their needs and goals. MM also has an on-site GED program and provides in-person and virtual instruction. MM covers certification fees, educational materials, testing costs, and job-specific necessities.

Employment services are also provided, including quarterly workshops with expert speakers, employment skills classes, budgeting classes and job placement to help clients secure employment in their field of choice. MM’s wrap around services also assist individuals in obtaining mental health counseling and stable housing. Education, employment, and housing staff work collaboratively to help families achieve self-sufficiency.

Starting Right, Now

Equitable Access for Homeless Youth, $45,000.00

SRN’s holistic program creates a sustained solution to end the generational cycle of youth homelessness. We serve unaccompanied homeless youth (UHY)- high school students who cannot live at home due to unsafe circumstances (abuse, neglect, eviction, etc.). After moving into our stable housing and fulfilling basic needs, SRN students access academic assistance, life-skills training and workforce development, financial literacy, computer fluency and planning for their future career path through post-secondary education (military, vocational or higher education).

Recognizing these youths have never been exposed to banking or proper work ethic, have fallen behind academically, never learned financial responsibility, and need to learn healthy coping strategies, SRN developed a unique curriculum to address these areas. “Equitable Access for Homeless Youth” -a series of after school enrichment classes/activities deliberately chosen to fill the equity and opportunity gap, uplifting UHY. Education is important, but these youth must be taught how to build positive relationships, learn to develop social capital and have meaningful exposure to on-the-job training and employability skills. Academic and soft skills taught through our curriculum enable youth to be workforce ready, thus economically mobile.

Community Foundation of Tampa Bay could help fund tutors, class instructor fees, transportation to attend class/tutoring, educational/class supplies, internet costs and additional iPads.

UMA Education, Inc.

EMT Apprenticeship Program Support, $25,000.00

Tampa Bay experiences a chronic shortage of certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). The EMT Apprenticeship Program, developed by the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay (CCTB) and Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA), addresses this shortage. CCTB, a private, non-profit organization with services for individuals experiencing trauma, is acting as apprenticeship sponsor and employer for the program. UMA is a non-profit, accredited healthcare education organization providing instruction for the program, as well as apprentice support. Recruitment for the program is robust with support from three Local Workforce Development Boards: CareerSource Tampa Bay, CareerSource Pasco-Hernando, and CareerSource Pinellas, and other community-based non-profits. The program has nearly doubled in capacity since 2021. Apprentices are from diverse minority, female, and veteran populations. Most are low-income, eligible for support through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA requires income at or below 100% of the poverty line, meets criteria for Temporary Assistant for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or other public assistance. Community Foundation of Tampa Bay support provides solutions to financial gaps not covered by WIOA or other funding such as childcare, transportation, food, housing, utilities, and other expenses which often exclude low-income individuals from advanced career training programs.

West Florida Center for Trafficking Advocacy, Inc.

Tampa Bay Area Survivor Empowerment, $30,000.00

The Justice Restoration Center (JRC) has worked extensively since 2013 in the justice space as it relates to human trafficking victims and survivors. (“Victims” refer to those still being exploited, and “survivors” refer to those who have been able to leave the exploitation.) Along with disadvantages associated with complex trauma, loss of familial relationship, and disrupted education, 90% of trafficking victims leave the trafficking situation with a criminal record, as well as with credit reports riddled with negative items because of the trafficker’s exploitation. Statistics show, in turn, that a majority of those survivors with criminal records will live in poverty the rest of their lives absent the removal of criminal records. In that light, JRC focuses on giving survivors access to justice in the form of criminal record expungement under Florida’s human trafficking victim expungement law and credit restoration through the federal Debt Bondage Repair Act. To date, JRC has expunged nearly 1,300 criminal charges for Florida survivors. Criminal record expungement removes barriers to housing, employment, and education which are cornerstones to survivor recovery and economic wellbeing. JRC’s funding comes from a mix of private donations, churches, and private grants, and 100% of the funding goes directly to providing free legal services to survivors.

Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County Florida, Inc.

Developing a Green Model for Affordable Home Landscaping, $25,000.00

Habitat Hillsborough is committed to affordable homeownership that supports conservation: our homes are built to achieve Energy Star ratings for energy efficiency. To extend environmental impact beyond the walls of the house, we respectfully request $25,000. We will develop our capacity to design lawns and communal green spaces for our homeowners that are sustainable, drought tolerant and resilient. With the diversity of microclimates found in Hillsborough County, we need to create xeriscapes that are responsive to environments that vary from pine scrub to wetland forests. The scale of projects can also vary from a green space for community recreation required in new multi-home developments to lawns for individual houses built on infill lots.

We serve Hillsborough County residents whose household incomes fall between 30% and 80% of Area Median Income. These families cannot qualify for a traditional mortgage, but are struggling to find decent, affordable shelter in an increasingly expensive housing market.

A grant from Community Foundation Tampa Bay will help us pilot a model for providing these families with low-maintenance, Florida-friendly landscaping. We will use funds to create marketing materials; work with a landscape architect who is experienced in designing drought-tolerant lawns and green spaces; and develop educational and artistic components. Habitat Hillsborough will match your fund with $25,000 to purchase plants, prepare sites and create the garden and lawns.

Keep Pinellas Beautiful, Inc.

Inspiring Future Environmental Leaders in High Need Communities Throughout Pinellas County, $20,000.00

Our “Inspiring future environmental leaders in high need communities throughout Pinellas County” program is designed to educate and engage youth, empowering them to take action to protect and preserve the natural habitats of Pinellas County. We propose to concentrate on three communities; MLK Corridor (Clearwater), High Point (unincorporated Pinellas), and MLK Corridor (St. Petersburg).

We will Connect with community partners and youth through stakeholder meetings and educational presentations, Engage targeted K-12 schools to expand our educational programming, Introduce two family friendly experiential service programs at each location (i.e. invasive vegetation removals, native plantings to help restore natural habitats, and litter abatement events) Expand our youth educational programming and resources (Kids Can, High School Chapter, Youth Advisory Council, Environmental Leadership Workshops, and printing of “Rosie’s Stormwater Adventure” activity books) to encourage youth participation and the creation of future environmental stewards. KPB will use funds to: Obtain supplies for youth beautification events including invasive species removals, native plantings and community cleanups, print activity books to increase science and reading comprehension, Support student-centered environmental projects, Provide supplies and materials at targeted educational programs (i.e. Kids Can cleanups, High School Chapter, Youth Advisory Council, and Environmental Leadership Workshops).

Lowry Park Zoological Society of Tampa, Inc.

Nature Nurtures: Using Wildlife Experiences to Build Empathy and Respect, $25,000.00

The Nature Nurtures: Using Wildlife Experiences to Build Empathy and Respect Program is a new initiative to mitigate the educational gap in students’ interaction with the natural world. Nature Nurtures focuses on two main components, exposure to wildlife and character development, enabling students to foster respectful relationships in nature and in the classroom. By bringing the zoo experience directly into schools, students embark on a journey of discovery through our Animal Ambassadors, individual animals chosen for their calm demeanor and ability to interact with humans to raise awareness of their species. The program offers an engaging curriculum with 1 captivating Animal Ambassador Presentation for all 3rd through 5th graders and 1 Educational Activity Workshop for all 4th graders. Nature Nurtures represents a meaningful step toward developing more environmentally conscious and empathetic young citizens committed to the long-term sustainability of our community. Your support will help students develop the empathy that grounds healthy social skills and gain an understanding of sustainability today to prepare them to participate in conservation efforts for a better tomorrow. We respectfully request funding to cover a portion of the total program budget for the upcoming pilot year of programming which will cover the cost of materials, supplies and travel expenses and allows us to implement this dynamic collaboration with 6 Title 1 Schools in Hillsborough County.

R’Club Child Care, Inc.

The Edible Peace Patch Project, $24,000.00

The Edible Peace Patch Project (EPP) is an 8-week garden program offered at 8 Pinellas County elementary schools, primarily in high-poverty communities in St. Petersburg. EPP’s mission is to foster healthy minds and bodies through garden-based learning and hands-on enrichment opportunities.

Each year, EPP provides weekly garden classes in 2 growing sessions for 640 students in grades 1-5, teaching gardening techniques to grow fresh produce—fruits, vegetables, and greens. EPP lessons are designed to improve environmental resilience by increasing students’ awareness of the environment, conservation, and growing food using sustainable gardening practices that benefit the environment.

Students access hands-on lessons where they learn how to grow fresh foods from seeds, maintain a garden, and harvest their garden’s crops. Students eat their produce, many tasting fresh fruits and vegetables for the first time. During classes, students receive fresh fruits, vegetables, and recipes to take home and share with their families.

At the end of the growing season, there’s a harvest celebration with the students, teachers, volunteers, and staff. Students are encouraged to grow a home garden and receive seeds to start their project. EPP’s classes provide additional student benefits by improving science and nutrition knowledge.

EPP’s funding request of $22,000 will support general program operations to help cover salaries, educational materials, garden supplies, tools, and equipment costs.

Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay, Inc.

Disaster Readiness and Recovery for Greater Tampa Bay Families, $25,000.00

Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay (RTTB) understands how important it is to keep vulnerable populations mentally, emotionally, and physically safe before, during, and after a natural disaster. Hurricanes have the potential to inflict severe damage on communities – especially low-income communities – causing significant losses to life and property. So, in 2023, RTTB established our Hurricane Response Distribution Center on the west coast of Florida in centrally located Tampa Bay, allowing RTTB and our partners to rapidly deploy life-saving supplies and resources to areas impacted by natural disaster. Investing in hurricane preparedness resources and communicating the services we offer are both critical in improving safety; mitigating potential damage and loss of life; ensuring quicker recovery; and minimizing disruptions to businesses, government, and other community support services. Through this project, RTTB will not only assist low-income homeowners and their families in the wake of natural disasters, we will also educate communities on best practices to follow when there is an impending threat of a hurricane. If awarded, this funding will be utilized to help cover essential expenses related to operating our new Hurricane Response Distribution Center, providing short- and long-term recovery support to low-income homeowners in hurricane-impacted areas, including Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas Counties.

Sol Relief

Disaster Prep & CPR Training, $24,000.00

Sol Relief’s Hurricane Preparedness Workshops are designed to engage the Tampa Bay community in disaster planning and preparation, highlighting the importance of working together before and after hurricanes and in building resilience before the next major disaster. Participants will understand mitigation and preparation actions (before), response (during), and relief (after) efforts. While the workshops focus on hurricanes, the information shared is relevant to any disaster (man-made or natural). The primary instructor is a veteran teacher, having taught in multiple arenas for over 25 years, and carefully caters the course to the community where it is being presented.

Our programming will support targeted communities to better prepare for emergencies, offering them both knowledge and tangible resources for disasters and ultimately empowering them to help themselves, their families, and their communities. Our experienced and qualified team will travel to areas in Tampa Bay to host this training to help better prepare marginalized and vulnerable communities, community leaders, school leaders, and other non-profits in preparation, mitigation, and other skills that may help save lives, possibly even their own.

The funds will be used to host multiple 2-day workshops (Day 1-Disaster Prep & Day 2-CPR) designed to be interactive, informative, and motivational to individuals and communities. More details on specific line-item funding allocations are below.

Tampa Bay Watch, Inc.

Summer Camp on the Move, $17,250.00

Summer Camp on the Move will bring a meaningful marine science summer camp to children in our community who would be unable to participate otherwise. Cost and transportation challenges prevent many local families from attending Tampa Bay Watch’s camps at our headquarters in Tierra Verde and on the St. Pete Pier. These are often the same families that need dependable summer childcare the most.

With guidance from partners such as the City of St. Pete Housing Authority and New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, we will offer two free weeks of onsite summer camp for underserved city residents via our Marine Science on the Move traveling education initiative. Tampa Bay Watch is uniquely equipped to deliver engaging programs via our mobile classroom. We will also coordinate opportunities for campers to travel to the St. Pete Pier for boat trips and other field-based activities. The first week will serve students ages 6-8 and the second will serve students ages 9-12.

Through this project, we will overcome common barriers to participation in marine science learning and environmental stewardship. We will help meet the need for safe, affordable childcare options in our community. Campers will discover the wonder of our local ecosystem and how to care for it. Additionally, they will develop a strong STEM foundation.

Grant funds will be used to cover personnel and transportation costs, purchase equipment and supplies, and provide healthy, balanced snacks and meals for participants.

The Florida Aquarium

Expanding Sea Turtle Rehabilitation in Southern Hillsborough County, $20,000.00

This project will install a new sea turtle holding pool at The Florida Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center in Apollo Beach. The project will serve endangered sea turtles that have been rescued from the wild as they are rehabilitated and eventually released. The facility is free to visit and open to the public seasonally (November-April) and provides an opportunity for visitors to learn about sea turtles and other wildlife conservation in the Tampa Bay area.

360 Eats, Inc.

Reducing Food Waste and Serving Meals to Food Insecure Individuals in North Pinellas County, $25,000.00

The proposed project provides free, nutritious, and gourmet meals to individuals and families through the Sustain-A-Bowl Food Truck. This unique dining experience ensures that recipients are treated with dignity while receiving high-quality meals at no cost. Funding will enable us to maintain service at five partner sites in Mid- and North-Pinellas County, selected due to their low density of food assistance services. Challenges like high gas prices, limited transportation, and various barriers, including physical/mental limitations, time/financial constraints, or lack of culinary skills/facilities, make access difficult for many. The mobility and on-board kitchen of the Sustain-A-Bowl Food Truck help 360 Eats reach those most in need, including homebound seniors, the homeless, people with disabilities, those on fixed incomes, and at-risk youth. Additionally, the project helps us reach our sustainability goals, with 100% of the meal ingredients sourced from local food establishments that donate excess fresh food, which would otherwise go to waste.

To sustain and expand our service in these locations, we request $45,000 to cover essential operational expenses – specifically, staffing costs. This funding will support a portion of the Executive Chef’s position and help establish a new Kitchen Intern position, enhancing our capacity to prepare and serve more meals. Our staff is vital to 360 Eats’ mission, enabling us to continue to rescue food and deliver meals to those in need.

A Kid’s Place of Tampa Bay, Inc.  

Mental Health Therapy for Youth in Foster Care, $20,000.00

Research indicates that in the United States anywhere from 40 to 85 percent of children in foster care are suffering with some type of mental disorder. These high numbers are typically due to a traumatic event that brought them into foster care, such as parental abuse or neglect, homelessness, or exposure to domestic violence or substance abuse.

The Mental Health Pilot Program at A Kid’s Place will provide full time, onsite mental health therapy that will allow more consistent, accessible and effective mental health services for our youth. Therapists will work 40 hours/week, and will conduct initial assessments of each child, develop appropriate treatment plans and schedule sessions based on need. Therapists will have regular communication with House Parents, Youth Counselors and System Navigators to ensure recommendations are followed through, and will conduct ongoing assessments to measure progress using industry standard measurement tools, including CFARS (Children’s Functional Assessment Rating Scale) and SNAP (Strengths, Needs, Abilities, Preferences).

Funding will go towards salary of an experienced, qualified mental health therapist with a Master’s degree from an accredited university or college. Additional funding for the program will come from a combination of grants, donations and fundraising activities, and upon successful completion we will restructure to make the positions a permanent part of our program and funding will be included in our annual budget.

Academy Prep Center of St. Petersburg, Inc.      

Ready-To-Swim, $17,806.29

The Ready-To-Swim program at Academy Prep Center of St. Petersburg (APSP) was developed after the need for formalized swim lessons for our students was brought to the attention of APSP’s Head of School, Gina Burkett, by the families we serve. This year, APSP has implemented the Ready-To-Swim program in order to fill this life saving need.

Every week during APSP’s afternoon enrichment class period, our Athletic Director drives 14 APSP students in an APSP van to the City of St. Pete’s McLin Pool where 6 students participate in the Red Cross’s 2 week Learn-to-Swim program while the additional 8 students train for the APSP swim team. The Learn-to-Swim program focuses on building swim skills, allowing students of all abilities to work on skills ranging from introduction to water skills and safety to stroke refinement. Every 2 weeks 6 new students attend swimming lessons. The students taking lessons will act as a pipeline for APSP’s swim team, providing our students an extracurricular activity that they may otherwise not have access to. Through the Ready-To-Swim program the 131 low-income middle school students served by APSP will have the same, potentially lifesaving, access to lessons and enriching activities as their more affluent peers.

If awarded, funds will be used for the cost of 100 students to learn lifesaving swimming skills and 8 students to participate in APSPs swim team. Funds will be used for swimming lessons, equipment, staff supervision and training and transportation.

Bay Area Legal Services, Inc.         

FosterPower: Bay Area Legal Services Helps Youth in Foster Care to “Know Your Legal Rights” – The Future of Our Florida Model, $25,000.00

CFTB has helped Bay Area Legal Services (BALS) to develop FosterPower (FP) as a mobile app and website providing Florida youth in foster care with easy-to-access comprehensive information on their legal rights, benefits, and protections. Teens in care and those “aging out” of care at 18 rarely know they have important legal rights. FosterPower is a movement designed in close partnership with foster youth eager to help not only themselves but those who remain in care or will follow; FP resources are intentionally designed with in-depth youth input and feedback at the forefront, through focus groups across Florida.

FosterPower empowers youth in foster care to exercise their individual agency, access vital resources, and become their own advocates, while project-related trainings also raise crucial awareness and understanding of foster youth rights among the child welfare and legal communities.Our vision is adaptation and national-model adoption in other states.

CFTB’s 2024 grant will extend staff’s core delivery of services through FP’s digital project management, building new content and expanding use of FP resources across Tampa Bay and Florida. BALS will fund project-related outreach and trainings to promote full adoption of FP’s model locally and statewide. To complement these goals, we aspire to find funding for a 3-year strategic plan for implementation nationwide ensuring that FP’s website, app, and trainings are mindfully designed with foster youth in other states.

CASA – Community Action Stops Abuse  

CASA Family Justice Center, $20,000.00

The Family Justice Center co-locates community professionals to provide services needed by victims of domestic violence, such as law enforcement, attorneys, specially trained advocates, child welfare workers, mental health professionals, and more. This creates a “one-stop” service for survivors and includes a variety of resources since not all survivors have the same needs. CASA opened the only FJC in the state one year ago. This model is recognized as a best practice by the U.S. Department of Justice, and is proven to result in less under-reporting of domestic violence, more comprehensive batterer accountability in the court system, more immediate and effective wrap-around services provided to victims of domestic violence, elder abuse, sexual assault, child abuse, and human trafficking.

Prior to opening the center, CASA researched what impact would be most likely based on another FJC in another location that had similar population and rate of reported domestic violence incidents. Staffing, operating needs, and organizational commitment was estimated based on this research. However, since opening the FJC, there has been a 93% increase in the number of adults served as compared to the previous year as well as dozens of youth who have been present in the FJC youth center.

If awarded, these funds will help support the day-to-day operations of the center, helping to meet the unexpected needs due to the larger number of persons served.

Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg, Inc.

Free Medical Clinics, $25,000.00

Our Free Medical Clinics provide medical and mental well-being services to underserved patients, mostly located in rural areas, who do not have access to and cannot afford quality health care. The majority of our patient population are agricultural workers, but we are not limited to this population. We serve patients without insurance and at 200% of Federal Poverty guidelines for income. Our commitment to take aggressive action to advance equity for all, especially those in underserved communities, relies solely on the funding we receive from donors and other contributors who are compassionate and mission-driven.

We provide free services out of three locations – two in Hillsborough and one in Pasco County. Our service area is known to have a high population of migrant families and households living in poverty that have very little access to healthcare. Services include counseling, well-woman exams, testing for hypertension and diabetes, routine eye exams, vaccinations, STD testing, ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, and OTC medication including glucose testing strips.

Funds will be used to cover a portion of two salaries and to purchase medical equipment and supplies for our three clinics. Participants of the program will receive free preventive, and diagnostic care, OTC medications, and medical equipment when needed, along with access to free mental health counseling provided by bilingual mental health counselors.

Citrus County Children’s Advocacy Center, Inc. d/b/a Jessie’s Place   

Specialized Therapy Services for Child Victims of Trauma, $25,000.00

Jessie’s Place, Citrus County’s Child Advocacy Center (CAC), provides evidence-based and trauma-focused mental health therapy to child victims of abuse and violent crime and their families. Therapy services are provided by licensed clinicians who have obtained specialized training and professional certification in trauma treatment and recovery. All services are provided free of charge; there is never any cost to families. Our agency does not bill insurance or Medicaid, allowing our clinicians the flexibility to customize treatment plans to meet the needs of the individual child and family. Our agency employs five licensed clinicians (2.5 FTE). The total budget for our therapy program this fiscal year is about $200,000. We are requesting $25,000 to fund a portion of our therapy program. The average cost for therapy is $70/hour allowing us to provide an estimated 350 hours of therapy to children during the fiscal year.

Evidence-based treatment modalities have been extensively researched and gathered strong empirical support as to their effectiveness at reducing specific symptoms. Trauma-focused therapy emphasizes understanding the impact trauma has on a child’s emotional, mental, behavioral, and physical well-being; this therapy helps children develop positive coping skills, process memories and emotions, and create a more adaptive meaning of his or her individual experience.

Source: nationalchildrensalliance.org/why-does-the-evidence-in-evidence-based-practice-matter

Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, Inc.  

Trauma Counseling Services, $15,000.00

Since 1972, the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay has served as the community’s gateway to help, hope and healing for people facing serious life challenges within our community. We are a 24 hours a day, 365 days a year operation helping individuals and families in Tampa Bay cope with the devastating trauma of sexual assault, physical abuse, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, and emotional and situational problems.

One of the programs we operate to support community members in these areas is through our Corbett Trauma Center counseling services. About 80% of the Crisis Center’s counseling clients are victims of a crime, whether they came to us as clients through our Sexual Assault Services department and received their rape exam from our staff, or came to us separately as a victim of abuse, human trafficking, domestic violence, or some other crime. No matter the trauma, our staff simply want to support every individual who seeks counseling services to help provide them tools to properly process and heal from their trauma.

Funding would be utilized to support clients who are in need of therapy but are unable to cover the costs associated with ongoing counseling services on their own. The funding would be open to individuals of all ages, genders, and backgrounds, however, we do find that the majority of clients who are in need of financial support for these services are families and women.

Dawning Family Services, Inc.       

Housing For Success (HFS), $20,000.00

Housing for Success provides short-term emergency shelter for families sleeping in places not meant for housing. Our shelter is the first touch point for families in deep crisis with the goal of transitioning them quickly into permanent housing. Once housed, DFS continues to provide rental assistance, employment assistance, case management services, and connections to resources needed to maintain housing. Using trauma-informed strategies, every family, in partnership with their case manager, works toward outcomes that will increase income, address family concerns, eliminate barriers to maintaining housing, and prevent a future return to homelessness.

Housing for Success serves families with at least one minor child in the household experiencing homelessness. Our program provides unique and innovative support to families in our community who cannot access services elsewhere due to their challenges. We understand that each family is unique, and we serve the family unit as they define themself. This prevents them from experiencing the all-too-common trauma of being separated and allows natural support systems to remain in place while providing stability for the entire family. We utilize the evidence-based practice, “Housing First,” which recognizes a person experiencing homelessness must first be able to access a permanent place to live before they can attend to other concerns.

Funding from CFTB will be used to help support our emergency shelter.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services of Florida     

Mental Health Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, $12,500.00

Therapy: Our program includes traditional counseling services (provided by a Deaf counselor with Masters in Social Work (MSW), case management, Suicide Prevention Education for DHH youth, and a support group for youth struggling with suicidal thoughts. Each individual is assessed and a treatment plan created to meet that person’s needs. Treatment plans includes criteria for discharge and monthly follow along services.

Case Management: The Case manager works one on one with DHH clients to provide customized instruction and guidance based on the client’s needs and goals. Common needs include help completing forms, applying for jobs, reading emails, and applying for public assistance. Our clients are empowered by learning these skills.

Suicide Prevention: Suicide Prevention Education will be provided to DHH youth. We collaborate with The Family Center on Deafness, Deaf Literacy Center, and Disability Achievement Center to assist youth with hearing loss in the Tampa Bay Area. We are also collaborating with Ian’s Way, a non-profit organization that provides group therapy virtually for youth 12-19 struggling with suicidal ideation.

 We serve people with hearing loss who need mental health services. Counties served are Pasco, Hernando, Hillsborough, and Pinellas.

Funds will be used for part of the salary for the Deaf Social Worker and Group Facilitator, mileage associated with the mental health program, and materials for Suicide Prevention Education.

Family Support Services of North Florida, Inc.   

Kinship Care, $25,000.00

Family Support Services believes in adequately preparing, educating, supporting, and nurturing children and families to link them to community support systems and keep their involvement with the formal child welfare system as short as possible. We provide “seamless care” for children entering substitute care as they journey from shelter, foster, or relative care to permanent care. Kinship caregivers bring considerable strengths to the child welfare process and provide overwhelming benefit to the children. Kinship care can reduce the trauma that children may have endured and the trauma that accompanies parental separation, providing them with a sense of stability and belonging in an otherwise unsettling time. Kinship care has the following additional benefits: Ongoing connections with a child’s birth family, extended family, siblings, and community—bonds that are essential to well-being; Preservation of cultural identity; higher likelihood siblings will remain together, and; Greater placement stability than for children in other out-of-home care arrangements. FSS’ Kinship Care program addresses the everyday needs of caregivers and children, providing family support, flexible funds, subsidized childcare, and expanding the network of services available. Funding will be used to strengthen the kinship caregivers’ capacity to provide a safe and nurturing home for the child and address caregivers’ needs for financial support, housing, health, food assistance, and mental stress.

Good Samaritan Health Clinic of Pasco    

Access to Healthcare – Free Prescriptions, $21,500.00

This request is for providing continued support for our Limited Licensed Pharmacy at Good Samaritan. In 2022, we filled 5,229 prescriptions at a retail value of almost $3 million. It would allow us to continue to fill prescriptions at no cost to our patients. Our patients are unable to get their prescriptions filled at local pharmacies due to the high retail cost of medications. These medications are necessary for the treatment of multiple chronic diseases. When we see our patients, they often have medical conditions that are exacerbated as a result of delayed care and treatment. Among the first things they limit is their medications. If they can afford to, some will go to a primary care clinic to get a diagnosis, but will often not get prescriptions filled. All services at Good Sam are free – medical exams, diagnostic labs, prescriptions and dental services (simple extractions and cavities only). Patients are asked to make a voluntary $5 donation for an exam if they are able to. If a donation is given (which is about 20% of the time) it is never recorded in the patients medical record. Our pharmacy is licensed as a Limited Licensed Pharmacy (6 hours a week) and can only dispense medication when there is a licensed pharmacist in the pharmacy. We do not prescribe any controlled substances (our practitioners will not write even an “outside” prescription for controlled drugs).

Hope Villages of America, Inc.       

Esperanza A Tu Mesa (Hope To Your Table), $46,256.00

Hope Villages of America (HVA) is committed to serving the Hispanic population which comprises nearly 11% of the county’s population. Hispanics often do not seek help from Food Banks and other food programs – this is attributed to lack of culturally responsive and linguistically appropriate information, the digital divide, and lack of transportation.

 Esperanza A Tu Mesa (or Hope to your Table) will provide food to Hispanics experiencing food insecurity (population served) and other critical resources through trusted partners such as churches, other nonprofits, and Latin-owned businesses. The program will have two prongs of services (description of project):

  • Food distribution through partner churches, nonprofits, and business to the food insecure in the Hispanic community.
  • Linkage to vital community resources such as SNAP benefits, housing, medical care, behavioral health, and substance abuse through bilingual staff and volunteers.

The project will provide 11,000 meals to the Hispanic community through a minimum of 6 partner providers. In addition, the program will provide a minimum of 100 hours case management assistance providing linkages to critical services such as food programs (SNAP), housing, medical care, behavioral health, childcare, and career support. Materials in English and Spanish will be made available to all clients. In addition, bilingual staff will be on site during food distribution (how funds will be used).

Humane Society of Tampa Bay, Inc.         

Animeals Deliveries for Seniors and Homebound Citizens, $10,000.00

The Animeals program provides free pet food and supplies to homebound and elderly citizens throughout Hillsborough County. A team of 33 volunteer drivers deliver pet food to about 175 homes on a regular basis, providing over 7,000 pounds of food for over 720 animals each month. The goal of the Animeals program is to keep pets in homes with their owners, many of whom do not have much local family and depend on their animal friends for companionship, comfort, and emotional support. The volunteer Animeals drivers may also get to know the recipients and can check in with them and their pets to be sure that everyone is doing well. In addition, Animeals recipients receive free vaccines and annual exams at the HSTB Animal Hospital, so the program truly focuses on providing everything needed to keep pets at home with their owners. The seniors are very happy to be able to keep their furry best friends, so the Animeals program benefits not only the pets who remain in loving homes, but also promotes positive mental and physical health for the pet owners.

Grant funds will be used to purchase pet food and supplies for Animeals recipients to allow us to support and expand this program for homebound and elderly citizens in Hillsborough County.

Life-Skills, Empowerment, And Development Services (LEADS)         

The Effective Black Parenting Program (EBPP), $20,437.00

Effective Black Parenting Program (EBPP) is a group-based parent skills training program designed to serve African American families. EBPP promotes family pride and cohesion and helps families cope with the negative effects of racism. EBPP is the first parenting skill building program to respect and honor the unique history and traditions of people of African descent and to teach parents important positive parenting skills in a manner that is both culturally sensitive and culturally affirming. LEADS has been using EBPP in conjunction with it’s Healthy Teen Relationship program for two years. The success of the program has led to word-of-mouth reports that have created a demand for us to expand it. However, we currently lack the funds to do so. Instructors are trained to use culturally sensitive approaches and teach culturally specific parenting strategies for African American parents. Strategies include positive communication about heritage, coping with racism, and establishing daily chit-chat times for parents and children to communicate. The curriculum uses African proverbs to illustrate the cultural roots of program content. In the first session, instructors help parents set goals for their children and identify what their children need to successfully reach those goals. It also teaches child development. If funded, LEADS will implement EBPP to at least 150 parents of African American children and youth living in economically depressed areas of Pinellas County.

Lions Eye Institute for Transplant and Research

Across the Bay Vision Screening, $30,000.00

Vision is a strong predictor of academic performance in children. Yet, 1 in 4 children have an undiagnosed vision problem. Vision disorders in children affect cognitive, social, and physical development; future health; and well-being. An eye health problem can be the reason a child does not perform well at school. Conditions such as amblyopia (lazy eye) or strabismus (crossed eye) can go undetected and, if not addressed by the time a child is eight years old when eyesight is fully developed, can lead to lifelong problems and result in an irreversible loss of sight. The Lions World Vision Institute (LWVI) is dedicated to the ocular health of our nation’s children and has launched several vision health programs to include 1.) The Mobile Vision Clinic, 2.) Association for Pediatric Vision and our 3.) Vision Screening Program. LWVI’s Across the Bay Vision Screenings utilizes all these resources and programs focused at providing targeted health literacy as it relates to eye care, and vision screenings, especially to residents in the Tampa Bay Area who are economically challenged and would not have the resources for family screenings.

Red Tent Women’s Initiative, Inc. 

Red Tent Women’s Initiative Program Expansion Support, $25,250.00

Red Tent Women’s Initiative Program Expansion Support (RTWI-PES) will strengthen the current in-jail and Project Redirect in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco County by adding a full-time Program Manager to ensure high quality service delivery. RTWI has grown from a single county focus to services in three counties through partnerships with the sheriff’s office and court system. The Program Manager will increase partnerships, consistent data collection, reporting, and fidelity to the HeartMath® model. RTWI provides in-jail programs for women in each county. The women participate in science-based trauma informed classes to build strategies to understand their past life choices and develop a plan for the future. They are equipped with a “toolbox” of knowledge, resources, and techniques that support an improved healthy life. Once released, participants maintain connection with RTWI to continue their reintegration with additional opportunities for behavioral health counseling, employment assistance, and family connection. Project Redirect is a diversion program offered to women (generally first-time nonviolent offenders) by judges, Public Defender’s Office, or other source as an alternative to incarceration. Project Redirect uses best practice trauma-informed sessions to assist women in recognizing their own decision-making choices and helps participants build practices for a successful future. Participants are connected to local resources including housing and employment.

Selah Freedom         

Critical Services and Supplies for Survivors of Sex Trafficking, $20,000.00

At Selah Freedom, our mission is to end sex trafficking and bring freedom to the exploited. Survivors, who have experienced the horrors of human trafficking, are in urgent need of essential resources such as food, shelter, clothing, and medical and dental healthcare, and most require therapy and treatment for trauma, substance abuse, mental health disorders, and physical, sexual and emotional abuse. We provide wrap-around services and support to survivors of sex trafficking to help them recover, restore and live healthy, safe and fulfilling lives.

Selah Freedom is requesting $20,000 in funding from Community Foundation Tampa Bay to help us serve the essential needs of survivors in our Residential Program’s Assessment House and victims who we actively work with in the criminal justice system and on the streets through our Outreach Program. The funds will be used to cover the costs of survivors’ critical needs, including food, shelter, safety, and physical and mental health services. A portion will also be allocated to cover the reduction in funding from Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), which has implemented statewide cuts this year, at the Selah Freedom Residential Assessment House.

This generous support will further our mission to bring freedom to the exploited by ensuring that survivors, who have had everything stolen from them, get the critical support and resources they need to heal, restore, and dream again.

Sertoma Speech & Hearing Foundation of Florida, Inc. 

Child, Adult, and Senior Hearing Health and Literacy Program, $15,000.00

Project description: Once our fleet of five mobile hearing clinics arrives at their destinations, our highly trained staff and volunteers set up hearing testing events at daycares, churches, community centers, libraries, parks, and more sites. Our goal is to meet the individuals who are in need of our services in an area they know and are comfortable with.

 Population served: Once the event takes place, our staff and volunteers perform hearing tests on newborns, infants, children, adults, and seniors. If an individual does not pass the initial test, they are scheduled for another visit with our licensed audiologist, who performs a free diagnostic evaluation on the individual. If they still do not pass the examination, we are able to offer name brand prescription hearing aids at little cost to the patient on a sliding scale based on income, sometimes for as little as $5. If the patient is unable to pay anything due to a lack of income, Sertoma is able to provide the hearing aids free of charge.

 Use of funds: Additionally, in 2020 Sertoma launched our literacy program. Through this program, community centers such as daycares and early learning sites receive free books and access to read-along videos so that staff members can read the books along with the children. Both centers and children also receive activity booklets related to the book. When the children complete the activity booklet, they are registered for games and prizes.

St. Petersburg Free Clinic, Inc.      

SPFC Transitional Housing Programs – Increasing Mental Well-Being, $20,250.00

SPFC Transitional Housing Programs provide safe housing where those who are experiencing homelessness and recovering from substance use disorders gain stability in their recovery while obtaining and maintaining employment, saving money, and building relationships. SPFC requests $20,000 to continue supporting personnel costs associated with mental health services for both Baldwin Women’s Residence (BWR) and SPFC Men’s Residence. At SPFC, we recognize the need to address mental health challenges that contribute to substance use and homelessness. Therefore, we implemented in-house mental health services to augment case management. These services increase resilience and work to address the high rate of co-occurring disorders in a trauma-informed manner. Residents have access to 12 free sessions with a licensed clinician, including weekly group counseling and one-on-one sessions based on client need. Therapy sessions help clients build emotional regulation and stress management skills which are beneficial for shared living, job skills, and addressing the root cause of addiction. Funds will be utilized to continue the support of salaries for licensed clinicians. For clients like Steven, who shared “What I’ve learned while staying at SPFC is that, no matter how bad things seem there is always light at the end of the tunnel.”

Tampa Bay Thrives, Inc.    

Youth Mental Wellness Pilot Programs and Planning, $50,000.00

Tampa Bay Thrives (TBT) will lead and convene systems-based solutions to improve youth mental health and wellness in the Tampa Bay Region through strategic planning, convening, and pilot projects at Sligh Middle and Brandon High Schools. The proposed funding will support a minimum of two pilot wellness support rooms ($25,000) facilitating the long-term collaboration, convening, and ongoing mental health training between TBT and mental wellness community-based organizations as well as youth out-of-school time providers ($25,000).

This collaborative effort includes youth provider training, family engagement events at partner schools, and duplicating key features of the “Strike the Stigma” Youth Symposium to include an additional event. The expanded access would result in programs occurring in both Fall and Spring, accommodating an additional 250 student leaders and bringing on Alliance for Public Schools as a partner in the spring session. TBT’s in-depth research, including focus groups with middle and high school students in Hillsborough County, has illuminated the student voice of a pressing need for safe spaces within schools as well as ongoing training of adults equipped to discuss mental health.

Funding this request offers students support, space, and access to existing school-based resources that support their mental wellness. The requested funds will directly benefit youth by empowering students to navigate the challenges of adolescence with resilience and support.

The Pineapple Project of Largo     

Providing Home Essentials to those Overcoming Housing Instability in Pinellas County, $10,000.00

Description: The Pineapple Project of Largo (TPP) provides home essentials for families emerging from homelessness, domestic violence, or other events creating severe housing instability. All too often, families fight their way through these tragic circumstances only to find themselves with a new problem: they have no resources with which to make their new house a “home.” Armed with a warehouse full of donated (and less often purchased) furniture, art, decor, kitchen supplies, and other essentials, our volunteer design team creates individualized homes for families based on their specific needs and preferences. The sense of dignity that families gain from having homes they are proud of promotes improved mental health and well-being, which research has shown supports longer-term housing stability.

 Population Served: We serve Pinellas County residents who need home essentials to complete their transition from housing insecurity to restorative homes. Historically, our clients have been overwhelmingly single parents and children, and we expect this to continue.

 Use of Funds: Your grant will help us to meet our 2024 goal of serving 50% more families (about 48 more people, based on an average of 4 persons per family) than we did in 2023. CFTB funds will be used to supplement our donated inventory of home essentials and to cover moving costs. In addition, it will cover first-year costs for new donor management software needed to sustain our mission into the future.

The Skills Center, Inc.         

The Skills Center Sports-Based Wellness, $32,371.00

The Skills Center Sports-Based Wellness will provide 50 youth (25 middle school and 25 high school youth) from low-income families with sports-based youth development intentionally designed to promote physical and mental wellness. Sports-based youth development provides youth opportunities to participate in a variety of sports and physical activities guided by trained Youth Development Specialists. The program will be delivered during the non-school summer period for five consecutive weeks, Monday – Thursday, for four hours daily at The Skills Center’s new facility in east Tampa. Using sport-based youth development, Sports-Based Wellness supports middle and high school students to address mental health challenges and build resilience. Daily activities focus on personal accountability, helping the participants to define their purpose and to develop positive self-image and a healthy mindset; and to build confidence. Using the innovative, research based Wayfinder developed by Stanford University, Sports-Based Wellness will help participants manage the trials and joys of adolescence as well as handle stress and emotions. Wayfinder is specifically designed for middle and high school youth and helps them to understand and develop a sense of purpose, engagement in their activities (including school), and positive social behaviors such as listening to others and respecting others’ views.  Funds will be used to pay for staff, Wayfinder content and training, and stipends for youth.

United Food Bank of Plant City     

Feeding Our Legacy Senior Food Security in East Hillsborough, $11,874.16

United Food Bank and Services of Plant City (United Food Bank) is expanding its Feeding Our Legacy program for low-income, vulnerable seniors: predominately older African American women in the Historic Bealsville community or elderly men and women at the Plant City Towers HUD-202 senior residence who are food insecure. A total of 59 percent of seniors in Hillsborough County meet the Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) Threshold for financial hardship, and find they are unable to afford, especially on fixed incomes, the rising costs of housing, food, transportation, and health care. United Food Bank and Feeding Our Legacy were recognized for outreach in the African American community with a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award on January 15, 2023, from the Improvement League of Plant City. Program participants who come for individualized needs assessments include African American (72 percent), White (26 percent), and other races (2 percent), with 17 percent Hispanic ethnicity. Participants in the program are 65 or older; many live in multi-generational households or kinship care arrangements and face food insecurity together. United Food Bank is requesting $40,000 for Feeding Our Legacy, funded previously by the Community Foundation Tampa Bay and Mosaic, to be used for materials and supplies (emergency food supplies not donated, transportation, and toiletry items) to expand the program from 200 to 300 vulnerable seniors served in a 12-month period.

Bess the Book Bus, Inc.

Joy of Reading Pop Up Book Fair for Robles Elementary School, $7,000.00

We are requesting $7,000 to bring Joy of Reading Pop-Up Book Fairs to Robles Elementary pre-K through 2nd grade students, 4 times in between August 2024 and April 2025. Robles will be one of 11 HCPS Transformation Network schools to receive visits. Our decorated book bus will set up at the school in a safe and accessible area. Rolling book carts and colorful signage will create a beautiful book shopping environment and each class will visit at a scheduled time. Our book fairs: (1) Promote literacy and change behaviors around reading in an effort to continually improve school readiness and a student’s identity as a reader and a scholar. (2) Provide access to and choice of high-quality, relevant, age-appropriate books that take into account student’s interests in an effort to expand their knowledge. (3) Create a fun and interactive environment that facilitates discussion about books in a joyous and celebratory way. (4) Make book ownership special and something to be proud of. (5) Help students identify as readers. (6) Give teachers the opportunity to choose the books that they need to build classroom libraries that they feel would be most beneficial to their students. During each visit, students will “shop” for 2 books (teachers will shop for 4) to keep, resulting in home and classroom libraries of 8-16 books. The funds will be used to provide staff, volunteers, planning, transportation costs, set up, tear down, books, and bookmarks needed for each of the 4 book fair visits.

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast

Workforce Prosperity Pathways, $50,000.00

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast’s (BGCS) Prosperity Pathways program is an innovative, comprehensive, and transformational program that was designed to address inequities among student populations, particularly those considered at-risk. This thoughtful, cutting-edge intervention has been years in the making so that it can most effectively fill a critical gap in services in our community. This program targets an unmet need with high-risk middle and high school students. BGCS and Pinellas County Schools (PCS) have a strong history of effectively collaborating to drive Student Success. The program is intended to drive clear, quantifiable outcomes that will reduce unexcused absences, disciplinary actions, and school suspensions while simultaneously providing initiatives that will build a comprehensive prosperity pipeline for youth most in need of support for academic success and college, career, and life readiness, a central component of BGCS’ most recent strategic plan. In close partnership with PCS, BGCS utilizes a positive behavior intervention and supports (PBIS) system, an evidence-based framework for behavioral interventions along with Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) to systematically assess data efficiently, in order to motivate students to achieve their greatest potential. Implementing both models in the operation of a college and career pathway, targeted students will gain knowledge and skills that will prepare them for future success after graduation.

Brain Expansions Scholastic Training, Inc.

B.E.S.T. Medical Pathway Program –  K-12 Medical Innovation Project, $30,000.00

Since 2004, B.E.S.T. (Brain Expansion Scholastic Training) has holistically prepared over 5000 underserved, low-income youth, elementary to high school students for careers in the medical profession. B.E.S.T. Medical Pathway Paradigm (MPP), has interconnecting programs that engage students from elementary to the graduate level. Research has validated that when younger children are exposed to experiences, they will more likely develop an interest in and become passionate about what they have experienced. B.E.S.T. strives to ignite young people’s passion for medicine, health care, and STEM. Our MPP Levels 1, 2, & 3 curriculum has been developed to ignite and enhance awareness of medical careers at three Hillsborough County School District magnet schools, all Title I designated (Dunbar Elem/Sligh Middle/Tampa Bay Technical) primarily made up of students of color.

Population Served: 300 students Student Demographics: Gender: Female 70% – Male 30%; African American 50%; Latino/Hispanic 30%; Caucasian 10%, Asian 5%; Middle Eastern 5% The funding would enable B.E.S.T. to launch a new pilot program at the Medical Academy at D.W. Waters. This new initiative would allow us to duplicate our MPP at this new school with the hope of simultaneously executing our sustainability plan for the longevity of these services at the school.

Community Stepping Stones, Inc.

Community Arts Initiative (CAI), $15,000.00

A grant from the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay will greatly contribute to the success of Community Stepping Stones’ major program, the Community Arts Initiative. CAI provides ongoing activities that assist underserved pre-school – 8th grade children in their overall growth and development. Program participants are children from low-income families that reside in Sulphur Springs and its surrounding neighborhoods.

Arts integrated educational programming inspires boys and girls to create artwork reflecting the community’s culture and relevant issues. Our program encourages youth to use creative thinking to develop and express a theme through a variety of artistic forms and media. The curriculum incorporates STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Math) with traditional drawing, painting, sculpting and music appreciation. Creating and sharing art contributes to children’s emotional well-being and enhances their social skills.

Program activities include on-site after-school activities Monday through Friday during the normal school calendar and all-day programming Monday through Friday during school vacations and the long summer break. Off-site activities include delivery of a pre-K curriculum designed to inspire, educate and prepare children for school success. In addition, CAI partners with local community sites to provide out-of-school activities for children experiencing developmental issues or other instability factors.

Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County

iSpy Tampa Bay Program Expansion, $16,695.00

The Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County (ELCHC) is dedicated to improving the lives of our youngest citizens in Hillsborough County by providing quality early learning experiences that will prepare them for kindergarten. The iSpy Tampa Bay program is centered around STEM, expanding nature, science, and social-emotional curiosity in preschool classrooms and providing teachers, children, and their families with unique nature-based opportunities at various Tampa cultural venues. Our program offers early childhood educators, children, and families (from targeted high-need zip codes) access to on-site and virtual field trips to Zoo Tampa, The Florida Aquarium, Glazer Children’s Museum, and our newest partner the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)! The program aims to provide an immersive learning experience for children in and outside the classroom, allowing them to learn about different animals and their habitats, explore marine life and ocean conservation, and engage in interactive play that fosters social-emotional learning. Our program is designed to give children a hands-on learning experience, providing them with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in kindergarten. The program is pursuing funding support to expand its reach by incorporating six more iSpy classrooms, extending its positive impact to an estimated 66 additional children within the iSpy Tampa Bay program.

Eckerd College

Summer Science Splash at Eckerd College, $22,000.00

Aligned with the Community Foundation Tampa Bay’s focus on the quality education of youth, Eckerd College has run a science camp for middle school students since 2012. Every summer, up to 140 rising 7th through 9th graders participate in Summer Science Splash, a weeklong residential summer camp during which students spend their days in Eckerd’s $25M state-of-the-art James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences. They perform a variety of science experiments with the same hi-tech equipment used by Eckerd students and faculty, under the direction of Anne Cox, Professor of Physics. The camp offers an opportunity to increase interest in STEM careers at a critical stage in students’ academic journeys. Summer Science Splash seeks to foster interest and enthusiasm in science through hands-on activities. Since 2012, the camp has engaged nearly 1200 students in lab activities based on best practices of science education. The campers learn new science concepts and have a more positive attitude about science as a result of the experience. While activities are designed to be fun, instructors focus on the scientific concepts needed to understand the materials. This experience of academic excellence provides campers with extraordinary opportunities to explore science in new and exciting ways. A grant of $20,000 will provide scholarship support for the camp, ensuring that more children from low-income families in our region can participate in this transformative experience.

Florida West Coast Public Broadcasting, Inc. dba WEDU

Learn & Grow Together: Toolkits and Workshops for Early Learning Educators, $20,000.00

WEDU PBS education team will partner with the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County (ELCHC) to adapt an existing PBS resource, called Learn & Grow Together. This curriculum is based on Family and Community Learning (FCL), an established PBS model for multi-generational hands-on family engagement designed to build key life skills for young children with their families. The Learn & Grow Together FCL series was designed for families with kids ages 3-5 (and younger/older siblings) and uses creative play and exploration to introduce participants to tangible and digital tools that can be used to develop knowledge, practices, and perspectives relating to social-emotional learning.

WEDU and ELCHC will adapt the materials to create a bilingual toolkit (in English and Spanish) for early learning providers, crucial players in the early childhood ecosystem. The toolkit and subsequent training on the ELCHC’s established platform will help ELCHC achieve its goal of increasing the coaching, training, and professional development for providers, especially those in low-income and underserved neighborhoods. WEDU currently trains on both PBS KIDS and Sesame Workshop resources for families and educators of young children in Hillsborough County. The focus on social-emotional learning meets an important child development need in our community. Early learning providers, who have access to both children and their families, can help answer this need.

Friends of Joshua House Foundation, Inc.

Tutoring Children in Foster Care, $20,000.00

Tutoring has always been valuable at Joshua House, and each year it becomes more critical. In the academic year 2023-24, over 50% of foster children entering our therapeutic residential program had not been enrolled in school for more than a year. As part of life enrichment, Joshua House arranges tutoring for 8 hours/week over 45 weeks each year.

Tutoring at Joshua House is primarily delivered by students vetted through the University of South Florida (USF) College of Education via the Tutor-a-Bull program. The primary cost incurred is paying qualified tutors to work with our residents, including those with special needs and complex traumas. Friends of Joshua House Foundation assisted in launching Tutor-a-Bull in 2007, which was a unique public/private partnership between one of our donors, USF College of Education, Joshua House, and Hillsborough County Public Schools. Tutors provide one-on-one, small group, and classroom tutoring. Since the pandemic, our funding source is no longer available due to a company restructuring.

In the last few years, our programs have grown from serving 200 youth each year to serving 600 youth and families each year through on-site residency and outpatient services. To meet this need and provide the best support for our residents, we are working to increase tutoring sessions, purchase additional learning materials, secure supplies for a new Academic Resource Teacher, and purchase additional STEM, software, and other academic supplies.

Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay, Inc.

Promoting Equitable Education Through 3DE by JA, $30,000.00

Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay has continued to address the inequities within our schools through the expansion of the 3DE high school model. Launched this fall in Hillsborough County, Jefferson high school is the first 3DE whole school, with an enrollment of 373 ninth graders. Jefferson is a CEP school, 74% of its student population is recognized as economically disadvantaged with a 91% minority enrollment. The 3DE model is a solution provider addressing structural inequities in education and expanding prosperity, re-engineering high school to be more relevant, experiential, and connected to the complexities of the real world. Through case methodology and joint venture partnerships with the business community, 3DE develops the student’s thought processes by the laddering of competencies throughout high school. Relevant connectivity through project-based application integrates industry and post-secondary exploration, creating a space for students to build the cognitive skills necessary to successfully navigate today’s complex society.3DE students are equipped to think independently, move strategically, and work collaboratively, enabling them to transition and matriculate to meaningful post-secondary opportunities. A $30,000 investment in 3DE would support the launch year of the 3DE model at Jefferson high school contributing to the relevant content, teacher development, partnership development, experiential learning, and systems improvement that the 3DE model brings.

Lighthouse of Pinellas, Inc.

Teen Transition Program for Blind and Visually Impaired Youth, $20,000.00

The Teen Transition Program is designed for students with visual impairments, ages 14-22, to equip them with the skills and knowledge to prepare and empower them for life after high school – whether it is attending college, technical school, employment, or living on their own. Large and small group instruction helps students learn and practice the skills they need to accomplish their post-secondary and life goals, based on meeting the unique needs of teens. This year between 25-30 teens will participate in the program. 

Instruction is provided in all nine areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum of Students with Visual Impairments including skills in self-determination, developing relationships, use of assistive technology, braille, career and vocational education, orientation and mobility, use of low-vision devices, independent living, and more. Students meet once a week after school for 3-4 hours during the school year, and for five weeks every day during the summer months at our Largo training facility. Students also take Saturday field trips into the community to practice the skills learned in the classroom – to community events, concerts, restaurants, parks, shopping centers, and for recreational activities. 

Funds will be used to offset transportation costs (bussing, ride share services) for teens who have limited transportation options to get to the Lighthouse after school for weekly and training and services and for the Saturday field-trips into the community.

PACE Center for Girls – Hillsborough

PaceWorks, $20,000.00

PaceWorks is an enrichment program within the Pace Center for Girls Hillsborough’s framework designed to help girls attain career goals, develop vocational skills, and pursue higher education for a brighter future. PaceWorks is delivered through a daily comprehensive curriculum that is facilitated by a certified teacher and supported by educational and vocational exploration that directly exposes girls to both traditional and non-traditional career and educational opportunities. All girls who successfully complete the PaceWorks course receive an elective credit through Hillsborough County Public Schools.

The population served by the PaceWorks program are girls between the ages of 11-18 who have been identified as “at risk” for delinquency. Girls must meet risk factors in three or more of the following domains to be considered for placement in our Center 1) Victimization 2) School 3) Family Instability/Conflict 4) Physical/Mental Health 5) Behavior Domain.

Per our 2022-2023 data, prior to coming to Pace Hillsborough:

  • 9 in 10 girls were failing school.
  • 8 in 10 girls demonstrated behavior related to juvenile delinquency.

The funds will be used to support the implementation of the PaceWorks program. The program is supported by a Certified Teacher who delivers the daily curriculum, the PaceWorks Coordinator who oversees the experiential components and transition planning and the Program Director who guides and oversees the entire program.

Redlands Christian Migrant Association, Inc.

Quality Early Care and Education Initiatives, $30,250.00

RCMA high quality Early Care and Education program provides a comprehensive early childhood education for children 6 weeks to 5 years of age. Evidence and research-based principles and practices are implemented to promote the development of a child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs in order to build a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing. RCMA understands the meeting of the unique needs of vulnerable children and families, as such, operates year-round. Educational services are available 5 days/week,10.5hrs/day to better accommodate the schedules of working families. Family support services are scheduled as applicable. Staffing is essential to deliver high-quality, holistic, and comprehensive services that extend beyond the child to encompass the entire family. The strategic focus aims to strengthen overall school readiness by cultivating a supportive environment that addresses the diverse family needs.

RCMA uses its established school readiness goals which are grounded in the HighScope curricula strategies consistent with the Office of Head Start (OHS) & the Division of Early Learning (DEL). The school readiness approach recognizes the responsibility of an effective, coordinated, and integrated service delivery system for children and families that results in quality outcomes, continuous professional learning, building staff’s capacity, and active engagement that enhances and leverages resources to support children’s school readiness.

SailFuture, Inc.

SailFuture Academy: Pathways, $25,000.00

The SailFuture Academy is a tuition-free, private high school completely re-invented. SailFuture Academy is focused on college/career preparation and life readiness, serving low-income and disadvantaged families in the Tampa Bay area.

Our students participate in round-the-world sailing expeditions on a 100’ school vessel, a 4-year career pathway program that starts in 9th grade, daily social-emotional learning and engagement, financially literacy courses, entrepreneurship-based curriculum, 1-1 tutoring, 7-week long career exposure internships and a year-long apprenticeship in an industry of their interest.

By their senior year, students self-identify their desired pathway and that year is dedicated to ensuring they have every opportunity to live a self-directed life with the pathway of their choice. Additionally, they complete a business plan thesis and personal life map that helps to ensure that they are both life and career-ready.

Embedded mental health services provide open and normalized access to individual, group, and family counseling. This is critical. Our students come to us with trauma but aren’t willing to engage in traditional therapy. Through reality and adventure therapy, our sessions take place during family cooking challenges, afternoon kayaking trips, and nature walks.

Funds will be utilized to support students via curriculum development for the pathways program, career exposure opportunities, real-world hands-on projects, and staff salaries.

Shirley Proctor Puller Foundation, Inc.

Driving Academic Achievement, $25,000.00

The goal of our proposed project is to close the achievement gap for black, brown and mixed-race K-8 students who are below grade level, from low-income families from south St. Petersburg (zip codes 33705, 33711 and 33712) who have typically experienced generations of educational inequity. Through our proposal, we aim to improve access to high quality academic support and extracurricular activities. 

The SPPF M.A.S.T.R. Kids Program delivers high quality academic support to at-risk children in South St. Petersburg using five methodologies: 1) certified teachers and experienced assistants, 2) small class sizes, 3) evidence-based curriculum, 4) personalized learning plans, and 5) clear outcomes measurements. Our model of care serves as a sanctuary for struggling scholars where they are protected and encouraged to develop the academic and life skills needed to thrive in the face of challenges at school, at home, and/or in community.  

This grant will cover a portion of the personnel costs related to transporting children. Providing transportation – from school to our program during the academic year and to field trips and extracurricular activities during the summer – removes a significant barrier to access and is an integral part of our model. Transporting students from school also eases at least one burden families face every day as they work multiple jobs or are in positions where they don’t have a great deal of flexibility with their schedule.

Sing Out and READ, Inc.

Family Literacy Project (FLiP), $20,000.00

SOAR’s Family Literacy Project (FliP) is an, in-home, tablet-based, reading intervention program that helps at-risk children ages 6-12 achieve reading proficiency through the power of singing. Our model has been validated by six years of rigorous research by leaders in the literacy field at both the Univ. of South Florida and Kent State University. Students and parents commit to using FLiP for 90 minutes per week, or 1-2 songs per day. Key aspects of the program include:

 – Song folder: Kids pick a song from the song folder with lessons for each reading grade level K-8. Reading levels are adjusted according to a child’s reading progress.

 – Listen: Following along as syllables turn red, kids listen to the song sung to them 3 times.

 – Vocabulary: Kids see and hear a definition to clearly grasp meaning of vocabulary words.

 – Sing: Kids sing the lyrics 5 times through, reading the words aloud each time.

 – Quiz: Passing a vocabulary quiz earns points that allow a child to progress to the next song level.Regular check-ins with FLiP Coaches ensure that progress is being made, and kids enjoy the unique “gamification” aspects of the intervention, while practicing essential reading skills. SOAR projects helping approximately 900 Pinellas and Hillsborough County youth to make significant and sustainable gains in reading this year. Your funding will help us empower these youth to develop reading comprehension skills today that will help them reach their full academic and economic potential.

United Way of Hernando County, Inc.

Hernando County’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL), $15,000.00

Hernando County’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program is designed to encourage early literacy and prepare children for academic success by providing new, different, age appropriate books to any local pre-school child enrolled, monthly, from birth to age five. To promote an excitement for learning and build children’s personal libraries, these high-quality books are mailed directly to participants homes in Hernando, free of charge regardless of their family’s economic position. The DPIL Program provides books to 1,050 local children every month for a total of 12,600 distributed a year.

Where Love Grows, Inc.

Where Love Grows Mobile Cooking Program, $15,788.00

Inspired by the proverb, “Feed a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime”, teaching children to cook was the obvious next step. June 2014, this vision came to life as we partnered with the Epicurean Hotel launching our 1st EPIC Summer Cooking Series. March 2016,we took a leap of faith launching a mobile version of our innovative program. To date, we’ve hosted 6599 hrs of classes for 1865 attendees. We’re still the only program of its kind. The mobility of the program solves transportation issues providing an opportunity that otherwise would not exist. Attendees are taught the basics of cooking nutritious meals for themselves & their families using items they can find in their pantries. In 2019, we expanded to include a family version at Potter Elementary. Families enjoy the same benefits as they cook & create stronger bonds. Where Love Grows’ strives to nourish those we serve beyond the meal or class we host. USF Center for Food Security & Healthy Communities led by Dr. David Himmelgreen, completed an evaluation of the Where Love Grows Mobile Cooking Program. Documented Benefits: Increased confidence and self-esteem – sharing of knowledge and collaboration – learned cooperation, patience, socialization. Through recipe management, kitchen vocabulary and math skills improved. Teamwork experience leading to acceptance of those who are different. 79.7% of the students eat more vegetables & 88.4% continue to cook post series.  

Firehouse Cultural Center

“Growing Forward – Art, Culture and Technology”, $45,000.00

Growing Forward: Firehouse Cultural Center – Where Art, Culture, and Technology Converge to Inspire and Create. Join us on a journey of innovation, collaboration, and artistic exploration as we embrace the dynamic intersection of art, culture, and technology, shaping a vibrant future that celebrates creativity and ignites the imagination. The project will maintain and expand our no fee offerings: i.e. Children & Teen Art Studios; Lecture Series, “Poetry Workshops”, “Music”, “History”; workshops & events Live performances. We continue to provide scholarships to fee based programs & summer camps for both Youth and low income adults. The funding will allow us to add to an increasing interest in Robotics and 3D printers and incorporate technology to create art and education. “Steam” has evolved into “STEAM” with the inclusion of ART in the curriculum.

FCC serves six communities: Wimauma, Sun City Center, Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Riverview & Gibsonton. Three, Ruskin, Wimauma & Riverview are recognized by the Federal Government, HUD, as having 50% of its residents with low to moderate incomes. these pose challenges. Most students in South County Schools are Title I and receive free & reduced lunches. 11% of Seniors are at the poverty level.

Funds will be used for program resource materials, honorariums, workshop, artist and instructor fees and 3d printers for a maker lab. Our County Grant funding structure assures that no administrative salaries are funded by other grant/donor sources.

Gasparilla Music Foundation, Inc.

Recycled Tunes Instrument Program, $20,000.00

The Gasparilla Music Foundation (GMF) utilizes the shared experience of live music to inspire a stronger sense of community, support local musical arts and education, and contribute to the cultural and urban renewal of Tampa Bay. Recycled Tunes is a program of GMF whose goal is to enrich the lives of underserved children in Tampa Bay by ensuring access to musical instruments and music education. The program provides new and refurbished instruments, repairs and equipment to Title 1 school music programs.

Recycled Tunes started in 2013 with a focus on supporting music classrooms. In 2023, the program provided over 450 new and refurbished instruments, repairs and equipment to 56 schools in Hillsborough County, most of which are Title 1 elementary schools and recently expanded into Title 1 middle schools as well.

As a testament to Recycled Tunes’ growing impact, GMF was awarded Hillsborough County Elementary Music Educators Council 2022 “Encore Award”, Florida Music Educators Association’s 2023 “Exemplary Model Project Award” and 2023 Florida Department of Education Commissioner’s Business Recognition Award.

GMF is requesting $20,000 from the Community Foundation Tampa Bay Competitive Grant for support of its Recycled Tunes Program. Funds will be used to support the Recycled Tunes instrument workshop in Tampa and allow Recycled Tunes to provide instruments and other equipment to fulfill the growing music related needs in Title 1 classrooms in Hillsborough County.

Great Explorations Children’s Museum

Great Explorations Children’s Museum: The Great Connections and Welcoming Wednesdays Programs, $20,000.00

Great Connections and Welcoming Wednesdays are two monthly programs Great Explorations holds to increase access to sensory events and relevant resources for families with autism or other neurodiversity. Great Connections caters to children 0 to 14, while Welcoming Wednesdays, started in January of 2023, caters to individuals 15 or older. Great Connections events feature sensory modifications to the gallery floor, including lowered lighting, sounds, and no enforcement of Museum Rules to reflect a welcoming, understanding environment. Sensory needs are considered by offering sensory-friendly activities and by implementing a “Cool-Down Room,” a quiet space with sensory equipment available to aid in addressing emotional dysregulation or sensory overload. Due to low attendance stemming from scheduling conflicts, the Welcoming Wednesdays program will be changing to a free, online private booking format, allowing participants museum access at times convenient to their schedules.

Support from Community Foundation Tampa Bay will cover the costs of event staffing; waived admission currently incurred by Great Explorations for both programs; live event programming; additional services from specialists such as Speech or Occupational Therapists; costs for a specialist to monitor the Cool-Down Room; supplies for program activities; supplies for seasonal Great Connections events including Spring Fling and Winter Wonderland; and sensory equipment and toys for the Cool-Down Room. 

NOMADstudio, Inc.

Studio on the Block: MicroCamp Initiative, $22,400.00

Through our Studio on the Block MicroCamp Initiative, we provide free, small-scale, weekly pop-up art programs for our area’s most vulnerable populations. We host our MicroCamps in neighborhoods that lack safe access to enrichment opportunities and with children who have been adversely impacted by structural systems or policies. We collaborate with neighborhood artists, providing them with resources to co-create art-making experiences with the children in their neighborhoods.

MicroCamps happen weekly in front yards, parks, and parking lots. By participating in creative self expression in a non-judgemental environment, neighbors build mutual trust and grow comfortable sharing details of their lives with one another. This provides all participants with a more holistic understanding of community and individual needs, strengthening mutual aid networks and contributing to a culture of collective care.

NOMAD teaching artists have been facilitating MicroCamps in their own neighborhoods for over three years, and the events have evolved into hubs where healthy relationships are nurtured, and where people, especially children, can speak openly about their needs. As a result, NOMAD MicroCamps create participant-driven, sustained impact for neighborhood residents.

This $22,400 request will fund program materials and four teaching artists’ annual wages for this program, allowing us to support community resilience by delivering weekly MicroCamps in two Tampa Bay neighborhoods for one year.

St. Pete Pride

Youth Pride Project, $20,000.00

Amidst a backdrop of ongoing challenges and attacks on LGBTQIA+ (Q+) rights in Florida and recognizing the dire need for safe and inclusive spaces for Q+ youth, St Pete Pride (SPP) is moving forward on an initiative called the Youth Pride Project (YPP). Following the success of the SPP LGBTQ+ Youth and Family Day event, SPP is expanding programming aimed at supporting Q+ youth in the local community. The goal of this project is to provide young Q+ individuals with the opportunity to shape their own Pride experience, complete with leadership roles within an organization boasting two decades of expertise in cultivating safe and inclusive environments for the Q+ community. The YPP serves three distinct purposes, to create safe spaces for Q+ youth through the engagement of peers, to mentor the next generation of Q+ leaders, and to continue the SPP legacy of representation and visibility for Q+ youth and families. The YPP’s year one goal is to create a baseline understanding of the needs of Q+ youth in St. Pete and the surrounding community through partnerships with local youth organizations and leaders, while providing programming tailored for Q+ youth. In year two we will take the data collected through the YPP to assess next steps in support of the unique needs of local Q+ youth. The funds requested through this proposal will be used to pay the salary of the Youth Pride Director, ideally an individual with lived experience similar to the target population the project serves.

Tampa Repertory Theatre

TampaRep: Raising the Curtain on Mental Health Awareness, $15,000.00

Operating as a professional theatre company for over a decade, Tampa Repertory Theatre (TampaRep) provides artistic, educational and cultural enrichment for the people of Tampa Bay. TampaRep believes theater has the power to transform us by telling stories that inspire strength, vulnerability, and understanding of ourselves and others. 

In May of 2024, TampaRep will raise the curtain on mental health awareness with a suite of artistic programming and collaborative community engagement events centered around its production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical exploring bipolar disorder, NEXT TO NORMAL.

A Behavioral Health Consultant (BHC) will join the rehearsal process to provide education, facilitate discussion and offer self-care skills to artists and technicians. The BHC will assist in reflecting the art onstage with a culture of conversation focused on destigmatization and access to resources for audiences. TampaRep intends to partner with two advocates for mental health, Tampa Bay Thrives and NAMI of Hillsborough County, for informative community awareness events.

To continue a core value of fostering collaboration, meaningful conversation, and ultimately connection, TampaRep will present IN MY OWN LITTLE CORNER. This one woman autobiographical musical production and complementary student workshop spreads hope, helps stop the stigma and normalizes the conversation around mental illness. TampaRep requests $15k for artistic and community engagement programmatic costs.

The Well Incorporated

WellBuilt Bikes Satellite Store, $50,250.00

The Well works to improve the Tampa Bay Area by building connections between residents across socio-economic lines through, amongst other initiatives, WellBuilt Bikes. WellBuilt Bikes has diverted over 15,000 bikes from the waste stream, refurbished them, and sold them back to the community at affordable prices. Furthermore, WellBuilt Bikes invests it’s sales revenue into an Earn-A-Bike program, which gives those with little to no money access to a bike of their own. WellBuilt Bikes endeavors to make sure everyone, regardless of income, is able to own their own bike and have the benefits of access, exercise, community, and everything else that comes from cycling. Funds from this award would allow for WellBuilt Bikes to expand its service area to South St. Petersburg through the establishment of a WellBuilt Bikes Satellite Store built in partnership with St. Petersburg Distillery. South St. Petersburg is characterized by higher poverty rates than the surrounding St. Pete community and as a result higher unemployment, lack of access to transportation, and higher crime. St. Petersburg Distillery has already committed the capital necessary to build and retrofit a shipping container along the Pinellas Trail on their property. If awarded, funds will be used to support the startup costs necessary to staff and maintain the Satellite Store, with subsequent years being sustained by bike sales, service, and rentals. This will allow for WellBuilt Bikes to serve a wider community.

University Area Community Development Corporation, Inc.

Neighborhood Transformation Strategy, $22,500.00

Description of the project – The Neighborhood Transformation Strategy (NTS) serves as a roadmap for UACDC as it strives to achieve its mission of redeveloping the University Area (UA) creating vibrant physical spaces and inclusive programs for its residents to live and thrive. The UA is home to nearly 26,000 vulnerable residents who face unequal access to health care, food, quality education, housing, and employment. UACDC has addressed these inequities by creating affordable mixed-use housing and green spaces, health, career development and social programs all intended to provide a better quality of life for UA residents.  

Population served – Nearly 41% of UA residents live below the federal poverty level; 85% represent minority groups; 89% are renters; 8.4% are unemployed; 51% have language barriers; 30% lack a high school education, and 25% do not have a vehicle. 85% of students receive free/reduced lunch. 26% are children under 18 years of age; and 15% are over 65.  

How the funds will be used – Funds will support the ongoing development of three critical NTS programs – 1) Harvest Hope Park, a 7-acre park that has served as a springboard for transformational change in the community. 2) Prodigy Cultural Arts, an researched-based arts program with modules for at-risk youth, adults and seniors and 3) Community Outreach, an initiative which strives to build bridges into the community to communicate current services and identify unmet needs.

Wheelchairs 4 Kids, Inc.

Wheely Fun Days, $15,000.00

Wheelchairs 4 Kids has an inclusion program called “Wheely Fun Days.” It is a program that allows our children to experience some of the activities that we take for granted as well as some exclusive experiences that will create happy memories that will last a lifetime and help open conversations with their peers. Many of the parents of our children say that they are often left out which frequently leads to isolation and depression. Our kids benefit from our “Wheely Fun Days” program simply by being out in the community and having fun. In the past, we have brought our kids to Buccaneers training camp, adaptive water skiing, adaptive zip lining, snow skiing, the zoo, and more. Our Wheely Fun Days program serves children up to the age of 21 who we have provided equipment for in the past. The funds donated to this program will be used for direct costs such as entry fees/admission costs, rental equipment (boats and equipment for our adaptive water-skiing day for example), food/beverages, liability insurance, transportation, etc.

2023 Grant Cycle

360 EATS, Inc.

Enhancing Food Security and Reducing Food Waste in North Pinellas County with the Sustain-A-Bowl Food Truck, $45,000

The Sustain-A-Bowl Food Truck project provides free, nutritious, and high-quality meals to those in need, via a unique and elevated dining experience that ensures recipients are served with dignity. Currently, the project primarily targets Mid- and North-Pinellas County, due to these areas’ relatively low density of existing food assistance services. Combined with soaring gas prices and limited public transportation, many of those in need have trouble accessing these services. Furthermore, physical/mental limitations, time/financial constraints, or lack of culinary skills/facilities act as barriers to access for many others. The mobility and on-board kitchen of the Sustain-A-Bowl Food Truck allow 360 Eats to reach those most in need of food assistance–a group which includes homebound seniors, the homeless, people with disabilities, those living on fixed incomes, and at-risk youth.

Additionally, the project helps 360 Eats reach its sustainability goals, with 100% of the meal ingredients sourced from local food establishments and suppliers who donate excess food. For every meal produced, an estimated 5 pounds of good food is diverted from the landfill. The project still requires an additional $45,000 to cover the remaining operational expenses in 2023 and Q1 of 2024, which 360 Eats hopes to acquire through its continued partnership with CFTB. Funding will cover all operational expenses, including gas, propane, insurance, maintenance and repairs, supplies, and payroll.

Beth-El Farmworker Ministry, Inc.

Wimauma Together Collaborative: Promoting Prosperity and Thriving in Early Childhood, $25,000

Wimauma Together is a collaborative of residents and organizations committed to working together so that Wimauma becomes a community where everyone experiences a sense of belonging and is thriving. This includes finding ways to disrupt the powerful forces of poverty. The Collaborative is centered in a place-based collective impact strategy with the goal of whole community positive change. This project will focus more specifically on promoting thriving in early childhood, which is especially relevant in the rural community of 10,000 people in Wimauma, where 40% are children and almost 10% are under age 5. Funds will be used to develop a process for residents and organizations to discover the diversity of lived experience among families with young children in Wimauma, and then use these discoveries to co-design and prototype an early childhood community building initiative with families. Approaches will incorporate design thinking, storytelling, and GIS mapping. This will increase the community’s capacity to harness local wisdom about the experience of early childhood in Wimauma and to be self-determining, will increase the engagement and involvement of families with young children in the community and the collaborative, and will develop a growing range of opportunities to bring about the thriving of all young children in Wimauma.

Firehouse Cultural Center, Inc.

Revive, Survive and Thrive – Sustaining Access to Arts and Cultural Activity in the Southshore, $30,000

The Project, Revive, Survive and Thrive – Sustaining Access to Arts and Cultural Activity in the Southshore, provides accessibility & high-quality arts education, cultural immersion opportunities and exposure to underserved families, children, youth & seniors living in South Hillsborough. FCC is requesting $30,000 to ensure that the momentum of more than 10 years of partnerships and serving the community is not erased by a pandemic that has shuttered so many arts and cultural venues and disrupted artists incomes and lives across the nation.

The project will maintain and expand our no fee offerings: i.e. Children & Teen Art Studios; Lecture Series, “Poetry Workshops”, “Music”, “History”); workshops, events and live performances. We continue to provide scholarships to fee based programs & summer camps for both youth and low income adults.

FCC serves six communities: Wimauma, Sun City Center, Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Riverview & Gibsonton. Three, Ruskin, Wimauma & Riverview are recognized by the Federal Government, HUD, as having 50% of its residents with low to moderate incomes. These demographics pose programming challenges. Most students in South County Schools are Title I and receive free and reduced lunches. 11% of seniors are at the poverty level.

Funds will be used for program resource materials, honorariums, workshop, artist and instructor fees. Our county grant funding structure assures that no administrative salaries are funded by other grant sources.

Gasparilla Music Foundation

Recycled Tunes Instrument Program, $12,000

The Gasparilla Music Foundation’s Recycled Tunes program takes an innovative approach to address growing funding deficiencies for arts education in Hillsborough County’s primary schools. GMF uses its annual music festival to promote elementary school music programs and to raise funds for its Recycled Tunes program. Originally, the program collected used instruments to refurbish and donate to underserved music classrooms. The program has grown significantly in the past few years and now provides a broad scope of services and supplies to music classrooms. In its FY2022, the program provided 719 new and refurbished instruments, equipment, supplies, and repairs to 42 schools in Hillsborough County, primarily Title 1 elementary schools. As a testament to Recycled Tunes’ growing impact in 2022, the Gasparilla Music Foundation was awarded the Hillsborough County Elementary Music Educator’s 2022 Encore Award for outstanding business supporting music education in the county and the Florida Music Education Association’s 2022 Exemplary Model Music Program Award for the state of Florida.

Gasparilla Music Foundation is requesting $12,000 from the Community Foundation Tampa Bay Competitive Grant for support of its Recycled Tunes Program. Funds will be used to support the Recycled Tunes instrument workshop in Tampa and allow Recycled Tunes to purchase instruments, parts, and other equipment to fulfill the growing music related needs in Title 1 classrooms in Hillsborough County.

Girls Rock St. Pete

Girls Rock St. Pete: The Legends Program, $13,000

Girls Rock St. Pete uses music and other best-practice curriculum as a platform for teaching life skills that empower and transform the lives of girls, women, and gender-expansive folk. The demand for Girls Rock St. Pete’s summer camp increases each year with limited capacity and barriers for those unable to commit to a full week of camp. The expanded “Legends” program will offer year-round learning and engagement driven by the core values of Girls Rock Camp, but with increased access for continued learning, mentorship, and collaboration. Each 6-week session includes lessons that target increasing a girls’ sense of self-worth and resilience, body positivity and overall confidence. This model encourages intergenerational learning and mentorship by pairing youth and adult student learners in a safe and nurturing environment. While participants learn the fundamentals of music, they also learn critical life skills such as positive conflict-resolution and collaboration, building confidence through resilience, healthy boundaries and communication. As a result of participating, girls are empowered to take up space, use their voices, and support each other as allies and leaders. Girls Rock St. Pete requests $13,000 to launch this intergenerational initiative to expand the reach of our services to wait-listed youth and adults, those unable to access our program by committing to a full week of camp and to underserved populations such as foster youth, Black and Latinx girls and women.

Museum of Fine Arts of St. Petersburg, Inc.

MFA | Picture of Health Expands, $25,000

Despite the extraordinary need for mental-health offerings in the Tampa Bay area, especially for communities who experience monetary and discriminatory barriers, the community we call home continues to experience a dearth of welcoming services. A growing light is Picture of Health, a suite of programs conceived with providers in accordance with research into the impact of the arts on well-being. We know that communing with art objects is a palliative and contemplative antidote to the frenzy of contemporary commerce and screen use. People who utilize our museum’s programs also deserve the assurance that the environment honors their backgrounds and benefits their health. Innovations previously funded by CFTB to harness the power of the museum as a place of healing include Mood Tours to focus on depictions of emotions, Sensory Saturdays for low-sound access, & Museum on Prescription complimentary entrance by health referral to experience healthful aspects of the MFA. Expansions include EnChroma Lenses to reveal colors for those with color vision deficiency, The Mirror teen poetry program to reduce social isolation, Cell-Phone-Free Hours, Yoga, & Meditation. Picture of Health remains unique in Florida. Such programs elsewhere have proven successful; for example, in 2022, Brugmann University Hospital announced a museum-prescription program with Centrale in Brussels. The MFA respectfully requests $25K for mental-health-programming continuity and expansion through provider expenses.

NOMADstudio

Studio on the Block: MicroCamp Initiative, $12,000

Through our Studio on the Block: MicroCamp Initiative, we deliver free, small-scale, weekly pop-up art programs in Tampa Bay neighborhoods that lack safe access to enrichment opportunities for children who have been adversely impacted by structural systems or policies. We provide neighborhood artists with resources to co-create no-registration art-making experiences with the children in their neighborhoods. MicroCamps happen weekly in front yards, parks, and parking lots, and by participating in creative self expression in a non-judgemental environment, neighbors build mutual trust and grow comfortable sharing details of their lives with one another. This provides all participants with a more holistic understanding of community and individual needs and it strengthens the culture of community, mutual aid, and collective care.

NOMAD teaching artists live in the neighborhoods where they teach, which provides opportunities for lasting connection and ongoing community building. They have been facilitating MicroCamps in their neighborhoods for over two years, and the events have evolved into hubs where healthy relationships are nurtured, and where people, especially children, can speak openly about their needs. This $12,000 request would cover three teaching artists’ annual wages for this program, allowing us to support community resilience by delivering a weekly MicroCamp in two Tampa Bay neighborhoods for one year.

Tampa Heights Junior Civic Association

iCreate Community Cultural Art Experience, $19,800

The iCreate Community Cultural Art Experience is a new initiative by the Tampa Heights Junior Civic Association (THJCA) that brings cultural art workshops to communities of concern throughout Hillsborough County. Adapted from the popular paint and sip concept, this create and sip workshop series will engage families in art, music, dance, and culinary art using culturally relevant themes to promote health and wellness, literacy, and quality family time. We believe the arts are a great means for families to come together in a fun, authentic way while learning better lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, communities of concern suffer from health and literacy disparities that take away from their wellbeing. The lack of transportation and low incomes also create a barrier to the arts for many families in these communities.

Through the iCreate Community Cultural Art Experience, families can overcome these issues. To reach them, we will use existing partnerships with Hillsborough County Public Schools, community gardens, and a local arts group. These partnerships will allow us to reach families in Tampa Heights, East Tampa, the University Area, Temple Terrace, Town ‘n Country, Seffner, Riverview, and Wimauma. To ensure a quality program, we are requesting $19,200 from the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay to pay instructors to teach three workshops in each community. Funds will also support a stipend to a program administrator, rent for host facilities, and the cost of supplies.

University Area Community Development Corporation

Harvest Hope Park, The Heart of the University Area (UA), $16,748

The proposed project will support program and safety enhancements for three of the Get Moving! health and wellness youth programs that operate at Harvest Hope Park (HHP). HHP is on 7-acres of land in the UA and is a vibrant, resident friendly green space in a marginalized neighborhood historically plagued with brownfields and redevelopment challenges. The population served by HHP includes the 26,500 residents of which almost 58% live below the federal poverty level. HHP was built in four phases, opening in November 2019. This urban oasis promotes family play, healthy eating, environmental sustainability, education, community interaction, and includes a community garden, teaching kitchen, sports fields, playground, outdoor fitness stations, walking trail and 1-acre freshwater fishpond for fishing. HHP has been a springboard for transformational change as it affords residents of all ages the opportunity to improve their mental well-being by communing with nature and learning eco-friendly ways to sustain their community at large. HHP is the heart of the University Area, playing a major role in its vibrancy and redevelopment and enhancing the environment and promoting healthy lifestyles for all its residents of all ages. Funds will be used for kitchen supplies for the bi-weekly youth nutrition class that incorporates fresh produce from the HHP Community Garden, tools for the youth gardening class and lighting and storage for the fields used in the sports programs.

Audubon Florida

Management and Habitat Improvement of Tampa Bay Waterbird Islands, $25,000

The Alafia Bank is an important area filled with bird nesting islands in Florida with annual counts consisting of 14 species totaling up to 10,000 pairs, including five state-Threatened species of nesting birds, and includes the iconic Brown Pelicans and White Ibis. 3D DMMA hosts thousands of pairs of waterbirds each year, including three state Threatened beach-nesting birds. Audubon is requesting funding to cover the costs of management and habitat improvement at these important sites, including invasive vegetation removal and predation management as part of ongoing restoration efforts on the islands ($30,000), installation of additional native plants ($7,500), and staff salary to oversee the work ($12,500). Audubon manages three island sanctuaries in Hillsborough Bay, Green Key, Whiskey Stump Key and the Richard T. Paul Alafia Bank Bird Sanctuary Critical Wildlife Area, which is owned and managed in collaboration with the Mosaic Company and Port Tampa Bay. Audubon works with Port Tampa Bay and Port Manatee to manage waterbird nesting at 2D and 3D Dredge Material Management Areas (DMMA). In 2020-21, we restored over 20 acres on the Alafia Bank, Green Key, and Whiskey Stump Key by clearing and treating invasive vegetation and planting more than 1,200 native plants. Additionally, we are undertaking another round of re-treatment at these sites during fall and winter of 2022-23, providing high quality nesting habitat that many of the region’s iconic birds rely on.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Inc.

Amigos de las Tortugas, $20,000

Education is key to protecting our marine ecosystem. CMA’s Sea Turtle Conservation Program teaches guests to appreciate their marine environment while promoting conservation. Programs range from onsite presentations and exhibits to offsite events. The Amigos de las Tortugas program takes these principles and shares them directly with the Spanish-speaking population throughout Tampa Bay. Sea turtle conservation is vital to the overall health of the marine ecosystem, and guests participating in this program would not otherwise have access to this type of direct, tailored education. In partnership with the Hispanic Services Council, Urban Strategies, and Hispanic Outreach Center, we have identified and targeted our program to the growing population of Spanish speakers in our community. The program is available to families throughout Tampa Bay.
Funds from this grant will be used to expand and enhance Amigos de las Tortugas. To date, we have reached 659 participants through 36 workshops, and with this grant, we will be able to provide at least 15 additional workshops to over 300 participants in 2023. To enhance the program by learning strategies to bridge communities and technology for marine turtle conservation, we will send a program leader to the International Sea Turtle Symposium in Cartagena, Colombia. This will provide a direct link between the program and leading research into sea turtle conservation, which will be focused directly on Spanish-speaking populations.

Keep Pinellas Beautiful Inc.

Keep Pinellas Beautiful: Planting Seeds for a Healthy Pinellas, $17,000

KPB proposes to enhance three recreational green spaces within Pinellas County to reduce the spread of invasive vegetation, plant native species to restore natural habitat, and educate youth on the value of these habitats along the way. The nature parks/preserves include: Brooker Creek (Tarpon Springs), Moccasin Lake (Clearwater), and Boyd Hill (St. Petersburg).

This program is designed to engage residents of all ages with a special emphasis on high school youth, looking to reduce their environmental footprint and explore how they might take steps in becoming environmental leaders in the community.

This grant will include:
* Hosting quarterly beautification/restoration projects at each location (i.e. invasive vegetation removals, litter cleanups, and trail restorations)
* Introducing native flora into each park to minimize the long-term impacts of invasive species and restore habitat
* Conducting bimonthly educational outreach presentations at Moccasin Lake (Mid County) for the community
* Hosting two – five day youth outdoor experiential learning workshop, at Brooker Creek (North County) and Boyd Hill (South County)
* Creating and installing educational signage throughout high trafficked areas to educate the public and support conservation efforts.
KPB will use funds to support our youth workshops, obtain supplies to remove invasive species that are causing biological and economical damage, and install native plants to increase biodiversity through the three parks. 

Tampa Bay Watch, Inc.

Native Wetland Planting Program, $25,000

Tampa Bay Watch (TBW) seeks funding to support the expansion of our Native Wetland Planting Program with the development of our Adopt-a-Nursery Program. The Native Wetland Planting Program provides the opportunity for community volunteers to participate in hands-on restoration of degraded wetland habitats around the Tampa Bay watershed. In collaboration with our local partners, we lead community volunteers and school groups to plant wetland emergent plants in coastal riparian areas. Over the next year, our goal is to develop community nurseries to provide plants for native planting projects. The new Adopt-a-Nursery volunteer service program will be responsible for maintaining those plants and furthering our outreach initiative. The program will expand our audience to be more inclusive of community members that aren’t physically capable or comfortable transplanting in harsh field conditions. The plant nurseries will be built in public locations in collaboration with our various restoration partners. TBW will host volunteer training events where community members will be educated on the ecology of wetland ecosystems, the benefit of wetlands to coastal communities, and methods for properly caring for their adopted nurseries. CFTB support would allow us to build 2 new community nurseries, reach 800 community volunteers in the bay area, and restore at least 20,000 sq. ft. of habitat at various restoration sites in Manatee, Hillsborough, and Pinellas Counties.

The Florida Aquarium

Spring to Shore Explorers: Free Environmental Summer Camp for Youth, $17,376.86

Project Description: One of the Aquarium’s most successful programs for underserved youth combines a treasured summer experience with environmental education. Spring to Shore Explorers (SSE) is a week-long day camp that takes children on an eye-opening journey to parks in the Hillsborough watershed, from local freshwater springs to beaches of the Bay. Campers immerse themselves in area water resources, testing water quality, observing flora and fauna, swimming, canoeing/kayaking, and even snorkeling. Campers learn about the connections between water resources, water quality and quantity, and habitat protection and are empowered to take a leadership role in conservation by learning simple steps that they can implement at home to help protect the environment.
* Population Served: With support from our community, we will offer this program for five weeks during the summer, impacting up to 60 children.
* How the funds will be used: Funding will pay for five weeks of transportation for students to each camp location, camp meals, shirts and supplies, as well as fees for students to access some of the environmental activities, such as kayak rental and admission to parks. Funding will also support hiring camp instructors.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay, Inc.

School-To-Work and Big Futures Mentoring Program, $20,000

We will use these funds for our School-To-Work and Big Futures Mentoring Programs in Pasco and Hillsborough County: School-To-Work serves high school juniors and matches them with a workplace mentor for two years (their junior and senior year of high school), who meet half a day per month during the school year. Matches participate in workplace trainings including resume writing, financial literacy, and so forth. Then, matches meet one-on-one to participate in job shadowing and building the mentor relationship. This year our agency will have 10 School-To-Work sites in Hillsborough and our first partnership in Pasco County. Big Futures Mentoring is offered to young adults who have graduated high school (or turned 18) and completed our other mentoring programs including School-To-Work. At graduation, they are eligible to enroll in Big Futures which provides advanced mentoring up to age 26. Our goal is for these young adults to be enrolled, enlisted, or employed after high school graduation and earning a livable wage by age 26. Our program has never had any income, geographic, or demographic restrictions. In 2021 72% of School-To-Work students and 68% of youth enrolled in Big Futures received free or reduced lunch while in school, a proxy to measure income. We receive referrals from teachers and guidance counselors and priority is given to those youth who need additional support and guidance due to struggling academically, not having a clear path for the future, and so on.

Cristo Rey Tampa High School at Mary Help of Christians, Inc.

Summer Business Training Program – Creating a Pipeline for Tomorrow’s Workforce, $25,000

We are requesting $25,000 for our Summer Business Training Program, the introductory program for all new students including ninth graders and transfer students. This two-week program provides an introduction to college preparatory school rigor and prepares students with tools and skills to enter the workforce as part of the Corporate Work Study Program, the signature feature of the Cristo Rey Network. Students gain real-world work experience and career exposure from corporations and non-profit organizations in the community. They develop professionally through entry-level jobs working five days each month with our Partners, who are committed to enriching the students’ lives through coaching, mentoring, and supervision. Students in the Summer Business Training Program learn to build their intellectual, emotional, social, and critical thinking skills through executive function training for the classroom and the workplace. Specific skill training is provided along with standards of professionalism. Students learn to function in an academic setting and transition into the workforce environment which requires different skill sets. This program sets the foundation. Our students come from low-income families with the determination to create a better life. They come from all backgrounds and faiths, represent 46 zip codes in the community, and 96% of students are of color. These funds will allow us to better prepare our students and give families more access to attend.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office

Providing Resources to Counter Elder Fraud and Exploitation in Hillsborough County, $15,000

This project, Providing Resources to Counter Elder Fraud and Exploitation in Hillsborough County, aims to raise awareness and educate the elderly community of Sun City Center, Florida against elderly fraud and exploitation through the use of educational materials, advertisements, and community engagement. According to the 2020 US Census, the target population of Sun City Center is home to approximately 31,000 residents. Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) is requesting a grant amount of $12,000.00 which will be specifically used on varying advertisement types and law enforcement personnel training to attain best practices and in turn deliver quality service to the elderly community it serves. The impact of this project has potential to go beyond the target populations due to its use of advertisement and collaborations with community partners.

Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay

Addressing Structural Inequities in Education and Expanding Economic Mobility Through 3DE Schools by Junior Achievement, $25,000

Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay in partnership with Hillsborough and Pinellas County schools will further expand the 3DE high school model in the fall of 2023 to three additional schools. Designed to strengthen and enrich the lives of our neighbors and the communities where we live and work the 3DE model is the solutions provider addressing structural inequities in education, expanding economic mobility for all. 3DE re-engineers high school to be more relevant, experiential and connected to the complexities of the real world. Through case methodology and joint venture partnerships with the business community, 3DE increases student engagement and relevant connectivity through project based application. The model taps into student’s innate desire to learn by creating communities of engaged and aspirational teens empowered with the skills to drive toward economic opportunity. A $75,000 investment in 3DE would be an investment to support the launch and expansion of the 3DE model at three high schools, Blake, Jefferson and Lakewood. Identified by district administrators each of these schools has lower than state average scores on all year end assessments and at least 53% of the population receives free/reduced lunch. Investment would support the relevant content, teacher development, local partnership development, experiential learning and systems improvement that the 3DE model brings and advance our goal to create systemic change by engaging over 30% of area high schools.

LiFT Inc, (Learning Independence For Tomorrow)

LiFT’s Community Partners Internship Program To Create Pathways to Employment and Economic Mobility for Neurodivergent Adults, $15,000

Since 2014, LiFT’s Community Partners Internship Program has collaborated with over 30 local businesses, from large corporations to smaller local organizations, to effectively place job-seeking neurodivergent adults (18+) with varying disabilities into internships to explore different career fields that align with their skill sets, talents and interests; enabling them to gain valuable work experiences that create pathways to paid employment for a population that is largely un- and underemployed so they may improve their economic status and capacity to live independently. Internship placements last 1-2 semesters, with each students’ unique abilities and interests carefully evaluated to match them with internships that align. Funding is used for job coaches/personnel, evaluation and transportation (as the majority of our students are unable to drive and most lack the financial means/ability to navigate public transportation). LiFT transports students to internships weekly ensuring reliable transportation; and job coaches work directly with students on-site at the internships, providing hands-on training to accomplish job tasks and provide assistance to individuals with communication barriers or needing to improve soft skills. At the internship’s conclusion, students are hired for paid employment by their internship provider or alternatively will secure jobs at another location with the support of recommendations provided by their internship providers.

Metropolitan Ministries, Inc.

Rise to the Top Adult Education and Employment, $30,000

Rise to the Top provides adult education and employment services to 250 people experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity annually in Hillsborough County. Community Foundation funds will cover certification costs. Completion of certification courses leads participants to earn a higher wage.
For those wanting to attain a certificate or credential, the Adult Education Manager completes an educational assessment, discusses educational pathways, and helps participants enroll in a program that best matches their needs and goals. Common certifications are in the medical and IT fields. MM also has an on-site GED program and provides in-person and virtual instruction. MM covers certification fees, educational materials, testing costs, and job-specific necessities such as uniforms, bus passes, etc. 50 people attain a credential or certificate annually.

Employment Case Managers work with participants to develop employment goals, create a household budget, and identify positions that pay a living wage. Case Managers help troubleshoot barriers to employment by working on soft skills and helping participants address transportation and childcare needs. MM holds quarterly Employment Boot Camps with expert speakers, panel discussions, and employment workshops. Employment skills, financial literacy and budgeting classes are provided to help participants conduct effective job searches and prepare for interviews. Of the 250 people who complete the program, 90% attain employment at exit.

Pasco-Hernando State College Foundation, Inc.

Pasco-Hernando State College – Inspiring Brighter Futures for Educationally Disadvantaged Youth Through Pre-Collegiate Mentoring and College Readiness, $10,000

Pasco-Hernando State College’s Office of Global and Multicultural Awareness offers pre-collegiate mentoring programs to assist students who aspire to achieve higher education. The College Reach Out Program (CROP), Centers of Excellence (COE), and National Achiever’s Society (NAS) aim to motivate and inspire underserved students annually to graduate high school, obtain postsecondary education, and secure sustainable careers.

Through this funding, approximately 75 low-income students in grades 6-12 will engage in enriching academic and cultural programs with a goal of promoting academic excellence, community-centered work ethic, and reducing negative peer pressure associated with academic achievement. By building a community of support and helping young people believe that they can be successful, these initiatives provide mentoring and support to students who have a higher likelihood of dropping out of high school. Activities include reading, math, vocabulary building, creative writing, computer skills, and career exploration. In addition, students participate in a social behavioral workshop, various field trips, and a university residential visit. Parents and caregivers are also provided with guidance and resources to help their child succeed. 

Ready for Life

Ready for Life – Economic Mobility Project, $20,000

The Ready for Life – Economic Mobility Project will provide 60 former foster care youth who at age 18 opted to “age out” of the system rather than stay in extended foster care and young adults between 18-25 who were in foster care at one time in their life. RFL will provide access to evidence-informed life skills training that included: getting and keeping a job, personal finance, resiliency, communication skills, and independent living. This target population is statistically at great risk of economic downward mobility, and this will fill the gap as they explore adulthood.

Participants will be enrolled in LYFT Learning, LLC’s Life Skills Reimagined course. Life Skills Reimagined utilizes brain-based learning principles in the life skills curriculum design including – Multisensory learning experiences that are more engaging and memorable: learning objectives that drive teaching method; Microlearning (short bursts) which increases retention and recall.

RFL staff will have a rolling admission with groups of 15, 4 times a year and will provide at least 4 workshops including business and educational campuses to tour. RFL will help participants obtain legal documents such as a driver’s license and assist them with next steps: educational enrollment or job placement. Funds will help offset costs associated with preparing for school or work, field trips and group meetings with a goal of being enrolled in higher education or job placement within 6 months of participation.

Starting Right, Now

Advancing Homeless Youth Economically, $40,000

Starting Right, Now (SRN)’s holistic program creates a solution to youth homelessness and its associated traumas. We serve homeless, unaccompanied youth – high school students who cannot live at home and are ineligible for foster care, due to hazardous circumstances (abuse, neglect, eviction, etc). After fulfilling basic needs – stable housing, access to food, showers, laundry facilities and school transportation – SRN students access academic assistance, life-skills training, financial literacy classes, career prep, mentors, planning for post secondary education and facilitation to social services/healthcare.

Recognizing these youths have fallen behind academically, never addressed fiscal responsibility, and need to learn healthy coping strategies, SRN developed a unique curriculum to address these areas- “Advancing Homeless Youth Economically”. This series of after school enrichment classes and activities help bridge the equity gap. Academic and soft skills, for example anger management and mindfulness, taught in our after-school classes, enable youth to be workforce ready, thus economically mobile, and uplifting to our entire community.

Community Foundation Tampa Bay would enable our 2023 cohort to gain permanent skills to change their life situation. Funding would be used for after school classes to support education beyond high school and career readiness training – such as emotional intelligence, financial literacy, computer fluency, SAT/ACT prep, etc.

Suncoast Voices for Children Foundation, Inc.

Opportunity Passport – A Collaboration with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, United Way Suncoast, Ready for Life and Cetera, Inc., $20,000

In 2020, Voices became the first independent organization authorized to deliver Opportunity Passport (OP), an Annie E. Casey Foundation program that is the gold standard of financial programs for young adults who grew up in foster care. Voices adopted a collective impact model by partnering with United Way Suncoast (UWS), Ready for Life (RFL), and Cetera, Inc., which has produced above-average results when compared to other sites across the country in just 2 years. RFL, a skill-based learning center for young adults exiting foster care, assists in facilitating the classes and provides wrap around services like mentoring, resource support and life skills training. After the classes, graduates pair with a UWS Financial Coach to help them apply what they’ve learned to reach their financial goals. Graduates who are in college will work with a College Coach from Cetera to set goals and navigate their college career. Coaches use a research-based curriculum created by Cetera Founder & Director Jamie Bennett that is used at Casey sites and colleges nationwide. Thanks to UWS funding, graduates can access a $3,000 savings match for assets like vehicles, housing & more. (Ex: Von wants a car for $1,000. Von saves $500, Voices pays $500 directly to the vendor. Von has her car and another $2,500 available.) In 2 1/2 years, 82 graduates have purchased over $185,000 assets. If awarded, Voices will use 100% of the funding to support a Cetera Coach position to serve Pasco & Hillsborough youth.

The QL+ Program (QL+)

Linking America’s Bravest with America’s Brightest, $12,700

QL+ links America’s bravest with America’s brightest. Our creative and innovative program offers life-altering assistive technology to our heroes, designed and built by engineering students as part of their Senior Capstone Projects. Currently, we partner with 21 universities. This request is in support of 3 projects at the University of South Florida during the 2023-24 academic year.

Our projects serve disabled veterans and first responders (who we call Challengers), all want to maintain an active lifestyle despite their physical limitations. We have created a voice-activated bicycle gear shifter for a veteran with prosthetic hands that are connected to the handlebars; prosthetic feet/ankles that are more agile for hiking; modifications for paralympic bobsledders to more easily enter and exit the bobsled, to mention but a few.

QL+ pays the universities $1,750/project for hosting a QL+ project; $5,250 will be allocated to this expense.

QL+ budgets $200/month/university for each of 10 months for printed materials, promotion, shipping of finalized devices, etc.; $2,000 of grant funding will be allocated to this expense.

Challengers need to travel to the universities to meet with their student teams. QL+ budgets $500/month/university for each of 10 months; $5,000 of grant funding will be allocated to this expense.

Student teams experience miscellaneous needs. QL+ anticipates this and budgets $150/team; $450 will be allocated to this expense.

ALPHA House of Pinellas County

ALPHA House – Critical Services and Residential Maternity Housing for Homeless and At-Risk Teen Girls and Women, $20,000

Grounded in authentic collaboration, equity, and lived experience, ALPHA House (AH) provides a full continuum of trauma-informed housing and specialized services for pregnant women, teens, new mothers with infants, and families experiencing crisis pregnancies and homelessness. The 16 beds it provides to women ages 14 – 41 allows us to serve 32 individuals (16 mothers and 16 babies) each night for 8 months up to 3 years and they are merely a fragment of the program’s complexity.

The target population for shelter and services at AH includes pregnant women and new mothers with no family or other safe place to experience their pregnancy and the birth of their child. Demographically, they are 51% white, 44% Black, 4% Latinx, 1% Other, 0% LGTBQ+, 0% disabled. 100% are survivors of either human trafficking, or abuse (emotional, physical, and/or abandonment), and many are experiencing crisis pregnancies because of the trauma they have experienced. The majority served prove that homelessness and teen pregnancy are directly linked to previous physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse. Most have already engaged in negative behaviors and are at risk of perpetuating abuse, and neglect and becoming victims of intergenerational poverty. If funded, every general operating dollar will be leveraged to the full benefit of the population served through the provision of shelter, medical care, counseling, nutritious meals, clothing, education/employment services, and life-skills programming.

Empowherment Community Center

Empowering Women = Thriving Women, $22,720

As part of our many programs here at EmpowHERment, we provide a confidential and safe place for
clients to meet with therapist to discuss their circumstances. Women come to us with many different physical and emotional needs — including temporary financial assistance, housing, employment, and help with emotional issues. We have licensed and degree-holding therapists working on a weekly schedule. We also have an extensive network of medical and housing agencies throughout the Tampa Bay area. Clients receive the services and information needed to understand their options’ full range and make fully informed decisions. All therapy services are held in-person at our community center.
We are requesting funds to continue providing no cost therapy sessions for the women and families we serve. Each women and family is allocated 15 therapy sessions each. Setting the foundation and allowing them to heal while also alleviating the financial burden. In the past year, we have logged over 400 therapy hours. Our program works and we would like to continue making sure we are able to support women and girls. “Thank you again for helping me. I can’t tell you enough how much this means to me. I’ve been seeking and praying for help for years. I cannot afford much as a single mother but without mental help I won’t be much good for anything else. I really need this. Looking forward to the growth and the change, the new perspectives and the bond we will share.” – One of our clients stated. 

Enterprising Latinas, Inc.

Project 2025: Preparing Women for the Workforce & Self-Sufficiency, $50,000

ELI will continue the implementation of Project 2025: Preparing Women for the Workforce & Self-sufficiency to increase the economic prosperity of 100 low- to moderate-income women living in the South Hillsborough County communities of Wimauma, Ruskin, Riverview, and Gibsonton, particularly Black & Latina women who face multiple barriers to economic prosperity and wealth building. Over 12 months, the project will provide workforce development through workforce and entrepreneurship training and basic skills training that lead to higher-wage employment or self-employment. In addition, ELI will continue job coaching and job placement supports that help members access quality jobs as well business technical assistance and growth opportunities. Some members will also receive complementary Economic Mobility Mentoring (EMM) services, ELI’s approach to building essential behaviors and decisions that lead to self-sufficiency. We are requesting $50,000 through the Women and Girls priority to promote economic opportunity for women and cover partial costs of coordination & services, training partner fees, program supplies, recognition activities, and overhead expenses. Other sources contribute $241,407.

Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, Inc.

Girl Scouts Community Troop Program, $17,000

We have been delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE) in Pasco County for decades, but often there are barriers to a High Quality GSLE. We’re proposing a “”Girl Scouts Hub”” model, in a central location staffed by representative community members leading program delivery to foster long-term relationships by engaging families and community members in Girl Scouts. Activities required include:
(1) uniform and insignia creating belonging
(2) regular meetings led by caring adults
(3) 4+ badge experiences
(4) 2 family engagement celebrations
(5) 2 field trips
(6) 1 outdoor experience
(7) Cookie Entrepreneur Program.
Funding to reach more girls through our Girl Scout Community Troop Program in a community hub allows us to target underrepresented areas currently with little to no Girl Scout footprint. We currently serve 1% of girls in Pasco County. We believe more girls are not participating in Girl Scouts due to barriers including affordability, transportation, absence of adult support, language barriers, or technology barriers. The target population of our project is girls, grades K-8, living in Port Richey targeted zip code 34668. Funding will support staff for Girl Scout Hub, uniforms, badges, program supplies and experiences, leasing, memberships, and printing costs. We believe the GSLE is a benefits every girl, and our Girl Scout Community Troop Program is a targeted effort to ensure we eliminate the barriers to participation in our program.

Girls on the Run Greater Tampa Bay

Program Expansion Initiative, $10,000

Girls on the Run uses running and other physical activities as a platform for teaching life skills that drive transformative and lasting change in the lives of girls. The Program Expansion Initiative will ensure that girls who would not typically have access to quality youth programming have the opportunity to participate in Girls on the Run (3rd to 5th graders) or Heart & Sole (6th to 8th graders). Each 10-week curriculum includes lessons that specifically target helping girls improve in Competence, Confidence, Caring, Character, Connection, and Contribution. Girls learn critical life skills such as how to manage emotions, help others, make intentional decisions, and resolve conflict that they use at home, at school, and with friends. As a result of participating, girls are empowered to be the leader of their lives and to make positive contributions in their own lives and the lives of others.

Girls on the Run is requesting $10,000 in grant support for our Program Expansion Initiative. This initiative will expand GOTR to at least 10 low-income Title 1 schools within Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties to ensure that at-risk girls will have the opportunity to participate in the life-changing GOTR program during our 2023 Fall and 2024 Spring Seasons. With grant support, these girls who so desperately need our program will be able to participate.

PACE Center for Girls – Citrus County

Pace Art Empowers, $10,000

Pace Art Empowers (PAE) will provide opportunities for mental health improvement and potential future economic self-sufficiency to our community’s most vulnerable – girls who have already experienced trauma. Pace girls typically love the arts, even if they aren’t artists or performers themselves. Research has shown strong connections between art as a therapeutic activity and higher self-esteem, which would benefit our girls. And by exposing them to live arts and allied career opportunities (bookkeeping, social media, etc.) the door is open to potential careers through the arts. PAE will provide: 1) weekly sessions on drawing “”feelings”” in class with discussions on representation of the drawing; 2) bi-monthly speakers from the arts community to share career information; 3) visits to museums (such as the Citrus County Historical Courthouse for arts exhibits, and the Dali) and performing arts centers to experience arts such as the Nutcracker ballet or other plays; 4) creating a fine art piece under direction of a professional artist for a Pace exhibit open to parents and the public, and also performing art in an after-hours play for parents as final semester projects. The budget of $10,000 includes teacher time for weekly art work and discussions in the Spirited Girls (life skills class) and coordinating activities; all art supplies, transportation for field trips, food for girls on field trips and tickets to museums and performances.

PACE Center for Girls – Hillsborough

PaceWorks, $15,000

PaceWorks is an enrichment program within the Pace Center for Girls Hillsborough framework designed to help girls attain career goals, develop vocational skills and pursue higher education for a brighter future. PaceWorks is delivered through a daily comprehensive curriculum that is facilitated by a certified teacher and supported by educational and vocational exploration that directly expose girls to both traditional & non-traditional career and educational opportunities. All girls enrolled in PaceWorks receive an elective credit through Hillsborough County Public Schools upon successful completion of the course.

* The population served for the PaceWorks program are girls between the ages of 11-18 who have been identified as “”at risk”” for delinquency. Girls must meet risk factors in 3 or more of the following domains to be considered for placement: 1) Victimization 2) School 3) Family Instability/Conflict 4) Physical/Mental Health 5) Behavior Domain Per our 2020-2021 data:
88% were failing one or more classes prior to coming to Pace
57% were suspended or expelled prior to coming to Pace
22% had involvement with the juvenile justice system


* The funds will be used to support the implementation of the PaceWorks program. The program is supported by a Certified Teacher, who delivers the daily curriculum, the PaceWorks Coordinator who oversees the experiential components and transition planning and the Program Director who guides and oversees the entire program.

Selah Freedom

Selah Freedom Assessment Solutions, $10,000

Selah Freedom operates and owns an “assessment home” established in an undisclosed location in Hillsborough County. This home address is not publicized because the women and girls who go there for their initial assessment and program service intake are highly vulnerable and are often escaping from a very dangerous situation relating to human trafficking. This grant request for $10,000 will help continue providing a safe and nurturing environment dedicated to providing a period of pause, rest and reflection. The professional staff walk alongside the survivors as they begin their recovery journey. This rest phase allows survivors to reflect and decide if they are prepared to step forward into the new life Selah Freedom offers. Staff members assess what the best long-term solution is for each of the survivors.

Most survivors transition to Selah’s long-term residential program or another anti-human trafficking program in the United States. It depends on their individual needs. While each survivor is at Selah’s assessment home, they receive medical care, three hot meals a day, healthy snacks, a comfortable place to sleep, clothing, and therapeutic services such as counseling, and nutrition education. The assessment home model is extremely successful at stabilizing each survivor as they begin their journey with Selah’s compassionate care and therapy toward a new, healthy, and legitimate life. Funds from this grant will help provide food, clothing & counseling services.

United Food Bank of Plant City

Feeding Our Legacy, $25,000

United Food Bank and Services will expand a pilot program, Feeding Our Legacy, in which 275 vulnerable seniors, including a majority of elderly women of color, who are low-income and live off of minimal, fixed-income resources, in East Hillsborough County, often in rural portions, will have access to healthy food, food security, and resource navigation that can keep them stably housed, in better health, and secure. This vulnerable population, predominantly elderly women of color, who are food insecure and live in the eastern portion of the county will be provided with a culturally informed intake assessment, with 80 percent of these seniors participating in a follow-up assessment within a 6-12 month period of the intake, or sooner if needed, to determine changes to their lives that lead to food security and progress toward strengthening their individualized outcomes. A culturally informed approach will be taken to menu planning with each individual enrolled in the program, and a resource guide–to meet their needs in the nine communities served–will be updated and distributed. With the input of a medical professional from USF and Diversity and Inclusion input from current funding partners, the proposed program expansion will increase its ability to grow from serving seniors in the historic African American community of Bealsville and in HUD’s 202 Supportive Housing to include Hispanic seniors in neighboring Plant City and Dover, among other United Food Bank service areas.

West Florida Center for Trafficking Advocacy, Inc. DBA Justice Restoration Center

Tampa Bay Area Survivor Empowerment, $25,000

The Justice Restoration Center (JRC) has worked extensively since 2013 in the justice space as it relates to human trafficking victims and survivors. (“Victims” refer to those still being exploited, and “survivors” refer to those who have been able to leave the exploitation.) Women and girls make up an overwhelming majority of survivors recovered out of trafficking situations, and that is reflected in JRC’s client demographics. Thus, JRC necessarily focuses on the restoration, well-being, and life improvement of trafficked women and girls through the provision of critical legal services. Those legal services are provided at no cost to the survivor. Some 90% of trafficked women leave the sex industry with a criminal record. Statistics show, in turn, that those survivors with criminal records will live in poverty absent the expungement of criminal records. In that light, JRC’s focus is on giving survivors access to justice in the form of criminal record expungement under Florida’s human trafficking victim expungement law and credit restoration through the federal Debt Bondage Repair Act. To date, JRC has expunged over a 1,000 criminal charges for Florida survivors. Criminal record expungement removes barriers to housing, employment, and education which are cornerstones to survivor recovery. JRC’s funding comes from a mix of private donations, churches, and private grants, and 100% of the funding goes directly to providing free legal services to survivors.

Bay Area Legal Services, Inc.

FosterPower: Bay Area Legal Services Helps Florida Youth in Foster Care to “Know Your Legal Rights,” $30,000

CFTB will help BALS to fully develop and deploy FosterPower, a website and app to provide access to comprehensive information on the legal rights of Florida youth in foster care. Teens in care, and those “aging out” of care at 18, rarely know they have legal rights. FosterPower (FP) will transform an innovative but now outdated PDF/hard-copy 60-page guide (developed and updated annually by Project Lead attorney Taylor Greenberg) into a user-friendly, resource for youth throughout Florida, easily accessible online and via a mobile app as developed by our Digital Project Manager/DPM (CFTB funded July-Nov 2023). The app expands on previous content with updated education and independent living rights info, and also enables FP staff to regularly update relevant law and resources as they evolve.

Intentionally designed with in-depth youth input and feedback at the forefront, through focus groups across Florida, FosterPower will now empower youth in foster care to exercise their individual agency, access vital resources, and become their own advocates, while FP trainings will raise awareness and understanding of foster youth rights within the child welfare and legal professional communities. The website, app, and trainings are mindfully designed to serve as a blueprint for adaptation in other states nationwide. FosterPower is purposefully created in partnership with foster youth themselves – they know they are helping not only themselves but those who remain in care or will follow.

Champions for Children, Inc.

Kids on the Block Educational Puppetry Program, $20,000

CFC requests a grant to continue bringing our Kids on the Block (KOTB) program to elementary schools in the South Shore region and throughout Hillsborough County. KOTB is a troupe of educational puppets that provide children with knowledge to recognize and report abuse and other mistreatment, and to seek help, thus destigmatizing victimhood and preventing traumas with lifelong impacts on mental well-being. We proudly offer the option to present shows and answer questions in Spanish. We project reaching 18,000 children countywide this year including 1,800 in South Shore.

In the Child Abuse Prevention show, our trained puppeteers teach 3rd grade audiences how to safely recognize and report child abuse and neglect when it happens to them or a friend. Listening to the puppet characters’ age-appropriate stories, students learn abuse is never their fault and to use the NO, GO and TELL safety message.

For 4th and 5th Graders, KOTB presents the Bullying & Stereotyping Prevention show to promote school safety and increase awareness of bullying and its impact on victims. Respect of physical, developmental, and cultural differences is also addressed.

Finally, KOTB’s Personal Safety Performance delivers age-appropriate versions of the messages from the other two shows primarily to 1st and 2nd grade audiences. These shows focus on concepts such as creating an Emergency Safety Plan; when to call 911; how to use the “NO, GO and TELL” safety message; and how to identify unsafe adults.

Chapters Health Foundation

Circle of Hope Grief Center at Hernando-Pasco Hospice, $50,000

Following an evaluation of space utilization, selling the Hernando-Pasco Hospice (HPH) facility in Hudson, FL, where the Hospice Center for Grieving Children had served thousands of individuals for many years, was determined to be an efficient action. Doing so allows us to relocate to space currently underutilized in New Port Richey, FL, near the HPH Marliere Care Center. It also provides the opportunity to invent, imagine, and introduce innovative features into the new “Circle of Hope Grief Center.”

The new Grief Center will provide a larger, refreshed space that integrates the most current and innovative best practices in children’s grief therapy for the communities that HPH serves. The Grief Center will also be the hub from which all grief programs launch to support Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus residents, including the annual Grief Camp for Children and Teens, in-school grief groups, Grief Support Toolboxes for parents, guardians, guidance counselors, social workers, and others, and Age-Appropriate Grief Comfort Kits for grieving children and teens to take and keep at home to help them with their grief journey.

Funding from the CFTB will support new childhood grief therapy programs for the Circle of Hope inaugural year, including new grief support materials, the development and production of the Grief Support Toolboxes and the Age-Appropriate Grief Comfort Kits, marketing and outreach to area organizations, and a portion of the professional childhood counselor’s salary.

Children’s Home Society of Florida – Suncoast Tampa Bay Area

Mort Elementary Community Partnership School, Mental Health Enhancement, $22,000

The Children’s Home Society of Florida (CHS), Suncoast Region, is requesting $21,937 to support a portion of a full-time bi-lingual clinical counselor (salary and fringe) to provide therapy to students attending Mort Elementary School in the University Area of Tampa. Funding will be utilized to support 33% of the Clinical Counselor’s time to support therapy for uninsured students and offer anxiety screening at parent events at the school. The Counselor will provide therapy for approximately 40 children during the school year. Parent events at Mort often have 50 to 100 or more parents participating. Anxiety Screening would be offered on a voluntary basis to parents who are concerned about their child’s behavior (if they are age 8 or up). Since this has not been piloted previously, predicting the number of parents participating is difficult. However, we believe that at least 60 parents will take advantage of this service during the school year. Then based on the screening result, CHS would refer the parent to counseling provided by CHS or other resources as appropriate for their needs. Screening results that indicate a high need for treatment will be prioritized for counseling services. This will be the first time our agency has conducted this type of anxiety screening with parents; and if determined to be effective and useful, this model would be shared with the other 25 Community Partnership Schools operated by CHS.

Clearwater Free Clinic

Integrated Healthcare at the Clearwater Free Clinic, $25,000

Kevin was referred to the Clearwater Free Clinic (CFC) by one of our hospital partners after a hypertensive crisis landed him in the Intensive Care Unit. During his initial visit, Clinic practitioners prescribed medication to lower his blood pressure and provided education on heart health. While he was being examined, he mentioned concerns about his mental health. He was then quickly enrolled in our Behavioral Health Program. Since becoming a patient at the Clinic, Kevin’s blood pressure has stabilized and he continues to improve under our care. As a patient of the Behavioral Health Program, Kevin was selected to attend our art therapy class.

“Everyone at the Clinic is extremely helpful and supportive. They genuinely try to help in any way they can. What I really like about the [art therapy] class is being introduced to new mediums of art that I’ve never tried before.” – Kevin

The Clearwater Free Clinic has developed a model of integrated healthcare where patients can get support for their physical ailments and mental health challenges in the same place as part of their comprehensive care plan. The Behavioral Health Program at the CFC provides free care to low-income, uninsured patients who have been referred by our volunteer or staff healthcare providers.

If we are awarded this grant, we will be able to expand our impact on our patients through counseling services and group therapy classes.

Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, Inc.

Youth in Transition, $10,000

Funding received from Community Foundation Tampa Bay would support our Youth in Transition program. This program works with individuals between the ages of 16 to 25 who either have, are experiencing symptoms of, or are at risk of developing a serious mental health condition. Our team of care coordinators work with this population to provide direct linkages to treatment and support services in our community, both within our own organization and with partnering agencies and organizations throughout Tampa Bay.

Over the past few years, the need for this service has greatly increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, political unrest, and social injustice. The mental health of this population has suffered due to teens and young adults being unable to transition from where they are to where they want to be.

We are requesting $10,000 in support of our Youth in Transitions program to fund a Care Coordinator. After a client reaches out to the Crisis Center, the Care Coordinator works hands on with each of their clients to provide ongoing emotional support and resources for the duration of the client’s time within the program. This grant would be braided with other existing funding to fulfill the entire program need for this fiscal year.

Guardian Ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay Inc.

Trust-Based Relational Interventional Training (TBRI): Preparing Guardian ad Litem Volunteers and Staff to Help Improve Mental Health Outcomes for Abused and Neglected Children in Tampa Bay, $22,550

* This project will provide training on trauma-informed care to Guardian ad Litem (GAL) program staff and volunteers who serve the needs of children and families in the child welfare systems in Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough counties as well as relative and non-relative caregivers of those children. At a two-day conference, participants will be trained on Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI), an evidence-based program facilitated by certified trainers through the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development, a program of the Psychology Department at Texas Christian University.

* The ultimate beneficiaries of this program are children ages 0 to 18 in the child welfare systems in Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough counties who are served through the Guardian ad Litem programs of the 6th and 13th Judicial Circuit Courts. Currently, more than 5,000 children are served through the two programs in the three-county region. TBRI is designed to meet the complex needs of children who have experienced adversity, early harm, toxic stress, and/or trauma. Because of their histories, it is often difficult for children in the child welfare system to trust the loving adults in their lives, which often results in perplexing behaviors.

* Funds will be used to hire and provide travel for two TBRI certified trainers, print program and marketing materials, provide day of refreshments and lunch to attendees, and for AV equipment and facilities needed to host the two-day conference.

Healthy Start Coalition of Pinellas Inc

Supportive Counseling Services, $25,000

The Coalition is experiencing an increased need in supportive counseling for pregnant and new mothersand their babies who are uninsured, score high on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and needhelp covering the cost of mental health counseling. Many new mothers and moms-to-be are reportingincreased stress and anxiety. The EPDS is used for screening women during and after pregnancy to identifywomen at risk for “perinatal” depression. This Scale coupled with the Coalition’s Mothers and BabiesProgram curriculum (MBPC) in supportive counseling sessions to help women’s mental health and wellbeing.

Screening Intervals include (staff can screen sooner if they feel there is a need)
26 – 30 weeks prenatal
1 month postpartum
2 months postpartum

Interventions by score:If a score is <8 – No referral, client receives self-care with Partners for a Healthy Baby curriculum (PHBC).If a score is between 8 – 12 a client receives MBPC and sessions.If a score is above 13+, the client is referred to a local mental health agency or behavioral counselingPHBC and MBPC are provided by Healthy Start staff.Client may not be referred if they are already receiving services.

Population Served: Any uninsured pregnant woman or new mother in Pinellas County, scores 13+ on the EPDS and needs assistance to cover the cost of counseling services.

Request & Use: $25,000 for counseling sessions and staff support.

K9 Partners for Patriots Inc.

Operation Rescue 8.0, $12,500

K9 Partners for Patriots gives veterans a second chance at life through the experience of training and caring for their own service dog. Our organization focuses on veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and/or Military Sexual Trauma and provides them with a rescue dog and a six-month instructional program to train that dog as a service animal, all provided at no personal cost. After a veteran’s graduation from the program, we continue to provide veterinary care, annual recertification, and regular aftercare events to keep our veterans and dogs connected with their peers.

Our program is unique because we include the veteran in their dog’s training from day one. This allows the veteran and animal to build a bond of trust, communication, and companionship. This also encourages the veteran to break the pattern of self-isolation that so often leads to the premature end of a life. Engaging with this process has helped many former service members return to a routine, a sense of purpose, and meaningful connection with their veteran and home communities.

K9P4P has placed 665 veterans from 39 Florida counties into our program and rescued over 200 shelter dogs. However, there are thousands of struggling veterans in the Tampa Bay area alone that we have not yet been able to serve. Additional funding would enable us to start more training classes, serve more veterans, and save more dogs.

Kids and Canines

ADAPT (A Dog Assisted Program for Teens) Program, $18,366

With 20 years of experience working with children who have emotional and behavioral disabilities, we created the ADAPT Program. In the ADAPT Program, youth learn how to train dogs used in our reading programs, gaining essential skills like patience, kindness, and teamwork. The kids love the program because of the dogs. But they also feel pride knowing their efforts are helping others. Programs are offered at Title I schools, detention centers, and group homes to kids with special needs. Annually, we provide 1400 services to 120 youths through 12 to 24 sessions, depending on the child’s need. We bring six dogs into the schools to work with six kids for individualized attention. Each session is built around a specific SEL goal and allows us to use the dog dialogue to relate the lesson to the child’s life. For example, the first session is on the importance of first impressions and is done when the kids meet the dogs. The dogs are assigned based on the child’s and the dog’s personalities. Shy kids are paired with high-energy dogs to help build their confidence; high-energy kids are paired with low-energy dogs to help moderate their behaviors. This is important when working with youth who have ADHD. In training, the kids learn how to create and celebrate success through positive reinforcement, often altering their thinking. They practice kindness through grooming. Your funds will support this program’s costs and allow for expansion.

Red Tent Women’s Initiative

Red Tent Project Redirect, $15,000

Project Redirect is a diversion program, that began at the James B. Sanderlin Neighborhood Family Center in December 2022, offered to women (generally first-time nonviolent offenders) by the judge and/or Public Defender’s Office as an alternative to incarceration.

Project Redirect, a trauma informed program teaches participants skills to:

• Identify symptoms of trauma that led to poor choices and behaviors including substance abuse.
• Reframe negative past events using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
• Develop tools to handle emotional dysregulation that can often lead to self-medication.
• Learn and apply tools to build resilience including a science-based program, Heartmath
• Enhance interpersonal communication skills.
• Prepare the women for employment.

Classes are held once weekly for three hours. Trained facilitators teach the program to a maximum of 15 women per 8-week session. Local agencies such as Dress for Success of Tampa Bay are incorporated into the curriculum to provide vocational/workforce preparedness services to participants.
The projected first year service level for Project Redirect is four sessions of 15 women for a total of 60 women. In addition to the intensive 8-week sessions, RTWI provides follow-up case management services to Project Direct participants.

Funds will be used for facilitator salaries and supplies.

St. Petersburg Free Clinic, Inc.

SPFC Transitional Housing Programs – Increasing Mental Well-Being, $20,000

SPFC Transitional Housing Programs provide safe housing where those who are experiencing homelessness and recovering from substance use gain stability in their recovery while obtaining and maintaining employment, saving money, and building relationships. SPFC requests $20,000 to support personnel costs associated with mental health services for both Baldwin Women’s Residence (BWR) and SPFC Men’s Residence. At SPFC, we recognize the need to address mental health challenges which contribute to substance use and homelessness. Therefore, we have implemented in-house mental health services to augment case management. These services increase resilience and work to address the high rate of co-occurring disorders in a trauma-informed manner. Residents have access to 12 free sessions with a licensed clinician, including weekly group counseling and one-on-one sessions based on client need. Therapy sessions help clients build emotional regulation and stress management skills which are beneficial for shared living, job skills, and addressing root cause of addition. Funds will be utilized to support the salaries of licensed clinicians. For clients like Rick, who lost his partner of 25 years and due to immense grief, began using substances. “While at the Men’s Residence, I learned that I deserve to live. My desire to live is back again. Physically, I feel better, but most of my improvement has been with my mental health. I feel happy, hopeful, and have a desire to give back,” Rick shared.

Tampa Bay Thrives, Inc.

Let’s Talk Enhancement and Expansion, $50,000

Tampa Bay Thrives (TBT) was founded in 2019 by a diverse group of local leaders in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, and Polk counties who work in industries and communities greatly affected by mental health and substance use disorders. They aimed to improve the lives of friends, families, neighbors, and co-workers seeking help. TBT launched its first pilot project, Let’s Talk, in Hillsborough County during summer 2021. Let’s Talk is a free, confidential, 24/7 behavioral health support and navigation line, connecting callers to counselors trained to provide emotional support, information, and referrals to help people begin their journey to better mental health. Let’s Talk is currently open to all residents of Hillsborough and Pasco Counties, ages 17 and older. TBT respectfully requests $50,000 to support operations enhancement and expansion of Let’s Talk. TBT will continue to enhance Let’s Talk services in Hillsborough and Pasco Counties with behavioral health immediate care for individuals with urgent mental health needs, allowing connection and access to same-day services. Piloted in 2022, this will now scale further. Expansion of Let’s Talk will include services to all residents of Pinellas County (ages 17+) beginning with emotional support, information, and referrals. Let’s Talk will partner with community providers to fill an existing gap in mental health services for the “worried well” in Pinellas County to prevent mental crisis and reduce long wait times for therapy.

Academy Prep Foundation, Inc.

Graduate Support Services, $25,000

Recognizing that the majority of students at Academy Prep will be first generation college students and all are low-income, we developed Graduate Support Services (GSS) to ensure that our students have the support and resources they need to overcome any challenges and obstacles that may prevent them from not only enrolling in college, but graduating. For at least 8 years after graduation, GSS helps Academy Prep graduates navigate the high school and college financial aid and admissions processes and engages students in college focused activities while offering a variety of academic prep services. GSS also assists in covering the costs of ancillary items needed for graduates to continue their education. Students gain social and emotional support through long term relationships with program staff. The goal of GSS is to provide graduates a smooth and successful transition into high school and post-secondary education so they are in the position to support themselves and their families, and help change their communities. The program has proven successful with 98% of graduates graduating high school on time and 82% enrolling in college. Academy Prep is currently serving 730 alumni and 115 7th and 8th grade students preparing for high school. A $25,000 grant will be used for direct service GSS staff salaries and ancillary items needed for alumni including textbooks, technology, summer programming, fees for registration and testing, tutoring, school visits and more.

Bess the Book Bus, Inc.

Joy of Reading Pop Up Book Fair, $6,412

We are requesting $6,412 to bring our Joy of Reading Pop-Up Book Fair to Foster Elementary pre-K through 2nd grade students, 4 times in the 2023-2024 school year. Foster will be 1 of 7 Hillsborough County Transformation Network Schools to receive visits. Our colorful book bus will set up at the school in a safe and accessible area. Our rolling book carts and colorful signage will create a book shopping environment and each class will visit at a scheduled time. Our book fairs: (1) Promote literacy and change behaviors around reading in an effort to continually improve school readiness and a student’s identity as a reader and a scholar. (2) Provide access to and choice of high-quality, relevant, age-appropriate books that take into account student’s interests in an effort to expand their knowledge. (3) Create a fun and interactive environment that facilitates discussion about books in a joyous and celebratory way. (4) Make book ownership special and something to be proud of. (5) Help students identify as readers. (6) Give teachers the opportunity to choose the books that they need to build classroom libraries that they feel would be most beneficial to their students. During each visit, students and teachers will “shop” for 2 books to keep, resulting in home and classroom libraries of at least 8 books each. The funds will be used to provide staff, volunteers, planning, transportation costs, set up, tear down, books, and bookmarks needed for each of the 4 book fair visits.

Friends of the Children – Tampa Bay Inc.

Family & Community Partnerships to Support Youth Learning, $40,000

Friends of the Children–Tampa Bay enrolls youth who face tremendous barriers: generational poverty and trauma, disparities in health and education, systemic racial discrimination, and more. We pair children with professional mentors (called “Friends”) who provide weekly 1:1 mentoring for 12+ years—through high school graduation. Friends support youth in their school, home, and community, helping them build a path to positive, self-determined life goals.

Our model combines the power of relationships with skill-building to help children learn and grow in resilience. In addition to 1:1 relationships with youth, Friends connect with families and community partners to build a network that supports each child’s well-being, learning, and growth.

Family & Community Partnerships to Support Youth Learning will fund our work to support youth learning and social-emotional development:
* Supporting youth in school, where Friends spend up to 2 hours with each child weekly.
* Expanding our network of partner agencies to offer even more enriching learning opportunities to youth. YMCAs, cultural events, and other community experiences help our youth build life skills and love learning.
* Expanding our services to caregivers through a research-based two-generation (2Gen) framework that empowers them to access resources and achieve their own goals.
Ultimately, our program helps youth break generational cycles of poverty and trauma, with benefits to the entire Tampa Bay community.

Gentlemen’s Quest of Tampa Inc.

Life Class and STEMQuest Summer Program, $30,000

By attending Life Class and the STEMQuest summer program, at-risk minority male students are provided with critical life skills they need to build their intellectual, emotional, and relational capacity to construct an identity based on respect, accountability, and responsibility. Life Class is offered to high school students after school on a weekly basis and tutoring is available 5 days a week. The students engage in structured activities that result in enhanced relationships, increased school performance, and strengthened family connections, leading them to become positive contributions to society. Students who attend Title 1 schools in Hillsborough County are admitted to the program after receiving a referral from a guidance counselor, social worker, or the court system. A Success Coach meets with each student to identify three goals and create an action plan to meet milestones on the path towards their goals. The Success Coach meets every week with students to monitor their progress and make adjustments if they are off course. STEMQuest is a 3-week long summer program exploring STEM careers. Eight teams of 4 students will be mentored by representatives from local businesses and government departments to complete a case study to discover how drones would be valuable to their organizations. Funds will be used to include sessions with our Success Coach, meals for students, Drone Certification facilitator, STEMQuest facilitator, drone kits and supplies for the summer program.

Hillsborough Education Foundation

Transforming Early Literacy Initiative, $40,000

Student achievement gaps are widening in Hillsborough. Kindergarten Readiness scores have declined 4% over the past four years and is at an unacceptable 52%, falling short of the state average of 57%. 3rd grade ELA Reading proficiency has dropped from 53% to 50%. When disaggregating the data, proficiency drastically decreases showing only 32% of black students and 41% of Hispanic students reading on grade level. Data shows the importance of early grade success, and in particular, early literacy, in creating a strong academic foundation for students. High quality instruction is critical for student learning. Transforming Early Literacy Initiative (TELI) aims to focus on improving educator practices through job embedded coaching as well as align standards and practices between PreK and Kindergarten (K) to increase student achievement. Literacy coaches will ensure PreK and K teachers’ instructional skills are effective and reflect best practices with real-time observation and continuous feedback. TELI will also create PreK and K alignment to provide the systemic change necessary across both grade levels to create a smooth transition for students and parents. By focusing these efforts in twelve of our highest need schools that have significant low proficiency scores, TELI will act as an accelerant to bridge the achievement gaps and build a systemic and policy-based foundation for academic success impacting over 3600 students over a 4-year period.

Parents and Children Advance Together (PCAT) Literacy Ministries, Inc.

Expanding PCAT Positive Education at Ruskin Elementary, $10,000

PCAT will provide after-school educational programming to a total of 90 children in kindergarten through second grade attending Ruskin Elementary during 2023-2024 school year. This school year (2022-2023), PCAT is expanding to serve second graders for the first time. $10,000 is requested for PCAT Positive Education, which will allow us to continue serving Kindergarten through second graders next school year. Ruskin teachers refer students who are not reading or reading below grade level to the program. By addressing children with learning challenges early in their school experience, the program is able to ensure that children who are most at risk for academic failure improve their reading skills. As a result, last school year 100% of the students served were promoted to the next grade. Ensuring that all aspects of the program utilized positive education approaches is expected to improve the long-term impact of the program on students and their families. This strength based approach is particularly important to assist students in recovering from the detrimental impacts on emotional health resulting from the pandemic. Funding will be utilize to support students through curriculum, activities, staff salaries. The program will also host an event to help parents learn proven and successful methods to help their student improve their social and emotional learning skills through literacy and real life skill mastery.

R’Club Child Care, Inc.

R’Club’s Early Learning Social-Emotional Project, $8,659

R’Club Child Care requests $8,659 for our Early Learning Social-Emotional Project at 8 licensed Early Learning Academies (ELAs) in Pinellas County. This project supports providing high-quality early childhood education for projected 630 enrolled children and 532 families from communities hit hard by COVID-19.

Five of eight ELAs are in At-Risk Zones designated as high-poverty communities with 79% of children receiving free/reduced meals. Enrolled children identify as 80% BIPOC (Black & Indigenous People of Color) and 23% Hispanic ethnicity. (Source: 2021-22 School Year)

To address behavioral issues arising during COVID-19, R’Club’s ELAs need social-emotional training and tools to maximize children’s learning time and reduce challenging behaviors. More time spent on learning improves children’s outcomes for kindergarten.

With $8,659 requested funding, R’Club will use $1,489 to train 150 staff on Conscious Discipline modules and $7,170 for 30-Behind the Little Red Barn Door Activity Kits to support children’s social-emotional development. R’Club will offer $27,000 in-kind for 1,800 hours of paid staff training and secure funding for Procare’s Parent Engagement App and Teaching Strategies Gold assessments at all ELAs.

R’Club’s Early Learning Social-Emotional Project gives teachers the tools to enhance our high-quality programs, strengthening children’s social-emotional skills, and supporting parent involvement in their child’s education, mental health, and future success.

Seniors in Service of Tampa Bay, Inc.

Foster Grandparent SEL Enhancement, $49,851

We are seeking $49,851 for our Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) Social Emotional Learning (SEL) enhancement, to address education inequalities for impoverished minority children. Without your help these children are more likely to fall even farther behind.

FGP is a long-standing evidence-based program that helps children overcome life obstacles for academic & lifelong success. We engage trained, culturally relevant, aged 55+ volunteers to provide one-on-one mentoring/tutoring in low-income schools. Volunteers serve 5-30 hours/week in the same classroom for the entire school year, serving as the consistent, caring adult that struggling children need to thrive. Volunteers attend monthly expert trainings on Learning Styles; Trauma-informed Teaching, & Social Emotional Skills. They support students with teacher-guided academic tutoring to build literacy and Social Emotional Learning activities to help kids face adversity in productive ways. Outcomes independently accessed by teachers last year showed 91% improved literacy; 97% improved SEL.

* FGP serves impoverished children in Pre-K-3rd grade classrooms who face challenges in & out of the classroom & are at risk of falling behind.

* Funds support enriched SEL training for tutors to use with children they serve; ongoing one-on-one literacy tutoring for kids who need it most, and enhanced outreach to sustain and build partnerships with schools to help our most vulnerable children succeed in school and beyond.

Shirley Proctor Puller Foundation, Inc.

SPPF High School M.A.S.T.R. Plan, $25,000

SPPF is launching a new program for 6th-10th graders, the SPPF: High School M.A.S.T.R. Plan This program provides robust and targeted support for students transitioning from middle school to high school including a) core skill development and tutoring, b) planning tools to develop and maintain an evolving high school success plan, c) personality and career assessments, d) test preparation classes (PSAT, SAT, ACT) e) career awareness building coursework and “pre-apprenticeships.” Students (and parents) will learn to set goals and track progress using award winning Naviance software, which is used by 15+ million students. The software was recently launched by Pinellas County Schools but still has extremely low awareness and use in the south St. Pete community.

Adjusting from middle to high school presents significant change and uncertainty, regardless of student background. New class structures, new teachers and friends, and increased responsibility and expectations can be daunting. Students from south St. Petersburg typically struggle with added burdens rooted in generational inequity. Most parents are ill-equipped to help students navigate this transition. SPFF will provide a holistic educational experience that is often out of reach for low-income families. The program builds naturally upon the successful SPPF M.A.S.T.R. Kids Program where 80% of enrolled K-8th graders routinely avoid summer slide, and 70%-80% improve grade level reading performance annually.

Sing Out and READ, Inc.

The Family Literacy Project – 2023 Expansion, $14,500

Family Literacy Project (FliP) is an after-school, in-home e-learning reading intervention to help at-risk Pinellas & Hillsborough County children ages 6-12 achieve reading proficiency through the power of singing. Our unique approach fosters positive education as it disguises learning through gamification, a theory in education that learners learn best when they are having fun. The majority of students are from low-income families; nearly 85% are Black; attend Title 1 schools & 100% receive free/reduced lunch. FLiP works in parallel with schools; is delivered free of cost on a tablet (locked so only the reading program can be accessed) directly to the student. Students who successfully complete the 12-week program are rewarded the tablet (unlocked) to acknowledge their hard work & accomplishment. FliP uses instructional software (library of over 200 songs grouped by difficulty level K-8th grade) and takes 900 minutes (2 songs/day) to complete. FLiP coaches establish relationships with parents and troubleshoot difficulties. Overall students gain1 full year in reading comprehension level after program use; students more than 2 years behind in reading can repeat the course. Through repetition, visual learning & explicit vocabulary instruction, students progress through levels with comprehension tests. 100% of our request will be used to purchase tablets (250 Amazon HD Fire 7″ tablet at $58/tablet = $14,500) to meet the increased demand for our program, 166% increase from 2019.

2022 Grant Cycle

360 EATS, Inc.

360 Eats Food Truck, $40,000

The 360 Eats Food Truck Project enables 360 Eats to acquire a food truck with a fully functioning kitchen. 360 Eats is seeking $40,000 from the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay to acquire the truck and help cover initial, minimal operating costs.

360 Eats already has the necessary partnerships and processes in place in terms of established food donation partners and meal recipient locations. However, 360 Eats is currently limited by its volunteers’ vehicles in terms of the amount of food that can be transported, both from a pick-up perspective and delivery of meals to local shelters and community centers. The food truck significantly expands 360 Eats’ impact, providing the ability to deliver over four times as many meals to food-insecure individuals and families throughout northern Pinellas County. This output is expected to increase as operations continue to scale. 

The population 360 Eats focuses on includes families with limited reliable transportation, unpredictable work schedules, and no means to prepare meals themselves. 360 Eats currently serves meals on a weekly basis at local community family and homeless centers. The food truck allows 360 Eats to deliver meals to new locations that lack functioning kitchens, thereby serving a greater population, including homebound seniors, the mentally disabled, and at-risk youth. Additionally, the high-quality nature of the meals served reduces any stigma associated with receiving food on a donated basis.

Friends of Carrollwood Cultural Center, Inc.

Arts Experiences for the Blind and Visually Impaired Community, $15,000

The Carrollwood Cultural Center seeks $15,000 support for Arts Experiences for the Blind and Visually Impaired Community, an initiative to expand our commitment to provide cultural and educational programs to a part of our community that is quite frequently left out of the mainstream arts and live performance world. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, Florida has the second largest Blind/Visually Impaired (B/VI) population in the U.S. representing 2.5% of Florida’s total population, or 537,500 people. Currently, only seven theatrical companies in the State of Florida offer audio described (AD) performances, and only one of those facilities is located in the Tampa Bay area. Audio described exhibitions and performances bring theatrical, dance, and art experiences to the B/VI community by hiring a trained audio describer to narrate the visual elements of a performance or exhibit, including lights, costumes, actions, textures, and scenery. As part of our larger initiative to build an encompassing audio description program and to highlight Blind Awareness Month in October, we are requesting a $15,000 grant for a national touring group, Blind Visionaries, to perform and a host a workshop at the Center, and to purchase an assistive listening system so that audio description is available for all Center-produced theatrical and dance performances and art exhibitions to the underserved B/VI patrons in the Tampa Bay area over continuous seasons.

Gasparilla Music Foundation

Recycled Tunes, $12,000

The Gasparilla Music Foundation’s Recycled Tunes program takes an innovative approach to address growing funding deficiencies for arts education in Hillsborough County’s primary schools.  GMF uses its annual music festival to promote elementary school music programs and to raise funds for its Recycled Tunes program. Originally, the program collected used instruments to refurbish and donate to underserved music classrooms. The program has grown significantly in the past few years and now provides a broad scope of services and supplies to classrooms. In 2021, the program provided over 700 new and used instruments, equipment, and repairs to 50 schools in Hillsborough County, primarily Title 1 elementary schools.

Gasparilla Music Foundation is requesting $12,000 from the Community Foundation Tampa Bay Competitive Grant for support of its Recycled Tunes Program. Funds will be used to support the Recycled Tunes instrument workshop in Tampa and allow it to purchase instruments, parts, and other equipment to fulfill the growing music related needs in Title 1 classrooms in Hillsborough County.

Museum of Fine Arts of St. Petersburg, Inc.

MFA | Picture of Health: Art for Well-Being,  $23,220

“Picture of Health” at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, is a series of public programs conceived in collaboration with local agencies and mental health providers in accordance with published research into the science-based, positive impact of the arts on health and well-being. In order to address the needs of children, families, and adults across socio-economic and social health spectrums, this project is a multi-phase initiative with a range of community partners, agencies, healthcare organizations and practitioners serving residents throughout and adjacent to the Tampa Bay region. The MFA respectfully requests $23,220 toward the museum’s initiatives, implementation, collateral, supplies and communications related to improving community mental health and well-being through art and the museum’s resources.

Reach Services Inc.

Mobile Grocery Store,  $20,000

We are A 501c3 nonprofit that has operated since 2016 to provide free resources to prevent and alleviate homelessness, low-income, and at-risks situations in Pinellas County. We are seeking $20,000 towards our newest initiative of a mobile grocery store to cover gas costs to operate the bus and assist in increasing our staff capacity to efficiently run the program. Recently the PSTA Board donated a city bus to our organization to transform into a mobile grocery store. They chose our organization because we have the experience in food security, the sustainability to maintain the service, and to help us expand our current outreach operations to reach more people. This outreach program is a grocery store on wheels restoring access to food deserts in Pinellas County and beyond. We have three focuses:

  • Direct Access: Providing fresh food to communities underserved by traditional grocery options.
  • Food Affordability: Offering donation-based food for those who are experiencing low-income situations.
  • Community Awareness: Working to partner with organizations in Pinellas County to bring attention to the resources for those in need.

This program is an extension of our current food services making it easier to get access to food and basic necessities by driving a bus route that comes directly to clients in need. The Mobile Grocery Store will serve anyone who is food insecure and/or located in a food desert in Pinellas County. This includes men, women, and children.

University of South Florida St Petersburg

Growing More Vibrant Communities Through Conversations: A Pilot Project to Reignite the Power of Neighborhood Associations in St. Petersburg, $14,000

TLC will partner with St. Pete neighborhood groups on an innovative community pilot project designed to increase civic participation, commitments to collective action, and neighborhood vibrancy. TLC proposes to partner with the City of St. Petersburg and the Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) to 1) train neighborhood volunteer leaders in the World Café methodology as part of its neighborhood leadership development, 2) co-host community World Café listening sessions in participating neighborhoods, 3) conduct community-based sociological research on community vibrancy, 4)prepare a training guide to conversational leadership for use by neighborhood associations and, 5) communicate insights to the public.

We hypothesize that when neighbors attend World Café listening sessions they will become more engaged with one another and with their communities. By meeting, collaborating, and sharing their concerns, dreams, and ideas, residents will become more connected and empowered and their community will be healthier, safer, and more vibrant as a result.

The requested funds will provide stipends for World Café Co-Hosts who design and facilitate the events, a new Project Manager/Communications Specialist, a USFSP Sociology Student Research Assistant, and a Research Manager. Funds will also help defray the basic costs of venue rental and supplies.

Winthrop Arts, Inc.

Winthrop Arts Mobile Art Factory, $15,000

The Winthrop Mobile Art Factory offers free arts instruction to children who live in underserved areas such as Wimauma. The classes are modeled after the programs offered in our arts studio, the Art Factory, located in Riverview. We serve children whose families are migrant and low income and receive services from our partners. Many of these students would not be able to attend art classes outside of school due to issues such as lack of transportation. We resolve this issue by taking the classes to the students. Our current partners include Hispanic Services Council in both Wimauma and Plant City, Achieve Plant City and Beth El Farmworkers’ Ministry in Wimauma.  We are requesting $15,000 (and will gratefully take any amount less). We will use the funds to pay the instructor to travel to Wimauma two times per week and provide instruction at Hispanic Services Council and Beth El Farmworkers’ Ministry. Funds will also pay for mileage and art supplies. We recently added Beth El Farmworkers’ Ministry in August 2021 and would like to be able to provide an instructor weekly. Currently, we have funding to go to Hispanic Services Council in each location three times per month. We currently travel to Achieve Plant City and Beth El Farmworkers’ Ministry just one time per month each. The need for arts instruction in Wimauma is high. We would like to increase the program to four times a month at Beth El Farmworkers’ Ministry and Hispanic Services Council.

IDEAS For Us

Tampa Bay Ecological Shoreline Restoration Projects, $6,000

Water quality issues are a rising threat throughout the Tampa Bay area with many instances of pollution, habitat loss, saltwater intrusion, and more. To combat this crisis, we are hosting a series of ecological shoreline restoration projects in 2022. We are requesting $6,000 to carry out two shoreline restoration projects in the areas of St. Pete Beach and Ulele Springs. The St. Pete Beach event will be a dune restoration project, working with Keep Pinellas Beautiful, to plant 500 Sea Oats and 50 Sea Grapes throughout the inner coastline of the beaches. The Ulele Springs event will be in partnership with Ecosphere to plant hundreds of Sea Grasses and to clean up the surrounding area of debris.

These events will be carried out in spring and summer of 2022 with two months of monitoring following each installation. The implementation of these restoration projects will be open to the public so the community can be involved in hands-on climate action while learning about coastal ecology. The population served will consist of locals of all ages and backgrounds in the area. The funds will be used for tools, soil, and Florida native plants. The implications of these restoration initiatives greatly impact the wellbeing of the local community, the economic value of the area, and the ecological health of Tampa Bay.

Audubon Florida

Invasive Vegetation Removal Project & Maintaining South Hillsborough Bay Bird Sanctuaries, $25,000

Audubon Florida’s Coastal Islands Sanctuaries (FCIS), based in Tampa, is seeking a grant for our work in the South Hillsborough Bay bird sanctuaries, as well as continuing our invasive vegetation removal project within the sanctuaries. Audubon Florida manages three island sanctuaries in Hillsborough Bay south of the Alafia River: Green Key, Whiskey Stump Key, and the Richard T. Paul Alafia Bank Bird Sanctuary Critical Wildlife Area, which is owned and managed in collaboration with the Mosaic Company and Port Tampa Bay. 

The Alafia Bank is one of the most important bird nesting islands in Florida with annual counts consisting of 14 species totaling up to 10,000 pairs. In 2020-21, we restored over 20 acres on the three islands by clearing and treating invasive vegetation and planting more than 1,200 native plants. Currently in the restoration portion of this project, funding from CFTB will go towards re-treatment of invasive species that regrow and out-compete the native plants before they can become established. This project will promote the health of the Hillsborough Bay ecosystem and serve the entire Tampa Bay community by providing high quality nesting habitat that many of the region’s iconic birds rely on. Audubon is requesting funding for the invasive vegetation removal, a part of on-going restoration efforts on the islands ($25,000).

Seaside Seabird Sanctuary

For the Birds ! Enhancing Wildlife Educational Experiences for Students and Residents of Tampa Bay, $12,000

The overall purpose of this project is to enhance the educational experience for visitors to the SSS and improve educational outreach activities. Support of the activities proposed here from the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay will have a significant impact on the community, given that the SSS is the largest bird rescue and rehab center from Sarasota to the panhandle of Florida. 

One of the main goals of the SSS is to educate the community about wild birds and the dangers that they face. The Sanctuary uses a number of pedagogical tools to accomplish this goal.  Specifically, we will establish a tour that will include an interactive experience at each of the bird enclosures at the Sanctuary and in the Educational Center. In addition, we propose to build an amphitheater outside the Bald Eagle aviary to facilitate educational presentations.  Finally, we propose to update the Educational Center at the Sanctuary. One of our primary goals with the updates will be to increase public environmental awareness on how coastal birds, fish, and plants are being affected by humans and how we can be responsible citizens in this important and sensitive ecosystem. 

Funds will be used to: 1.purchase materials for the interactive tour 2.build the new amphitheater 3.purchase saltwater tanks and signage for the Educational Center.

Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay

Junior Achievement’s Environmental Learning Experiences, $20,000

Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay (JATB) is requesting funding to be distributed at $20,000 a year for 5 years to create JA’s Environmental Learning Experiences that will cultivate an environmental mindset in students in order to increase their understanding of the importance of protecting, restoring and improving the natural environment. This awareness will be achieved by integrating environmental and sustainability issues into JATB’s experimental learning experiences at JA BizTown and JA Finance Park. At JA BizTown, every 5th grader has a job to do in one of the numerous businesses. If funded, an environmental center would be created where students learn how their decisions and actions can change the environment.  Students in the environment center would manage the recycling program for JA BizTown, educate its citizens on how plants replenish land, water and air by planting plants, the impact it has on maintaining the ecosystem and how environmental conservation in our community affects us all and our well-being. As students’ progress into 8th grade and attend in JA Finance Park, they will have an opportunity to explore the high demand careers in the environmental sciences through a digital career app that matches skills with interests.

Academy Prep Foundation, Inc.

Graduate Support Services, $25,000

Recognizing that the majority of students at Academy Prep will be first generation college students and all are low-income, we developed Graduate Support Services (GSS) to ensure that our students have the support and resources they need to overcome any challenges and obstacles that may prevent them from not only enrolling in college, but graduating. For at least 8 years after graduation, GSS helps Academy Prep graduates navigate the high school and college financial aid and admissions processes and engages students in college focused activities while offering a variety of academic prep services. GSS also assists in covering the costs of ancillary items needed for graduates to continue their education. Students gain social and emotional support through long term relationships with program staff. The goal of GSS is to provide graduates a smooth and successful transition into high school and post-secondary education so they are in the position to support themselves and their families, and help change their communities.  The program has proven successful with 98% of graduates graduating high school on time and 82% enrolling in college. Academy Prep is currently serving 718 alumni and 136 7th and 8th grade students preparing for high school. A $25,000 grant will be used for direct service GSS staff salaries and ancillary items needed for alumni including textbooks, technology, summer programming, fees for registration and testing, tutoring, school visits and more.

AMIkids Tampa

AMIkids Tampa Culinary Training Program, $40,000

The AMIkids Tampa Culinary Training Program will provide vocational services to young adults ages 16- 24. We are requesting $40,000 which will be used to expand our current vocational services at AMIkids Tampa and add new food service certifications and culinary skill-building as part of our vocational training tracks.

AMIkids Tampa provides a comprehensive integrated vocational training program for at-risk young adults that is individualized to each participant’s needs. This program combines specific vocational skills training with classroom instruction to prepare workers for highly skilled careers. Our youth benefit from the program by receiving a skills-based education combined with individually tailored case management that prepares them for good paying jobs. AMIkids transitions participants into relevant and rigorous programs with hands-on experience while increasing interest in careers that are related to post-secondary programs and require further education. AMIkids has been successful in developing a workforce with a quicker turnaround for local business and industry needs which encourages economic development and new business through a better trained workforce. 

We are now seeking to expand our vocational services program to include culinary skills training, industry-recognized food safety certifications, and job placement in the food service industry. Funds awarded from this grant will go towards program supplies, instructional materials, and students’ needs.

Beth-El Farmworker Ministry, Inc.

Step Up for Success – Pre-College Experience, $14,600

We request $14,600 for the Step Up for Success Pre-College experience which provides students of farm working families the opportunities to explore possible post-secondary academic and professional pathways. This project targets students in grades 9th-11th who demonstrate interest in academic achievement and professional development.  The program is designed with four components: mentoring, leadership development and career training, networking through civic engagement and service, and celebration.  Each scholar works closely with a mentor who helps them navigate through the process of setting goals and planning the steps to achieve them. Step Up also provides an expanded network of peer support, where scholars can journey together while setting and working through achieving their personal, academic, and professional goals and also supporting each other through hardship and challenges.  This program provides leadership opportunities to scholars through leadership summer camp experiences, classes on financial literacy, civic engagement, life skills, among others.  Scholars are encouraged to volunteer and provide service hours serve their community.  Along the journey scholars are provided spaces to celebrate milestones and achievement, highlighting the importance in stopping to reflect, assess, and celebrate their work.

Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties

Expanding Access to Affordable Homeownerships, $25,000

At Habitat, we provide 0% interest, 30-year fixed rate mortgages to hard-working families. Eliminating, interest payments helps in keeping mortgage payments affordable and provides a permanent housing solution of affordable homeownership. Many may not know this, yet at Habitat we both originate all our loans in-house as well as service all of our mortgages. Currently, our program application process is running on an outdated system that lacks online integration and involves significant amounts of manual processes. Specifically, our pre-application process is almost exclusively done manually and can take up to 30 days for formal review. The lack of online access limits our applicant pool as applicants cannot submit application items electronically which causes them to physically submit items. This lack of functionality and automation increases delays and errors, thus reducing access to affordable housing. This is especially true for those with limited transportation or other barriers to access. It is critical to streamline and automate this system. We are requesting $25,000 to support the implementation of a custom and innovative software solution that will transform the homeowner application process, significantly reducing wait times and bringing it into the 21st century. Creating a bespoke system, catering to our homeowner’s needs will greatly enhance the experience of our homeowner candidates, increase access to credit and will increase chances of program success.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office

Combating Elderly Fraud and Exploitation in Hillsborough County, $10,000

This project, Combating Elderly Fraud and Exploitation in Hillsborough County, aims to raise awareness, educate, and empower the elderly community of Sun City Center, Florida against elderly fraud and exploitation through the use of educational materials, advertisements, and community engagement.  According to the 2020 US Census, the target population of Sun City Center is home to approximately 31,000 residents with the average resident age of 73.  Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) is requesting a grant amount of $10,000.00 which will be specifically used on varying advertisement types and law enforcement personnel training to attain best practices and in turn deliver quality service to the elderly community it serves.  The impact of this project has potential to go beyond the target populations due to its use of advertisement and collaborations with community partners.

Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay

Supporting Equitable Education through Junior Achievements 3DE High School, $25,000

Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay in partnership with Pinellas County schools looks to add a third 3DE High School in Pinellas County. Designed to strengthen and enrich the lives of our neighbors and the communities where we live and work the 3DE model is the solutions provider addressing structural inequities in education, expanding economic mobility for all. 3DE re-engineers high school to be more relevant, experiential and connected to the complexities of the real world  to expand economic opportunity for all students.  Through case methodology and the joint venture partnerships with the broader business community, 3DE increases student engagement and relevant connectivity through project based application. The model taps into students innate desire to learn by creating communities of engaged and aspirational teens who are empowered with the skills to drive toward economic opportunity. A $25,000 investment in 3DE would be an investment to support the launch of the 3DE model at Gibbs high school in St. Petersburg Florida in 2022-2023. Located in one of the most economically challenged neighborhoods, Gibbs represents one of the most diverse student cohorts in Pinellas County, with a 61% Black population and 69% of the students identifying as economically disadvantaged. The Community Foundations investment would support the relevant content, teacher development, local partnership development, experiential learning and systems improvement that the 3DE model brings.

LiFT Inc, (Learning Independence For Tomorrow)

The LiFT Microbusiness Expansion, $10,000

Learning Independence For Tomorrow, Inc. (LiFT) requests $10,000 to complete funding for the expansion of The LiFT Microbusiness Expansion, a program providing exceptional and equal opportunities in employment and hands-on job training for neurodiverse adult students. The LiFT University Transition Program (ages 18-22) and Day Program (ages 23+) serve students with varying disabilities (autism, Down syndrome, ADHD, dyslexia, OCD, processing disorders, developmental delays). LiFT created its Microbusiness Program to provide students with real world vocational experiences with the support of LiFT job coaches in a controlled environment tailored for individual success. Microbusinesses are revenue-producing, student-run and include: LiFT U Cleaning Crew (providing weekly commercial cleaning services to local businesses), LiFT Your Heart (creation and sale of high-quality personalized bags, handmade candles and bath products, and gifts sold at local markets and retail stores; while developing social skills in selling to customers), and LiFT Your Fork (full-service catering company where students create custom menus, prepare food, and serve it with professionalism at events to hundreds of guests). The Microbusinesses have experienced tremendous growth and require new equipment, marketing materials and supplies so students may continue to run them effectively, meet demand, fine-tune skills, accept new job opportunities, and increase their capacity to work and live independently.

MacDonald Training Center

Career Readiness Training for Neurodiverse Adults, $15,000

MTC respectfully requests a grant in the amount of $15,000 to support Career Readiness Training for Neurodiverse Adults offered in its eMerge Career Collaborative (eMerge). The goal of the eMerge program is to surmount barriers to employment for people with disabilities, preparing these job seekers for career success. 

eMerge offers transformational, certificate-based job training aligned with employment opportunities in four high-growth sectors of the economy: technology, manufacturing, and healthcare and hospitality. Each track leads to an industry-standard certification, such as Certified Logistics Associate or Microsoft Office Specialist, which demonstrates to a future employer that the eMerge student has the content knowledge, hands-on technical training,  and personal and professional skills required for employment and career advancement.

In a unique option for individuals on the autism spectrum, students in the Tech2Work track first complete eMerge digital literacy courses, then matriculate to the automation technology course at The Learning Academy at the University of South Florida to prepare for high-paying tech careers in the growing field of automation. This “bundled approach” combines two college-level courses in one program at two locations and affords students all the experiences of a large public university campus community. Grant funds will be used to support staff salaries, student transportation vouchers and outreach and recruitment efforts.

Pasco-Hernando State College Foundation, Inc.

Pasco-Hernando State College – Inspiring Brighter Futures for Underpriviledged Youth Through Pre-Collegiate Mentoring and College Readiness, $10,000

Imagine you dropped out of high school or just scraped by, and college wasn’t an option for you. You decide to just work more hours at your part-time, minimum-wage job instead. Full-time hours seem like a lot of money when you’re 16, but ten years later, you’re still earning the same income, but living on your own or even trying to support a family. In an economy where low-wage jobs are plentiful, fewer high school graduates attend college and instead take jobs with limited advancement.

The PHSC Pre-Collegiate Academic and Cultural Academy is a mentoring program for economically disadvantaged youth in grades 6-12, which encompasses curriculum from the College Reach Out Program (CROP), Centers of Excellence (COE), and National Achiever’s Society (NAS). These initiatives aim to motivate and inspire underserved students annually to graduate high school, attend college, and secure meaningful and sustainable careers. The program operates year-round, coinciding with the school year. PHSC is requesting $10,000 to support these efforts.

Through this funding, approximately 75 underrepresented students will engage in enriching academic and cultural programs with a goal of promoting academic excellence, community-centered work ethic, and reducing negative peer pressure associated with academic achievement. By building a community of support and helping young people believe that they can achieve, we take students who are expected to drop out of school and mentor them through college to career.

Virtual Enterprises International

Educating for the Social, Emotional and Economic Well-Being of Today’s Tampa Bay Area Students and Tomorrow’s Workforce, $10,000

Area secondary schools to provide career exploration and career development programs to economically-disadvantaged students. Our programs bring together business education, financial literacy and technological literacy by transforming classrooms into offices and students into professionals charged with running start-up companies that simulate the functions and demands of real-world businesses in a global economy of over 7000 student-run businesses. This enables students to learn business by doing business and to test drive potential careers. They also gain a range of competencies that are strongly linked to educational, economic, and professional success. 

We are currently working in eight secondary schools that serve over 580 students in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Hernando counties. Hernando is excited to expand our offerings to more of their students as a result of district efforts to offer career pathways as part of its educational programming, as well as aligning with the state DOE focus on entrepreneurship. VEI has a sustainable, scalable model and is requesting financial support in the amount of $15,000. By intensifying our efforts in Hernando County, more economically-disadvantaged students can earn industry-recognized certifications (e.g., Entrepreneurship Small Business, Intuit Design for Delight, Intuit Quickbooks) and develop foundational career readiness skills.

ALPHA House of Pinellas County

ALPHA House’s Critical Services and Residential Maternity Housing for Homeless and At-Risk Teen Girls and Women, $20,000

ALPHA House (AH) respectfully requests $20,000 in support of its’ critical services and housing program for pregnant teens and women who are experiencing homelessness, domestic violence, or are at risk of becoming homeless. Combined with foster care income from the state,  corporate and foundation grants, and individual donors, these funds will help cover the costs associated with sheltering a mom and her baby ($150.75/night/family).

For 40 years AH has been the only residential maternity program in Pinellas County providing shelter and direct services to pregnant women and teens experiencing homelessness, new mothers with infants, and families experiencing crisis pregnancies. AH has provided housing, trauma-informed therapeutic supportive services, and unconditional love to more than 3,000 unduplicated women, teens, and infants. Last year, 94% of those who graduated from our housing programs successfully transitioned into permanent housing/independent living. 

AH transforms lives by providing a full continuum of services to meet the physical, emotional, educational, vocational, and spiritual well-being of women between the ages of 14–41. This includes accessible and inclusive emergency housing, case management predicated on increasing women’s’ sense of agency, trauma-informed counseling, immediate access to physical and mental health services, survivor-based housing programs, effective education, and job-based services, and wellness/life/parenting skills activities.

CASA – Community Action Stops Abuse, Inc.

CASA Family Justice Center, $45,000

This request is for $45,000 to plan for and implement the CASA Family Justice Center (FJC) that will serve Pinellas County and to support the mission to benefit survivors of domestic violence, community resource partners, and the local community.  The Family Justice Center will co-locate community professionals to provide the services needed by victims of domestic violence, such as law enforcement, attorneys, specially trained advocates, child welfare workers, mental health professionals, and more.  As a result, it is anticipated that there will be less under-reporting of domestic violence, more comprehensive batterer accountability in the court system, more immediate and effective wrap-around services provided to victims of domestic violence, elder abuse, sexual assault, child abuse, and human trafficking.  This model is recognized as a best practice by the U.S. Department of Justice, and once opened, the CASA Family Justice Center will be the only one in the state of Florida. 

If awarded, money associated with this request will most likely supplement operations and probably provide match for federal contracts.  Although CASA has a good track record of proven financial success, this venture is new and all the implications are unknown.  We do know that we will be operating from 2 buildings instead of one, which will naturally increase our operating expense, such as personnel, utilities, maintenance, phone and internet, insurance, etc.

Enterprising Latinas, Inc.

Project 2025: Preparing Women for the Workforce & Self-Sufficiency, $50,000

Enterprising Latinas (ELI) will implement Project 2025: Preparing Women for the Workforce & Self-Sufficiency to increase the economic prosperity of 100 low- to moderate-income women residing in the South Hillsborough County communities of Wimauma, Ruskin, Riverview and Gibsonton, particularly Black & Latina women who face multiple barriers to economic prosperity and wealth building. Over 12 months, the project will drive the workforce development and employment support services received by members by offering workforce trainings and basic skills courses that lead to higher wage employment or self-employment. In addition, ELI will expand job coaching and job placement supports using new tools and partnerships that help members navigate an economy in flux due to the pandemic. Workforce trainings and employment services will be integrated into and complemented by the individualized Economic Mobility Mentoring (EMM) process for each member. EMM is ELI’s comprehensive approach to support women shift their self-concept, develop self-efficacy skills, and build essential behaviors and decisions that lead to self-sufficiency. After a successful first program year under CFTB’s Economic Mobility priority, we are requesting $50,000 through the Women and Girls priority to promote economic opportunity for women and cover partial costs of coordination & services, training partner fees, program supplies, recognition activities, and overhead expenses. Other sources contribute $193,995.

Girls on the Run Greater Tampa Bay

Program Expansion Initiative, $10,000

Girls on the Run uses running and other physical activities as a platform for teaching life skills that drive transformative and lasting change in the lives of girls. The Program Expansion Initiative will ensure that girls who would not typically have access to quality youth programming have the opportunity to participate in Girls on the Run (3rd to 5th graders) or Heart & Sole (6th to 8th graders). Each 10-week curriculum includes lessons that specifically target helping girls improve in Competence, Confidence, Caring, Character, Connection, and Contribution. Girls learn critical life skills such as how to manage emotions, help others, make intentional decisions, and resolve conflict that they use at home, at school, and with friends. As a result of participating, girls are empowered to be the leader of their lives and to make positive contributions in their own lives and the lives of others.

Girls on the Run is requesting $10,000 in grant support for our Program Expansion Initiative. This initiative will expand GOTR to at least 10 low-income Title 1 schools within Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties to ensure that at-risk girls will have the opportunity to participate in the life-changing GOTR program during our 2022 Fall and 2023 Spring Seasons. These schools are on our Wait List, and are eager to get started. With grant support, these girls who so desperately need our program will be able to participate.

Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services

Reimagine the Future: Scaling Up Teen-Mother Education and Engagement, $14,555

Gulf Coast JFCS’ Woman-to-Woman (W2W) program equips in-school teen mothers and pregnant girls, who are at high risk for academic failure and repeat pregnancies, to pursue a better and healthy future. W2W provides structured mentorship, enrichment activities, parent skills education, vocational support, and individualized case management/home visit services for 100 low-income teen girls, ages 14 to 19, in Hillsborough County. Participant goals include:

  • Staying in school or pursuing a GED;
  • Demonstrating support and skills for healthy child development; and
  • Delaying repeat births while participating in the program.

It’s important to note that participation in W2W is voluntary, and program success relies heavily upon creatively engaging teens. Our monthly workshops and small group sessions engage teens in topics, such as:

  • Sexual Health & Repeat-Pregnancy Prevention
  • Child Safety
  • Career Exploration, Housing Resources, and Financial Literacy
  • Domestic Violence
  • Child Attachment and Bonding
  • Music & Development with Babies
  • I’m Me (Improving My Mental Esteem)

The requested $14,555 will address funding gaps, promote teen participation, and strengthen our ability to pivot as we navigate through the Covid pandemic. The funds will:

  • Pay workshop presenter fees;
  • Replace obsolete laptop computers;
  • Cover the cost of workshop materials, small group meetings, and positive reinforcement events.

Mary & Martha House, Inc.

Mary & Martha House 4 Hope – Shelter Support Success, $50,000

Mary & Martha House (MMH) respectfully requests $50,000 to fund the the Mary & Martha House 4 Hope – Shelter, Support, Success Program, a specific and detailed program that provides support services to women and their children to help them re-invent their lives, re-direct their ambitions, and re-create their families in a safe and thriving environment through personalized social services and shelter. Located in Ruskin, Florida MMH has provided shelter and supportive services to women and children in need for 40 years. MMH Case Management work one-on-one with each family to develop individualized case plans tailored to their specific needs. Families are provided with support services that include; employment readiness, financial literacy, credit repair/building, life-skills, parenting classes, individual and family counseling, and tutoring. They are also provided assistance with childcare, registration fees, rental deposit/assistance, transportation, and other services. These services empower the women and families to make positive economic, personal, and financial decisions to live positive and productive lives. Wrap around services are also provided for up to one year to ensure complete self-sufficiency after exiting MMH shelter. The goal of this program is to empower survivors of domestic violence and homeless women by providing the tools necessary to establish economic self-sufficiency, short term goal setting, and long-term planning for their future.

PACE Center for Girls – Citrus County

Pace Works at Citrus, $10,000

Pace Works at Citrus will be an additional key component of the Spirited Girls class, which all girls at Pace attend. Pace Works at Citrus will provide three major components, all of which require strong partnering with local business leaders and organizations for activities both at the Pace Center and in the community. The first, Essential Skills Programming, helps girls develop soft skills and life skills as well as assesses goals to monitor interests and strengths in career, educational and vocational development. The second area, Employment Readiness and Planning, features quarterly field trips to shadow businesses, presentations of skill-based development workshops in the Center, job search skills, and a career day highlighting local businesses and job/career opportunities. The third component, Post-Secondary Exploration for College or Vocational Education, includes additional assessment for careers, tours of higher education facilities, attending college fairs, and financial aid information and support.

All girls attending Pace Citrus will experience Pace Works at Citrus. Girl are ages 11 – 18, have experienced trauma and often have challenges in successfully navigating school and life. Pace Works at Citrus will give them extra support in planning their success based on their academic and personal goals. The funds will be used for a small portion for the teacher, field trips, printed and electronic support materials and any assessments.

St. Petersburg Free Clinic, Inc.

Baldwin Women’s Residence – Empowering Women and Changing Lives, $10,000

Name of Project: Virginia & David Baldwin Women’s Residence (BWR). SPFC requests $20,000 to support women in recovery who are experiencing homelessness. BWR provides safe transitional housing for women who are homeless and recovering from substance use. Women gain stability in their recovery while obtaining and maintaining employment, saving money, and rebuilding relationships. At any given time, 85% of residents are employed, and all are working toward achieving three months of savings. One of the unique aspects of our program is that there is no limit on the length of stay. Some residents are ready to move out within a few months, others are ready to move out in a year. We are willing to take the necessary time to ensure someone is truly prepared to re-enter the “real world” successfully. We also provide after-care check-ups. We check in with clients at one week, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, six months, and one year after they move out, offering assistance and helping resolve problems. Women are referred from other community services and the justice system. Each woman comes to BWR making a commitment to themselves and to repairing and rebuilding broken relationships. Each woman commits to building life skills and habits to ensure long-term stability. Funds will be used to support house operations, including three full-time case managers, a full-time housing specialist, a house manager, healthy meal preparation, an intake specialist, and mental health services.

Boley Centers, Inc.

Boley on Broadway, $10,000

Boley on Broadway is a new initiative to provide therapeutic theater to the people served by Boley Centers:  People with severe and persistent mental illness.  In partnership with Destination Theatre, Boley Centers is providing a creative outlet for our clients intended to increase socialization, increase self-esteem, nurture resiliency, provide an outlet to express feelings, increase self-control and increase their well-being.  The project will consist of three workshops throughout the year, forming a “theater club for any interested clients.  This will culminate into the development of a production with daily rehearsals and the performance of a show in a theater.  We have tentatively reserved the Catherine A. Hickman Theater in Gulfport for our initial production.

Boley is requesting $10,000 from the foundation for start-up funds for this project.  These funds will allow us to attract matching funds from donors.  We currently have two private supporters who have committed to fund raising for the remaining $20,000 needed  for the project.  The $10,000 will be used for production expenses such as space rental, set costs, technical equipment rental and costumes.

Champions for Children, Inc.

Kids on the Block – South Shore Schools, $10,000

CFC requests a renewal grant of $10,000 to continue bringing our Kids on the Block (KOTB) program to elementary schools in the South Shore area of Hillsborough County.

KOTB is a troupe of educational puppets that provide children with knowledge to recognize and report abuse and other mistreatment, and to seek help, thus destigmatizing victimhood and preventing traumas with lifelong impacts on mental well-being. We proudly offer the option to present shows and answer questions in Spanish. 

In the Child Abuse Prevention show, our trained puppeteers teach Kindergarten and 3rd grade audiences how to safely recognize and report child abuse and neglect when it happens to them or a friend. Listening to the puppet characters’ age-appropriate stories, students learn abuse is never their fault and to use the NO, GO and TELL safety message.

For 4th Graders, KOTB presents the Bullying & Stereotyping Prevention show to create an awareness of what constitutes bullying and encourage empathy for victims. Respect of physical, developmental, and cultural differences is also addressed. Students learn to “Recognize, Refuse, and Report” bullying to promote school safety.

Due to ongoing COVID precautions in schools, we will for now continue delivering shows in our highly effective interactive virtual format. We project reaching 18,000 kids countywide this year and 1,800 in South Shore. More details on how District policies may temporarily impact our program are shared throughout this proposal.

Children’s Home Society of Florida – Suncoast Tampa Bay Area

Infant Mental Health Expansion, $14,805

The Children’s Home Society of Florida (CHS), Suncoast Region, is seeking $14,805 to support an Infant Mental Health Expansion project. Funding will support training and essential supplies for three clinical counselors to become certified in Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and Infant Massage techniques to better meet the needs of families with young children. Infant massage will be taught to parents of infants between the ages of birth and one year, and PCIT will be utilized with parents of children between the ages of two and seven years. 

PCIT is an evidence-based, short-term treatment designed to help young children with highly disruptive behavior learn to control their frustration.  The model is designed to coach parents/caregivers in skills such as child-centered play, communication, increasing child compliance, and problem-solving and can be delivered virtually or in-person.  Additionally, counselors will also be trained in infant massage which improves bonding with the child and helps the parent deal with the infants irritability, among other benefits. 

The required PCIT training takes approximately one-year for the Counselor to complete. The program expects to begin treatment with 12 families during the training year with 45 to 60 families served in future years. Infant massage will be provided to 15 parents of infants during the year, and will be expanded to serve 30 parents annually in future years.

Friends of the Children – Tampa Bay Inc

Helping Children Dream Big: Positive Education Supported by Professional Mentors, $40,000

All children have unique talents and big dreams. Friends of the Children—Tampa Bay (Friends Tampa Bay) focuses exclusively on youth who experience major obstacles that get in the way of those dreams, helping them reach their full potential. Helping Children Thrive: Promoting Positive Mental Well-Being Through Professional Mentorship will use the $40,000 to support full-time, professional mentors

(Friends) to provide relationship-based, trauma-informed support to help youth improve their mental and emotional well-being.

All youth in our program are resilient but have already faced multiple challenges by the time they enter kindergarten: poverty, caregivers who are incarcerated or deal with substance abuse, and more. All of our youth have been in or are at high risk of entering foster care. These adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) mean that our youth struggle with issues like loneliness, anger, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and behavior challenges. 

Beginning in kindergarten and continuing through high school, Friends spend 12-16 hours per month with youth, helping them and their families build social-emotional skills and resilience, access needed services, and promote self-advocacy within the complex mental health system. Friends work with youth in schools, homes, and communities, developing deep and trusting relationships. This model has been shown to improve the wellbeing of youth living with intersecting pressures of poverty, trauma, and race.

Healthy Start Coalition of Pinellas

Supportive Counseling Services, $25,000

The Coalition is experiencing an increased need in supportive counseling for pregnant and new mothers and their babies who are uninsured, score high on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and need help covering the cost of mental health counseling. Many new mothers and moms-to-be are reporting increased stress and anxiety. The EPDS is used for screening women during and after pregnancy to identify women at risk for “perinatal” depression.  This Scale coupled with the Coalition’s Mothers and Babies Program curriculum (MBPC) in supportive counseling sessions to help women’s mental health and wellbeing. 

Metropolitan Ministries

Resiliency Center, $20,000

The Resiliency Center provides trauma-responsive, evidence-based mental health services to people who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless in Hillsborough County. After providing counseling to families in our emergency shelter for 15 years, Metropolitan Ministries (MM) developed the Resiliency Center in 2021 to address the growing mental health crisis and expand the availability of therapeutic services to underserved community members. 

Counseling is provided to individuals, couples, families, and children in individual and group settings in person or via telehealth. A variety of proven therapeutic approaches are used based on each person’s needs. Participants are enrolled in case management and connected to community resources to increase social supports and overall financial stability. During the grant period, 300 people will be provided with counseling services. The outcome is for 70% of participants who attend 6 or more sessions to demonstrate a reduction in trauma symptoms and perceived stress.

MM’s grant request of $20,000 will fund 50% of our Trauma and Recovery Counselor position. Due to the significant impact of poverty and homelessness on health, those we serve face high rates of trauma and mental illness. Additionally, they often face barriers to accessing quality healthcare, which have only increased since the pandemic began. An investment in the Resiliency Center will ensure counseling services are available and accessible to this population.

NAMI Citrus Inc.

NAMI Citrus Educate 22-23, $12,000

The NAMI Citrus Educate 22-23 Plan is requesting $12,000 which will allow us to present information and education to the public about what mental illness is, how to recognize when someone might be in a mental health crisis or situation, and how to have a conversation about mental health.  

This plan focuses on the community, particularly those who may not have a mental health condition or are unwilling to recognize it in themselves and others. It will address  businesses, the general public, civic clubs and churches through our ‘In Our Own Voice’ presentation. It will address our youth by educating their parents and staff at afterschool and summer programs.

The addition of these proposed educational pieces will assist our residents in identifying and seeking treatment for mental illnesses. Applying that knowledge should help to reduce the rate of hospitalizations, incarcerations and homelessness in our county. According to February 2021 NAMI statistics, there are approximately 27,500 homeless people in Florida and 1 in 6 live with a serious mental illness. Serious mental illnesses require treatment.  Additionally, the statistics report that arrests of people with a serious mental illness result in more than 2 million jail bookings a year, and that 7 in 10 youths in the juvenile justice system have a mental health condition.

The grant money will be used to coordinate, market and implement evidence-based educational presentations.

Shirley Proctor Puller Foundation, Inc.

M.A.S.T.R. Kids – Mental Health and Wellbeing Project, $16,000

$16,000 will fund the M.A.S.T.R. Kids – Mental Health & Wellbeing Project to provide mental health services primarily through weekly group therapy sessions for youth. M.A.S.T.R. Kids is an out-of-school time (after-school and summer) program delivered across two sites for youth in grades K-8. Our clients come to us from the largest African American community in all of Pinellas County (south St. Petersburg) & from families that have faced generations of inequity & who experience some form of trauma/crisis every day. COVID-19, recent events depicting violence & social injustice on screens daily, & the 2021 surge of homicides in the city (largely in this community) represent added trauma for our children/families resulting in increased anxiety, worry, anger, & sadness. To accomplish our mission of helping to close the achievement gap for youth, we acknowledge that academic success is HIGHLY dependent upon mental health. The goal of this proposal is to re-start culturally inclusive mental health therapy in our summer session, providing an outlet to discuss & positively direct student emotions, thereby improving the mental health of youth. We will also add up to six individual and/or family sessions per site as requested by the therapist. In so doing, we will better support students’ social-emotional development & address concerning behavioral challenges emerging as a result of increased stressors.

St. Petersburg Arts Alliance

Murals in Mind, $25,000

The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance (SPAA) is leading the effort to create a new model program that uses the arts as a tool to create awareness and provide support for those who struggle with mental health issues. Entitled Murals in Mind, the program will create 12 free, QR code accessible public art experiences, which can be used as a support tool to help address mental health concerns as well as help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. While the complete Murals in Mind program has three phases, SPAA is requesting $25,000 for Phase One, which includes:

  • Developing an ad hoc advisory council made up of mental health professionals to help guide decision making and provide best practices
  • Creating public and accessible art inspired by St. Pete murals that can be easily accessed with QR code technology. This includes adding performing arts components to help expand the experience for users.
  • Creating awareness and teaching the public to reach for art as a powerful healing tool

Murals in Mind will serve those who struggle with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and substance abuse. SPAA will target specific populations including but not limited to veterans, students, healthcare workers, senior citizens, and second chancers (recovering addicts, formerly incarcerated). Funds will support a marketing campaign to build awareness about the Murals in Mind program as well as pay for artists, video and audio production, and QR code technology.

Tampa Bay Thrives, Inc.

Let’s Talk: Behavioral Health Navigation & Support Line, $50,000

Tampa Bay Thrives (TBT) was founded in 2019 by a diverse group of local leaders in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, and Polk counties who work in industries and communities greatly affected by mental health and substance use disorders. They aimed to improve the lives of friends, families, neighbors, and co-workers who are seeking help. TBT launched its first pilot project, Let’s Talk, during the summer of 2021.

Let’s Talk is a free, confidential, 24/7 behavioral health support and navigation line, connecting callers to trained counselors who can provide emotional support, information, and referrals to help people begin their journey to better mental health. Let’s Talk is open to all residents of Hillsborough and Pasco Counties, ages 13 and older. TBT respectfully requests $50,000 to support the operations of Let’s Talk.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay

Reading Enrichment, $25,000

The Boys and Girls Club of Tampa Bay is requesting a grant of $25,000 to develop an innovative new program, Reading Enrichment, at its Wimauma Club. This club is located in an impoverished community, plagued by extreme poverty, a transient population and low academic performance. This program is a new partnership with the Hillsborough Community College Educator Preparation Institute (HCC EPI), a fast-track program for students who already have a bachelor’s degree, and is designed to address the serious teacher shortage in the Tampa Bay area. Under the guidance of HCC faculty, students will complete an onsite practicum at the Wimauma Boys and Girls Cub, required for the Florida Teacher Certification program. HCC Students will provide literacy support, utilizing a creative approach designed to improve literacy skills and foster critical thinking. This new program will be a model that can be replicated at other clubs. Funds requested will be used for program materials, preparation time, student oversight, stipends, evaluation, a showcase to celebrate student’s accomplishments and overall program management/supervision. 

The Reading Enrichment Program will be offered three times a week and will include a range of topics, explored through various reading materials (books, magazines, newspapers) reaching 80 youth.

Frameworks of Tampa Bay, Inc.

Frameworks’ SEL-ect School Model, $40,000

Frameworks respectfully requests funding ($40,000) to continue social and emotional competency skills programming for its “SEL-ect School model” at two elementary schools (West Tampa and Potter), identified in collaboration with Hillsborough County Public Schools and using Frameworks’ school-readiness assessment to determine eligibility and assure quality program implementation and fidelity.

The proposed program would serve an estimated 900 students, as well as their teachers, school administrators, and families. An average of 95% of the students attending these schools are economically disadvantaged.

In 2021, Frameworks was awarded the Lightning Foundation Community Hero funding to implement its SEL-ect school model at West Tampa and Potter Elementary for year 1. Support from the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay will continue programming at the inaugural schools. Funding will be used to implement continuation of our SEL-ect model offering a full spectrum of services including a SEL programming readiness assessment, professional development, explicit SEL curriculum, research-based resources, coaching, family resources, data analysis and sustainability steps.  In an effort to maximize funding opportunities, Frameworks is willing to work with the Foundation in determining the best allocation or separate funding depending on the availability of funds.

Gentlemen’s Quest of Tampa Inc.

Life Class and STEMQuest Summer Program, $20,000

We are requesting $20,000 for our Life Class and STEMQuest summer camp program. Our Life Class is offered to minority teenage at-risk male students after school on a weekly basis and these same students participate in our summer program exploring STEM careers. By attending our Life Class, students are given the tools they need to build their intellectual, emotional, and relational capacity and construct an identity based on respect, accountability, and responsibility so they can embark on the path to manhood unfettered. Through partnerships with other organizations, the students learn from mentors, their peers, and themselves. The students engage in structured activities that result in enhanced relationships and a strong support system, increased school performance, strengthened family connections, and breaking down perceived barriers to attend college. Students who attend a Title 1 school in Hillsborough County are given priority for receiving FREE services from the Gentlemen’s Quest of Tampa Inc., however, no student is turned away.  All students who endeavor to receive assistance to help turn them in the right direction receive resources from our program. Students are admitted to the program after receiving a referral from their guidance counselor, social worker, or the court system. Once a student is admitted into the program, he is assigned a Success Coach to identify goals and create an action plan to target success. Funds will be used to enhance our program.

Parents and Children Advance Together (PCAT) Literacy Ministries, Inc.

PCAT Positive Education Enhancement, $16,405

PCAT provides after-school educational programming to a total of 66 children in both Kindergarten and first grade attending Ruskin Elementary. During the past school year PCAT greatly increased its use of the positive education approach with our students, including providing training sessions to staff and parents. $16,405 is requested for PCAT Positive Education Enhancement, which will allow us to continue and expand the awareness of this approach during the next school year, and to engage community members and volunteers.

PCAT proposes to hold a workshop in the fall of 2022 that will engage business and community leaders in South County to help them understand the importance of positive education. The purpose of this event will be to explain the basic principles of the approach and encourage more organizations working with children and families in  the area to adopt it. The program will seek to attract an attendance of 100 community members. This will be in addition to the planned positive education and SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) instruction for volunteers and parents. 

Ruskin teachers refer students who are not reading or reading below grade level to the program. By addressing children with learning challenges early in their school experience, the program is able to ensure that children who are most at risk for academic failure improve their reading skills.  As a result, last school year 100% of the students served were promoted to the next grade.

Pinellas Education Foundation

The Pinellas Early Literacy Initiative, $35,000 (Three Years)

The Pinellas Education Foundation requests $35,000/year over three years for a total commitment of $105,000 to support The Pinellas Early Literacy Initiative (PELI). This initiative calls for a strategic focus on prioritizing improvements in literacy instruction for PreK-2 students and teachers in 16 Title I schools and 8-16 community-based PreK providers. By leveraging high quality professional development with instructional coaching for a cohort of PreK-2 grade teachers, PreK-2 student literacy gaps will dissipate more rapidly, effectively preparing students for the more rigorous content of grades 3-5. The need for additional resources in later grades will also be reduced. This work is supported through wide-ranging, specific partnerships with private philanthropy, including Helios Education Foundation, the Pinellas Education Foundation, Pinellas County Schools, the Pinellas Early Learning Coalition, the University of Florida’s Lastinger Center, and other local partners. Funds will be used for personnel and programmatic costs to support of a PreK literacy coach, along with professional development, mileage and minor technology needs.

R’Club Child Care, Inc.

R’Club Early Learning Enhancements Project, $21,982

R’Club Child Care requests $21,982 for our Early Learning Enhancements Project at eight Early Learning Academies (ELAs) in Pinellas County. The project supports our mission and the provision of high-quality early childhood education for 548 children from surrounding low-income communities.

Our eight licensed ELAs in Pinellas County need early learning curriculum in each classroom to maximize staff time spent with children. Funding for classroom curriculum will increase staff time spent on improving children’s outcomes and supports high-quality programs. R’Club plans to roll out a parent engagement tool at eight ELAs for contactless check-in, parent form completion, and daily communications on their child. Project funding will ensure effective parent engagement, which is integral to a high-quality early learning program.

In Pinellas County, five of eight (63%) of R’Club ELAs are in At-Risk Zones, designated as high-poverty communities.  ELAs currently serve children who are 42% Black/African American, 17% Multiracial/Other Race, and 25% Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish.

With $21,982 in funding, R’Club will use $9,598 to purchase research-based curriculum “Beyond Series” from Kaplan for two supervisors and 23 classrooms across eight ELAs. The remaining $12,384 will provide eight annual subscriptions to Procare’s Parent Engagement Application, enhancing engagement opportunities for 450 families. R’Club will contribute $2,400 in-kind for parent engagement supplies and activities.

Seniors in Service of Tampa Bay, Inc.

Foster Grandparent Program SEL Enhancement, $48,579

We are seeking $48,579 for our Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) Social Emotional Learning (SEL) enhancement, launched with your support in 2020, to address education inequities for impoverished minority children. Without your help these children are more likely to fall even farther behind. 

FGP is a long-standing evidence-based program that helps PreK-3rd graders overcome life obstacles for academic & lifelong success. We engage trained, culturally relevant volunteers for ongoing tutoring & support from a caring adult that all kids need to thrive. Educator-guided activities build literacy. Social Emotional Learning builds resilience. We meet kids where they are to tutor/mentor in class, out-of-school & virtually, 10-30 hours/week for the FULL school year. Volunteers live in the same community they serve; kids know they understand what life is like for them. Volunteers attend monthly trainings in Curriculum; Learning Styles; Trauma-informed Teaching. Frameworks, a nonprofit known for SEL best practices, provides research-based tools to help kids face adversity in productive ways. Outcomes independently accessed by educators last year showed 88% improved literacy: 97% improved SEL.  

Funds support enriched SEL training for tutors to use with children they serve; ongoing one-on-one literacy tutoring for kids who need it most, & enhanced outreach to sustain & build partnerships with schools & out-of-school sites to help our most vulnerable children succeed in school & beyond.

United Way of Hernando County, Inc.

Hernando County’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program, $15,000

United Way of Hernando County is requesting $15,000 in support of Hernando’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) Program. The DPIL Program is designed to encourage early literacy and prepare children for academic success by providing age-appropriate books to any Hernando County pre-school child enrolled, monthly, from birth to age 5. To promote children’s excitement for learning and build their personal libraries, these high-quality books are mailed directly to participant’s home, free of charge and regardless of their family’s economic status. The DPIL Program currently provides books to 1,000 unduplicated local children a month, for a total of 12,000 books a year.

2020 Grant Cycle

(Grant cycle suspended in Spring 2020 because of COVID-19. Grants awarded in Fall 2020)

AMERICAN STAGE

American Stage’s SPOTLIGHT on: 21st Century Voices: Emerging Plays, $20,000

At the heart of American Stage’s programming is our Mainstage Series, consisting of 6 plays per season presented year-round in downtown St. Petersburg. The series is dedicated to sharing stories that build connectivity & empathy, challenge our assumptions & inspire conversation. Designed to dig deeper into the themes explored by our Mainstage productions, we offer spotlight events that include behind-the-scenes presentations, dramaturgical prologues, community conversations & the American Stage podcast.
Each season, a Mainstage play is chosen as an American Legacy production. For this program, we select timeless works, both classic & modern, that lend an enduring perspective to the human experience. This season’s selection, NEXT TO NORMAL, is a moving, intimate & ultimately hopeful look at how a ‘normal’ suburban family copes with the effects of mental illness. According to Playbill Magazine, “Mental illness might be a stealthy enemy, but its cover has been blown and the theatre has sparked a conversation happening out loud and onstage. Musical theatre, in particular, is a fitting medium to explore, normalize and de-stigmatize mental illness.”
American State shines a spotlight on the destigmatization of mental illness with NEXT TO NORMAL. Our intention with the project is to spark discussion & open up a constructive & forward-thinking dialogue about behavioral health in our community.
.

FIREHOUSE CULTURAL CENTER

Arts Education for all Ages & for All Diversities, $30,000

The Firehouse Cultural Center Project, Arts Education for all Ages & all Diversities, provides accessibility & high-quality arts education opportunities to underserved families, children, youth & Seniors living in South Hillsborough.
The grant would establish new outreach partnerships; expand free offerings: i.e. Children & Teen Art Studios; Lecture Series (“Inside Journalism”, “Poetry”, “Music”, “History”); workshops & events (Draw-In; live performances); & to continue to provide scholarships to fee-based programs & summer camps. 2020 new partnerships are: 1) RCMA Wimauma Academy, provide art classes (K-5) & 2) H. B. Plant Museum to bring Tampa History Performances to South Hillsborough.
FCC serves six communities: Wimauma, Sun City Center, Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Riverview & Gibsonton. Three, Ruskin, Wimauma & Riverview are recognized by the Federal Government, HUD, as having 50% of its residents with low to moderate incomes. These demographics pose programming challenges. The majority of students attending South County Elementary Schools receive free & reduced lunches. 11% of Seniors are at the poverty level (Elder Affairs, St. of FL 2018) and with a minority rate of 66%, these demographics pose programming challenges. FCC continually reaches out to these communities by offering unique learning experiences in the arts, technology & culture, year-round. Funds will be used for program resource materials, honorariums, workshop and instructor fees.
.

MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS OF ST. PETERSBURG

MFA | Youth Education: Building A Future Adult, $10,000

Education is central to the mission of the Museum of Fine Arts. (MFA). From daily tours, monthly family days, single day or week-long summer camps, and annual events that are free to the public, the MFA offers a robust schedule of inclusive and accessible age-appropriate activities that use art to encourage and master critical skills development during childhood that will support a vital, healthy and productive adulthood. 
This proposal encompasses MFA Youth Education, respectfully requests funding that will be used toward general program support for new and current offerings that include an early childhood program for ages 2-5 “Museum Minis” as well as the continuation of three primary programs for children in grades K-12 in Title I schools, and recurring or one-of programs held on site and in the community through partnerships with other arts and social service organizations such as Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches, in addition to community-wide outreach events such as the annual Painting in the Park public festival.
.

TAMPA BAY WATCH

Bay Grasses in Classes,  $25,000

Tampa Bay Watch requests support for Bay Grasses in Classes (BGIC), one of our founding programs which has helped to restore more than 170 acres of habitat around Tampa Bay and provided over 385,000 plugs of school-grown wetland grasses over the last 24 years. BGIC provides middle and high school students with an educational resource to learn about ecological practices while enhancing science-based curriculums at their schools and building environmental stewardship. The program involves more than 1,000 students annually and targets academically at-risk schools to participate. BGIC allows students to grow and maintain native wetland grasses at their school in a Tampa Bay Watch sponsored nursery. Students are responsible for checking salinity, pH, and monitoring the overall health of the plants. When the plants are ready to be transplanted, students harvest their school nursery and work side by side with local restoration practitioners to transplant their nursery-raised grasses at coastal restoration sites throughout Tampa Bay. We plan to expand BGIC classroom and field education activities therefore enhancing opportunities for teachers and students in the program. Another focus of the funding will be to continue to successfully diversify plant species grown to accommodate smaller niche restoration sites, increase nursery timeline flexibility, and grow partner relationships to continue to save money and make greater ecological impacts in terms of coastal resilience.
.

THE WELL

WellBuilt Bikes’ Earn-A-Bike and Community Rides Program,  $11,500

The Well has identified a lack of access as a central issue that underlies the unmet needs of the materially poor in Tampa. This lack of access is often the result of a lack of transportation, a formidable barrier to community engagement, particularly in neighborhoods with little or unreliable public transportation. The Well’s social enterprise, WellBuilt Bikes, was created to address this lack of access by making bike ownership possible regardless of resources. WellBuilt Bikes is a nonprofit bike shop that sells refurbished bikes at affordable prices and invests the sales revenue into an Earn-A-Bike (EAB) program, giving those with little to no money access to a bike of their own. WellBuilt endeavors to make sure everyone, regardless of income, can own a bike and benefit from increased access, exercise, and community. Connected to EAB is WellBuilt’s weekly Community Ride, which is open to the whole community and as such creates common ground for people from different social and economic backgrounds. WellBuilt serves those experiencing materially poverty or homeless and those with mental health or substance use problems. Currently, 70% of EAB participants are men. The requests funding to expand the number and diversity of those served by WellBuilt by increasing the capacity of the shop to accommodate more EAB participants and conducting outreach to engage more women by identifying the barriers keeping them from participation in WellBuilt activities.

2020 PLAN TASKFORCE AT THE PINELLAS COUNTY URBAN LEAGUE

The Inclusive St. Pete MBE Accelerator, $19,000

More of St. Petersburg’s minority workforce is opting for self-employment and entrepreneurship versus traditional employment. The grant would support the first graduating class of the Inclusive St. Pete MBE Accelerator, a new economic mobility pathway for St. Petersburg’s fast-growing minority business sector. The Accelerator will engage 20 growth-postured entrepreneurs to help fast-track their participation in supplier diversity programs that facilitate tens of millions in contracts with small and minority-owned firms each year. The project will replicate the award-winning Accelerator program model of the Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council (FSMSDC), which will work hand-in-hand with over a dozen local partner organizations to provide an 8-week/46-hour series of training, capacity-building, coaching and matchmaking that link participants with buyers. Targeted outcomes for participants include:
1. Certification by at least 2 of 6 targeted corporate and government supplier diversity programs.
2. A combined $20 million in new contracts with targeted buyers, within 18 months of Accelerator.

AMSKILLS APPRENTICESHIP FOUNDATION

AmSkills Manufacturing Entry-Level Jobs Interactive Workshop & Bootcamp, $25,000

The AmSkills Entry-Level Jobs Manufacturing Workshop & Bootcamp utilizes the AmSkills Mobile Workshop to recruit, assess and train entry-level candidates for manufacturers participating in the Tampa Bay Partnership/Works Collaboration and others. The goal is to provide training to residents within a neighborhood setting, then secure them jobs with a local manufacturer within a short distance from their homes, reducing or eliminating transportation barriers to employment. The AmSkills Mobile Workshop allows this Interactive Workshop & Bootcamp to travel to multiple low-income neighborhoods or communities throughout Tampa Bay.
The program consists of a 1-day interactive workshop followed by a two-week bootcamp that replicates a real-work environment. Candidates work side-by-side with volunteers from manufacturing companies on a team project during the 1-day workshop and are assessed on their employability skills. During the 2-week bootcamp, candidates participate in OSHA-10 Safety training and multiple other hands-on projects to expose them to a variety of skill sets needed in the manufacturing industry. Candidates tour local manufacturers to help determine the best career path for them. At the completion of the Bootcamp, manufacturers are provided with an AmSkills Candidate Assessment Portfolio. Interviews are conducted of all candidates who complete the bootcamp and many are offered jobs. The program serves ages 18 and up, veterans, persons with disabilities and the economically disadvantaged, regardless of race, ethnicity or gender.

ENTERPRISING LATINAS

Project 2025: Preparing Women for the Workforce, $42,000

Project 2025 is a Workforce Training and Entrepreneurship Education program that seeks to increase the economic prosperity of 110 low-income women residents of Wimauma and surrounding South Shore communities: Ruskin, Riverview, and Gibsonton, among others. Over the course of a year the project will offer a minimum of 8 basic education, certificate and/or state licensing courses that range from 8-15 weeks. Courses will prepare participants for entry level employment in a variety of fields of work that provide opportunities for high wage jobs. Participants in the courses will be selected based on program eligibility requirements which include: women with children ages 0-18 that have an established family support plan with personal development and economic prosperity goals. In addition, participants will need to be residents of Wimauma and/or surrounding communities. Courses and Estimated number of participants per class: Digital Literacy (20), Business Development (20), Food Service Management (20), Basic Construction Skills (12), English and Spanish Literacy (10), Certified Nursing Assistant (10), Solar Panel Installation (8), and Childcare Cooperatives Training (10).

LIGHTHOUSE OF PINELLAS

Workforce Development Program Expansion for Blind and Visually Impaired Adults, $10,000

This funding will support our efforts to improve the economic status of our adult blind and visually impaired clients by:
1. Developing and integrating a new self-paced curriculum into our existing job training program that will provide our adult clients with foundational knowledge in careers as a Customer Service Representative, Microsoft Office Specialist, or IT Help Desk Specialist;
2. Offering job skill building and practical hands-on training as either a Microsoft Office Specialist, Customer Service Representative, IT Help Desk Specialist, Environmental Services Associate (hotel and office cleaning services), or ICS 3 (Information and Computer Science) Specialist; through partnerships with St. Petersburg College, and the MacDonald Training Center;
3. Providing job placement services (conducting job searches, creating resumes and cover letters, practice using their interviewing skills), and non-cognitive skill development (i.e. team building, self-advocacy, communication) to program clients by the Lighthouse Certified Program Staff.
Upon completion of the Program, clients will earn a post-secondary credential as either a CS Representative, Microsoft Office Specialist, IT Help Desk Specialist, Environmental Specialist, or ICS3 Associate, and have the confidence & skills to apply and interview for jobs in these areas.

PASCO-HERNANDO STATE COLLEGE FOUNDATION

Pasco/Hernando – Inspiring Bright Futures for At-risk Middle and High School Students Through PHSC Concept College, $10,000

PHSC Concept College is a pre-collegiate program for students in 5th to 12th grade, who are identified as being at-risk. It is designed to connect student interests to potential career paths and build their confidence and support system so that they believe that success is possible for them. An intensive yet fun program, it provides interactions with people and programs that help them visualize themselves as college students. The program helps students transition their mindset into believing higher education is a realistic option for their future while encouraging them to graduate high school, enroll in a degree or certificate program, and lay the foundation for self-sufficiency. In partnership with Pasco and Hernando County schools, PHSC engages students in a 1- to 3-day program where they meet with college students, build awareness of degree and certificate opportunities, experience a college campus, and walk through the admissions process and financial aid. The goal is to break down perceived barriers regarding college readiness and accessibility and motivate students by surrounding them with support networks (including families). Concept College helps young people believe that they can achieve. By empowering students to envision a productive future, the entire community benefits because kids who could end up as dropouts have an increased potential for productive livelihoods and a lifetime of opportunities.

CITRUS COUNTY EDUCATION FOUNDATION

Women Building Women, $10,000

Women building Women is a mentor program for at-risk girls in Citrus County School District Middle and High schools, as well as PACE Center for Girls. This program involves matching at-risk girls with positive female role models in our community. Mentors meet weekly with their mentee, either one-on-one or in a small group and also have the chance to participate in several field trips and service projects. Mentors receive training prior to their first meeting with their mentee and continued support throughout the school year.
The ultimate goal is to help foster the community of care that is so desperately needed for all of our children in Citrus County. The specific goals we will be addressing with this program are:
• Increase attendance rate;
• Increase promotion rate;
• Increase self-confidence & self-esteem;
• Decrease number of behavior referrals

GIRLS ON THE RUN GREATER TAMPA BAY

Program Expansion Initiative, $10,000

Girls on the Run uses running and physical activities as a platform for teaching life skills that drive transformative and lasting change in the lives of girls. The Program Expansion Initiative will ensure that girls who would not typically have access to youth programming have the opportunity to participate in Girls on the Run (3rd-5th graders) or Heart & Sole (6th-8th graders). Each research-based 10-week curriculum includes lessons that specifically target helping girls improve in Competence, Confidence, Caring, Character and Connection. Girls learn critical life skills such as how to manage emotions, help others, make intentional decisions, and resolve conflict that they use at home, at school, and with friends. As a result, girls are empowered to be the leader of their lives and to make positive contributions in their own lives and the lives of others. GOTR will use the grant to expand to at least 10 low-income Title 1 schools in the Tampa Bay area to provide at-risk girls the opportunity to participate in our life-changing program during 2020 Fall and 2021 Spring Seasons. These high need schools (as reflected by % of students receiving Free/Reduced Lunch) are currently on our wait list and eager to get started:
Jackson–96%, San Jose–95%, Knights–87%, Lopez–85%, Walden Lake–54%, Deer Park–51%

MARY & MARTHA HOUSE

Shelter Expansion Project, $40,000

Mary & Martha House is rebuilding our Emergency Shelter located in Ruskin. Through assistance from Hillsborough County and our private donors, the new Emergency Shelter will allow MMH to increase bed capacity from 23 units to 54 units. For many years, MMH has operated at full capacity, often unable to serve clients in need of assistance. MMH offers a two-tiered approach to clients. Initially, MMH provides on-site short-term shelter and support services while assessing the client’s individual needs and developing a case plan (first 90 days). As the initial crisis situation is alleviated, the client (including her children) moves into the second phase (variable time) that is designed to address the family’s longer term goals of securing full-time employment and permanent housing. MMH Case Managers work with each family member securing supports and services to recover from the trauma and move into a healthy lifestyle.
With an emphasis on health, wellness, and resiliency families are connected to their identified education, health services, legal assistance, childcare, vocational skills, support networks and other basic services. The Shelter Expansion Project will add an additional Case Manager to assist women (and her children) in their journey to wellness and long-term family success.

PACE CENTER FOR GIRLS

PaceWorks, $12,475

PaceWorks is an enrichment program within the Pace Center for Girls Hillsborough framework designed to help Pace girls to attain career goals, vocational skills and higher education for a brighter future. PaceWorks has grown from a weekly group format to a daily credit bearing course. All students completing 18 weeks of PaceWorks earn 0.5 elective credits with the Hillsborough County School District. A certified teacher is responsible for the delivery of the instruction portion of the career and vocational curriculum. The PaceWorks Coordinator facilitates quarterly educational and vocational explorations, as well as all other programmatic activities and continuing programming with transitioned girls. A significant portion of the program is dependent upon strong collaboration with community volunteers made up of individual and corporate organizations that serve to educate the girls on various community resources including volunteer/employment opportunities and educational opportunities. These community volunteers also serve as ambassadors of their respective places of employment while they participate in the annual Career Day Fair and college month programming and comprehensive work site tours. Additionally, volunteers participate in supplemental programming including mock-interviews, resume preparation, academic mentoring, study skills, job-shadowing and employment maintenance.

THE CENTRE FOR WOMEN

Empowering and Elevating Women & Girls, $20,000

We request support for our Empowering and Elevating Women & Girls programs that help area women recognize their potential and excel in work that leads to economic independence, and gender-specific programs for girls 5-14 that promote self-esteem and confidence. Founded in 1977, The Centre is one of Tampa Bay’s most venerable nonprofits, serving more than 4,000 women, girls, families and seniors annually who are in need or at-risk in varying degrees, to succeed personally and professionally. By empowering women & girls we empower the community.
Our Programs:
• The Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre (WBC): Part of a national network to help female entrepreneurs to launch/grow their own businesses. It is the only SBA-designated WBC on the west coast of FL. We train women in entrepreneurial readiness, business planning and access to capital.
• Tampa Bay Works for Women: Our innovative workforce development program provides counseling and essential-skills training. Our Women Building Futures is an accredited program to help women to learn the construction trades.
• The Centre for Girls: An afterschool enrichment program which offers year-round S.T.E.M. plus art programming for girls 5-14.
• Construction Services: Helps low-income seniors with emergency repairs/retrofits to make it possible for them to stay in their homes.

THE JUNIOR LEAGUE OF TAMPA

Girl Power!, $8,000

The Girl Power project consists of 10 events each year that promote literacy, scholarship, nutrition and positive self-image of girls ages 10-15 through mentorship by trained Junior League volunteers. Girl Power was developed to partner with The Centre for Girls, an enrichment and education center focused on the needs of Tampa Bay’s girls and their families. Girl Power is focused on teaching positive self-expression and empowering girls of the Tampa Bay Community, approximately 25% of girls enrolled in the program live in homes below the poverty line or qualify to receive free or reduced lunch. Through monthly interactive events, our volunteer leaders mentor, motivate, and empower the next generation of female leaders. Themes range from Self-Esteem, which include education of social media dangers to Self-Care, Personal Hygiene and Finances. The Girl Power project requests funding to cover expenses of these 10 events including qualified guest speakers and community partners, supplies for activities which girls and their mentors complete together and take home materials to extend and reinforce the lessons. Girl Power is a program of The Junior League of Tampa, a volunteer based non-profit organization. There are no administrative costs associated with this program, all funding from Community Foundation of Tampa Bay will go toward event components for the anticipated 240 children and caregivers who participate.

CHAMPIONS FOR CHILDREN

Kids on the Block – South Shore Schools, $10,000

Kids on the Block (KOTB) is a troupe of educational puppets that perform personal safety education shows for Hillsborough County public and private elementary school students. The shows provide children with knowledge to recognize and report abuse and other mistreatment, and to seek help, ultimately de-stigmatizing victimhood and preventing traumas with lifelong impacts on mental well-being. In the Child Abuse Prevention Performance, our highly trained puppeteers teach Kindergarten and 3rd grade audiences how to safely recognize and report child abuse and neglect when it happens to them or a friend. Listening to the puppet characters’ age-appropriate stories, students learn that abuse is never their fault and to use the NO, GO and TELL safety message.
For 4th Grade students, KOTB presents the Bullying and Stereotyping Prevention Performance to create an awareness of what constitutes bullying and to encourage empathy for the victims. Respect of physical, developmental, and cultural differences is also addressed. Students learn to “Recognize, Refuse, and Report” bullying to promote school safety. Due to the overwhelmingly Spanish-speaking population in parts of the South Shore area, we proudly offer the option to present shows and answer questions in Spanish.
The request would support bringing these important shows to nine schools in the South Shore region. We anticipate serving more than 1,800 children at these schools alone, and over 24,000 countywide.
.

CREATIVE CLAY

Creative Care Workshops for Women: A Therapeutic Arts Program for Female Military Personnel and Veterans, $10,000

Creative Clay is requesting partial funding for a therapeutic arts program for female military personnel and veterans. The Creative Care Workshops for Women program will provide tailored arts experiences intended to reduce the effects of post-traumatic stress and depression symptoms often associated with the unique experience of women in the military. A professional art therapist and an assistant will facilitate 32 3-hour workshops throughout the year. A maximum of 12 women will be accepted into each workshop and participants may be eligible to attend more than one workshop. In addition to experiential art activities, attendees will have an opportunity to create and display their own artwork at partnering venues within the community and attend monthly receptions to celebrate their accomplishments with fellow participants. Each attendee will complete a brief PTSD and Depression questionnaire before and after completing the workshop(s).

GOOD SAMARITAN HEALTH CLINIC OF PASCO

Implementing Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy To Improve Patients’ Mental Well-Being, $6,500

Good Samaritan Health Clinic of Pasco (GSHC) is a non-profit free clinic that provides primary care, some specialty care, and pharmacy services to the medically underserved, uninsured residents of Pasco County. We developed a program, Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Improve Patients’ Mental Well-Being, to be offered to those in need of mental health care. We would contribute to Tampa Bay area leaders’ collective vision to help alleviate the Mental Health Crisis in the region. It is the result of a shortage of Behavioral Health Professionals available to address the increased demand for treatment. With the help of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, our Lead Nurse Practitioner would be trained in: a) Mental Health First Aid to identify and respond appropriately to mental illness, suicidal tendencies, and substance abuse issues, and b) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), an evidence-based treatment that would be offered to groups. It would provide useful tools for individuals to identify and manage the difficult, often overwhelming challenges of life when suffering from mental illness. These measures would help to alleviate some barriers of access to mental health treatment. The patients would then be referred to treatment by a Psychologist or Licensed Therapist with our partner, BayCare Behavioral Health.

SOUTHEASTERN GUIDE DOGS

Enhanced Support for our Military Veteran Clients with Working Dogs to Mitigate PTSD in the Tampa Bay Area, $30,000

In 2009, Southeastern Guide Dogs introduced our Veterans Program to provide highly trained dogs to veterans with PTSD. Since its inception, we have placed over 125 of our dogs with veterans in need. Our dogs and all the training to make the human/canine teams effective are offered to our clients at no cost, but, up to now, the clients have been responsible for the ongoing care of their dogs including food and veterinary visits. In January 2020, we are introducing an innovative enhanced support program for our clients to help offset the costs of dog ownership for the lifetime of the working team. We are proud that we will be the first working dog school in North America to offer every client the ability to purchase dog food, flea and tick preventatives, and annual veterinary visits for the lifetime of the working team. Your support for the “Enhanced Support for our Military Veteran Clients with Working Dogs to Mitigate PTSD in the Tampa Bay Area” project will make a huge impact in the lives of the 32 veterans partnered with one of our dogs in the Tampa Bay area by relieving them of the financial stress of dog ownership. Veteran Christopher Stephens says of his service dog, Eddie, “Since I’ve been with Eddie, I feel normal. He calms me down and keeps me centered; he hugs me even when I don’t ask him to. Eddie is more than a dog. He’s my partner. He’s the best friend I’ve ever had, and I wouldn’t trade him for the world. This dog is giving me my life back.”

CHAMPIONS FOR CHILDREN

Talking is Teaching TALK READ SING Community Campaign, $25,000

Champions for Children (CFC) is proposing partnering with the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay in a broad early childhood initiative educating our Hillsborough County community about the positive, lifelong effects of intentional, positive parent/caregiver interactions with children at the earliest ages of life. Talking, reading and singing to an infant from the moment of birth builds brain architecture, increases language acquisition, promotes attachment and, thus, protection. Using the nationally proven “Talking is Teaching: Talk Read Sing” (TRS) model, this strategic initiative will equip parents and caregivers with knowledge, tools and supports that will enable their young children to be ready to learn and succeed in school and life. This request would implement an extensive TALK READ SING Community Campaign, which will bring critical TRS messages to a minimum of 1200 parents with infants and very young children and to the Hillsborough County community at large. Funds will be used to provide CFC leadership and coordination of the Campaign and support of community partners; training and oversight of Trusted Messengers; Book Corners in family-accessed sites and facilities, materials & supplies; and ongoing reinforcement of TRS messages. Foundation support also will fund Community Prompts in family-friendly accessible locations and via TRS Collaborative Partners Networks.

FRAMEWORKS OF TAMPA BAY

POSITIVE IMPACT: Expanding Frameworks’ Teens In Action Service Learning and Leadership Development Program, $15,000

We’ve all heard the refrain about schoolwork, “When am I ever going to use this?” The vast majority of teens (70%, according to one study) feel that what they are learning in school has nothing to do with “real life.” Service-learning programs like Frameworks’ Teens In Action (TIA) make learning relevant and can contribute to improved academic performance and higher graduation rates.
TIA combines social and emotional learning (SEL), civic engagement, and leadership training to help youth develop the skills they need to prepare for personal, academic and career success. The 23 students in this year’s TIA cohort join more than 350 teens served since the program’s inception in 2010. In addition, weekly, purposeful volunteerism increases social interaction and helps build a support system based on common interests, both of which have been shown to decrease depression. A meta-analysis of 40 research studies on the impact of volunteering on physical and mental health found that volunteering had a favorable effect on depression and well-being (Jenkinson et al., BMC Public Health, 2013).

INNER EXPLORER

Expanding on Success –‘Hillsborough -Readiness to Learn and Ability to Achieve’ 2020, $27,000

The proposal builds on the momentum of the 2019 grant, which included funding from the district as well as from CFTB. In 2019, we implemented Inner Explorer in 41 schools in HCPS to reduce student stress, improve their focus and regulate their emotions. Since the audio-guided, 5-10 minute a day intervention is a “low-lift” for teachers and a “high-impact” for students, academic performance increased significantly and behavior issues were reduced. The 2020 project aims to implement Inner Explorer in 50 Achievement schools, to train on-site champions, and to leverage the recommendations made by the experts in the recently released Brain Futures Policy Report (www.brainfutures.org/brainfitnessinschools/). Inner Explorer was chosen as a Top 10 Brain Futures Program because it improves children’s executive functioning (EF). The authors state: “The power to take action and support the health, well-being, and intellectual development of our youth is within the reach of every school in the nation…The evidence is clear: every school in the U.S. should adopt an executive function program.” This proposed project supports the Positive Education movement by reducing stress and improving executive functioning (EF) as the foundation for academic excellence. It will provide a multi-year assessment of program impact on key academic measures including test scores, attendance and discipline. Costs will be share between the district and CFTB.

PARENTS AND CHILDREN ADVANCE TOGETHER (PCAT) LITERACY MINISTRIES

PCAT Positive Education Initiative, $15,000

PCAT Family Literacy provides after-school educational programming to a total of 60 children in both Kindergarten and first grade attending Ruskin Elementary. Since its inception in 2003, PCAT has assisted almost 3,000 students with improving their reading and reading comprehension. Program services have incorporated some elements of positive education including engaging volunteer mentors who have positive relationships with students and encourage accomplishment and a sense of masterly. Additionally, the program has incorporated literacy through music. However, it has not incorporated all elements of this approach, and it proposes to evaluate and implement improvements to ensure that all elements support the positive education through books utilized, parenting education, and teaching strategies used by mentors and staff.

SENIORS IN SERVICE OF TAMPA BAY

Foster Grandparent Program SEL Enhancement, $32,386

We are seeking to fund our Foster Grandparent Program SEL (Social Emotional Learning) Enhancement to equip over 3,000 children with social/emotional skills critical for success in school, career & life. Our Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) is a long-standing evidence-based program that helps impoverished children overcome life obstacles to succeed in school & beyond. We engage highly trained volunteers to tutor/mentor at-risk students in Hillsborough & Pinellas public schools. We impact 3,000+ children/year in PreK-3rd grade, with over 94% success in improving academic performance of the MOST challenged students (evaluated by the teacher, NOT by Seniors in Service). But improving academic performance isn’t enough. We serve children whose lives are encumbered by poverty and many other life challenges. We will infuse FGP with proven SEL tools/methods to proactively help challenged kids face adversity in productive ways, building critical foundations for both academic learning & for long-term personal and professional success.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA ST PETERSBURG

PLAY: Partners in Literacy Advocacy for Youth, $10,084

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg and Police Athletic League are collaborating to implement an innovative project in our South St Petersburg Community. Our project, PLAY: Partners in Literacy Advocacy for Youth, will focus on strengthening social emotional learning (growth mindset) and reading comprehension of children, in Kindergarten through third grade, through literature circles and multicultural children’s literature. Literacy professors at USFSP will work with volunteers from the Kiwanis Club of St. Petersburg and PwC of Tampa to serve the children at the PAL centers. Over 95 percent of these children come from economically disadvantaged homes, and 80 percent are reading below their current grade level. PLAY will implement a researched-based literature circles program, an intervention specifically designed to maximize the potential to foster academic and socioemotional learning. We plan to train volunteers to engage in 5 literature circles a week. The expected results of this new program are: 1) an increase in reading achievement and engagement, and (2) an increase in social and emotional learning. The funds will provide resources, materials, books, and training for volunteers to effectively implement this program.

Spring 2019 Grant Cycle

ALPHA HOUSE OF PINELLAS COUNTY

ALPHA House of Pinellas Residential Program,  $20,000

AHP offers the only residential maternity housing in Pinellas County that serves women ages 14-41 and offers an extended length of stay after the baby is born. Women who are homeless or at high risk of homelessness are accepted into the program while pregnant or with a child under nine months. Half are foster teens who are homeless when referred by their caseworker and are admitted on an emergency basis. Most have a history of academic failure and lack sufficient skills to care for themselves and to parent and nurture their babies. Typically, they are victims of intergenerational abuse and violence. Many suffer from depression and low self-esteem, lack coping skills, and are distrustful and penniless. The multidisciplinary, comprehensive residential program includes housing, food and supplies; therapeutic counseling; case management; life skills education; and vocational education.

CLEARWATER FREE CLINIC, INC.

Behavioral Health Program, $16,000

The Clearwater Free Clinic serves low-income, uninsured residents of Pinellas County younger than 65. In July of 2018, a new initiative required each patient to complete and submit for assessment annually a depression screening worksheet to determine their eligibility for the Behavioral Health Program. The results revealed that many patients not currently enrolled in the Behavioral Health Program did in fact have needs in this clinical area, i.e. symptoms of depression. Ultimately, the addition of the depression screening has generated the need for more flexibility with appointment scheduling for the Behavioral Health Nurse Practitioner, the first step when patient need is identified. More availability of appointments is needed so that patients do not have to wait long periods of time to receive services. Currently, they may have to wait 4-6 weeks for an appointment. This need will continue to progress with about 50-60 new patients per month, eventually stabilizing once all current patients have been screened for depression.

GOOD SAMARITAN HEALTH CLINIC OF PASCO, INC.

Integrating Behavioral Health into Primary Care,  $5,000

Good Samaritan Health Clinic of Pasco is implementing a program to integrate behavioral health into primary care services offered to the low income, uninsured adults in our community. We strive to address patient care from the perspective of total health and well-being. It would require our practitioners to identify patients with mental health or psycho-social issues. Our lead Nurse Practitioner would treat the condition until they could be referred to our community partner, BayCare Behavioral Health Center. The waiting period for treatment at their facility could be six to eight months. We have a Limited Licensed Pharmacy that provides free medications to our patients. We would acquire a very specific formulary of medications to treat these conditions and reduce the barriers for individuals in the community to receive treatment.

GOOD SAMARITAN SERVICES SUN CITY CENTER

Good Samaritan Services Sun City Center,  $15,000

The Sun City Center Rides program provides transportation for medical services and coordinates Meals on Wheels. The organization has 6 cars that provide transportation to doctor appointments and hospitals in Brandon, Tampa and elsewhere within a 50-minute radius. In addition, 2 cars provide transportation for daily living activities. There are 524 active clients who needed 7,412 rides from January to November 2018. The self-supporting organization coordinated 8,248 meals last year and also provides up to 50 hours per year of respite care for Alzheimer’s caregivers and patients.

GULF COAST JEWISH FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SERVICES

SHE CAN,  $18,000

The Virginia and David Baldwin Women’s Residence at St. Petersburg Free Clinic provides a safe place to stay and offers support services to single homeless women as they work toward self- sufficiency. Of the 50 women residing at the Clinic in December, at least 75% were experiencing a mental health disorder. Many come from the streets, jail, or unhealthy or abusive relationships. Mental health and substance abuse services options are slim. The three local providers all have a waiting list of three months or more. SHE CAN will ensure that residents can gain immediate access to the support they need. Based on a successful pilot program in 2018, we propose to offer two complementary six-week group counseling courses tailored to residents’ needs, such as PTSD, substance abuse, and related challenges. In total, SHE CAN will provide 60 sessions of group therapy and life skills building facilitated by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. The two-part curriculum will be offered five times over 12-14 months. With expected group participation to range from

LIGHTHOUSE OF PINELLAS, INC.

Children’s Program and Summer Life Skills Camp for Blind and Visually Impaired Youth,  $10,000

Operating throughout the school year and 3 weeks during the summer, this program provides blind and visually impaired children, ages 6-13, with the critical knowledge, concepts, and skills to prepare them for the successes and challenges of school, work, and everyday life. Based on the Expanded Core Curriculum – a set of nine foundational skills that are geared specifically towards students with visual impairments – our Children’s Program empowers kids to explore and practice competencies essential to learning and thriving in school and in the real world. From learning how to safely and responsibly access and use assistive technology; to career exploration, traveling independently, taking care of themselves, and effectively interacting with others, our program helps children succeed academically and pursue their goals and dreams. Without this expanded curriculum taught in our Children’s Program, blind and visually impaired kids in Pinellas County run the risk of not reaching their full potential.

PACE CENTER FOR GIRLS, INC.

Spirited Girl Program,  $30,000

The Spirited Girls!® Program addresses barriers such as teen pregnancy, substance abuse, dropping out of school, detention or incarceration and long term economic dependency that can prevent a girl from achieving success. PACE’s gender-responsive focus, comprehensive set of services and multiple goals of self-efficacy makes the program unique in the nation. PACE has been utilizing our Spirited Girls! curriculum for many years. We have learned that it is important to group the girls according to developmental level and life experience, as this allows for the discussions in Spirited Girls! to be real and more robust. Spirited Girls! also requires an out of classroom, ‘in the real world’ component that helps to bring lessons learned into clearer focus and makes them more relatable. More than any other program that we offer, Spirited Girls! must also be able to create a safe space where peer conflicts and issues of trust must be addressed and resolved quickly or they disrupt the group dynamic and process.

QUANTUM LEAP FARM, INC.

Warrior Mission: At Ease Retreat,  $25,000

Our goal is to address the gap in Veteran treatment services and help reduce the suicide rate as well as provide an outlet for positive results. Veterans are quite eager to participate in equine-assisted therapies. Mental and behavioral health treatments through equine-assisted therapy programs attach no negative stigma and are generally considered to be personal and professional development sessions, therapeutic recreation, and/or exercise therapies. Our five-day retreats utilize highly effective holistic approaches proven to relieve PTSD symptoms, alleviate pain, calm hypervigilance, and reduce anxiety and depression.

READY FOR LIFE

Ready for Life – Operational Expense,  $15,000

Ready for Life, Inc. (RFL) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) which serves Pinellas County youth 15 – 25 years old that are in foster care or have already transitioned out and are on their own. The youth RFL serves exit the foster care system regardless of their housing situation, support system or knowing that they have what they need to be successful. For example, most of these young people are still in high school or trying to obtain their GED, have limited life skills, no clear plan for housing or employment yet they are expected to be independent. Ready for Life provides support, resources, and guidance that former foster care youth need to transition to adulthood.

STARTING RIGHT, NOW

2019 Capacity Increase,  $60,000

Starting Right, Now (SRN) ends homelessness for youth through one-on-one mentoring, providing a stable home, obtaining employment, teaching financial literacy/life skills and promoting educational achievement. Our holistic, health and human services program creates a serious solution to an urgent national problem – youth homelessness and its associated traumas. In addition to basic needs, students access a wealth of life-changing resources, attend after-school enrichment classes, and encounter positive role models, all of which equip them to meet novel academic and social demands. SRN removes students from these hazardous situations and places them in a safe environment, giving them hope, unconditional love, and the chance to finally focus on financial stability and their future. We are not just a temporary bed or food. Without skills and knowledge of our holistic curriculum, funding is wasted and the homeless youth lands back on the street or in jail. SRN forges to the root of the problem, breaking cycles and teaching life-long lessons to enable true systemic and long-term changes for this homeless population.

FEEDING TAMPA BAY

Support for South Shore Food Banks

Feeding Tampa Bay’s vision is a hunger-free Tampa Bay and our programs feed people in need. This is proposal is for the second year of a project to assist local food pantries in the South Shore area. The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay had originally received requests from seven separate food pantries. To assist them and extended their individual buying power, a credit model was established with Feeding Tampa Bay.

HUMANE SOCIETY OF TAMPA BAY

Trap/Neuter/Vaccinate/Return,  $10,000

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay will provide Trap/Neuter/Vaccinate/Return (TNVR) services to neighborhoods in the South Shore community at no cost for feral and free-roaming cats. There is a great over-population of cats in Hillsborough County. A large part of this is due to outside and community cats having unwanted litters. Many times, the caregivers for these cats are unable to afford the spay/neuter surgeries for the cats. The caregivers often times do not have transportation to take the cats to a local animal hospital. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay will trap the cats, transport them to our animal hospital, perform the spay/neuter surgeries, vaccinate the cats, and return them to their neighborhoods. This will help to reduce the overpopulation of cats in the South Shore area. This will also increase the overall save rate for Hillsborough County.

THE FLORIDA AQUARIUM

Watershed Investigations,  $15,553

Providing hands-on exploration, Watershed Investigations introduces students to watersheds, environmental change and the role students play in protecting resources while highlighting careers and providing inspiration for future workforce choices. Students will have an immersive experience that shows how they can each take part in saving our blue planet. Students will gather data to capture a snapshot of conditions at the Florida Center for Technology and Conservation (FCTC), a partnership of The Florida Aquarium, Tampa Electric Company (TECO), and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). This Apollo Beach site features diverse habitats that students will study to use STEM critical thinking skills (science, technology, engineering, math) to predict how the region might change over time. Curricula will align with state science standards.

THE GREENER SIDE HAVEN, INC

Seniors Helping Seniors Forever Foster Program,  $7,000

Many senior pets are being relinquished to shelters due to age and/or illness, and many senior citizens – often living in isolation, on a fixed income – are unable to afford a pet but would love to have one. This new program will match senior citizens who want to become “Forever Foster” parents to one of our rehabilitated senior pets. The expected results of this new program are: (1) A marked increase in our capacity to rescue and rehabilitate special needs pets at risk of abandonment or already relinquished to shelters, and a corollary decrease in euthanasia of “unadoptable” pets at shelters with whom we have collaborative ventures; (2) The ability to match economically challenged and often isolated senior citizens with a rehabilitated senior pet from our sanctuary who will love them unconditionally; and (3) An increase in the number of rescue organizations with which we collaborate to further our mission of bringing an end to pet abandonment.

INNER EXPLORER

Readiness to Learn and Achieve

The Inner Explorer daily mindfulness program will reduce stress and improve the social, emotional, academic and well-being outcomes for approximately 30,000 Hillsborough County students and 1500 teachers in the Achievement Zone schools. Mindfulness— defined as the capacity to pay attention to the present moment with curiosity and kindness— is a daily practice analogous to teeth brushing. It is preventative against the ravages of chronic stress, poverty, trauma, and technology overload. The practice is foundational for students to learn and engage in education in a deep and generative manner.
Inner Explorer brings mindfulness into classrooms each day through a series of audio-guided practices that are easy to implement and have proven results. Any teacher, even a substitute teacher, can run the program after viewing a 5-minute online orientation and then logging in to InnerExplorer.org and pressing ‘play’. Each practice is 5-10 minutes long and fits into the school day without changing curriculum or requiring coordination with an outside trainer. The simple, cost-effective design provides continuity as students move through the age-appropriate modules from preschool through high school.
IE’s mindfulness programs in schools can break the cycle of poverty and despair by reducing stress, enhancing brain function and school performance while increasing compassionate action. Students discover within themselves ways to reduce impulsivity and make more thoughtful decisions in order to align with their potential and purpose.

CHAMPIONS FOR CHILDREN

Kids on the Block – South Shore Schools, $10,000

Kids on the Block (KOTB) is a troupe of educational puppets that perform personal safety education shows for Hillsborough County public and private elementary school students. The shows provide children with knowledge to recognize and report abuse and other mistreatment, and to seek help, ultimately de-stigmatizing victimhood and preventing traumas with lifelong impacts on mental well-being. In the Child Abuse Prevention Performance, our highly trained puppeteers teach Kindergarten and 3rd grade audiences how to safely recognize and report child abuse and neglect when it happens to them or a friend. Listening to the puppet characters’ age-appropriate stories, students learn that abuse is never their fault and to use the NO, GO and TELL safety message.
For 4th Grade students, KOTB presents the Bullying and Stereotyping Prevention Performance to create an awareness of what constitutes bullying and to encourage empathy for the victims. Respect of physical, developmental, and cultural differences is also addressed. Students learn to “Recognize, Refuse, and Report” bullying to promote school safety. Due to the overwhelmingly Spanish-speaking population in parts of the South Shore area, we proudly offer the option to present shows and answer questions in Spanish.
The request would support bringing these important shows to nine schools in the South Shore region. We anticipate serving more than 1,800 children at these schools alone, and over 24,000 countywide.
.

CREATIVE CLAY

Creative Care Workshops for Women: A Therapeutic Arts Program for Female Military Personnel and Veterans, $10,000

Creative Clay is requesting partial funding for a therapeutic arts program for female military personnel and veterans. The Creative Care Workshops for Women program will provide tailored arts experiences intended to reduce the effects of post-traumatic stress and depression symptoms often associated with the unique experience of women in the military. A professional art therapist and an assistant will facilitate 32 3-hour workshops throughout the year. A maximum of 12 women will be accepted into each workshop and participants may be eligible to attend more than one workshop. In addition to experiential art activities, attendees will have an opportunity to create and display their own artwork at partnering venues within the community and attend monthly receptions to celebrate their accomplishments with fellow participants. Each attendee will complete a brief PTSD and Depression questionnaire before and after completing the workshop(s).

GOOD SAMARITAN HEALTH CLINIC OF PASCO

Implementing Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy To Improve Patients’ Mental Well-Being, $6,500

Good Samaritan Health Clinic of Pasco (GSHC) is a non-profit free clinic that provides primary care, some specialty care, and pharmacy services to the medically underserved, uninsured residents of Pasco County. We developed a program, Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Improve Patients’ Mental Well-Being, to be offered to those in need of mental health care. We would contribute to Tampa Bay area leaders’ collective vision to help alleviate the Mental Health Crisis in the region. It is the result of a shortage of Behavioral Health Professionals available to address the increased demand for treatment. With the help of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, our Lead Nurse Practitioner would be trained in: a) Mental Health First Aid to identify and respond appropriately to mental illness, suicidal tendencies, and substance abuse issues, and b) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), an evidence-based treatment that would be offered to groups. It would provide useful tools for individuals to identify and manage the difficult, often overwhelming challenges of life when suffering from mental illness. These measures would help to alleviate some barriers of access to mental health treatment. The patients would then be referred to treatment by a Psychologist or Licensed Therapist with our partner, BayCare Behavioral Health.

SOUTHEASTERN GUIDE DOGS

Enhanced Support for our Military Veteran Clients with Working Dogs to Mitigate PTSD in the Tampa Bay Area, $30,000

In 2009, Southeastern Guide Dogs introduced our Veterans Program to provide highly trained dogs to veterans with PTSD. Since its inception, we have placed over 125 of our dogs with veterans in need. Our dogs and all the training to make the human/canine teams effective are offered to our clients at no cost, but, up to now, the clients have been responsible for the ongoing care of their dogs including food and veterinary visits. In January 2020, we are introducing an innovative enhanced support program for our clients to help offset the costs of dog ownership for the lifetime of the working team. We are proud that we will be the first working dog school in North America to offer every client the ability to purchase dog food, flea and tick preventatives, and annual veterinary visits for the lifetime of the working team. Your support for the “Enhanced Support for our Military Veteran Clients with Working Dogs to Mitigate PTSD in the Tampa Bay Area” project will make a huge impact in the lives of the 32 veterans partnered with one of our dogs in the Tampa Bay area by relieving them of the financial stress of dog ownership. Veteran Christopher Stephens says of his service dog, Eddie, “Since I’ve been with Eddie, I feel normal. He calms me down and keeps me centered; he hugs me even when I don’t ask him to. Eddie is more than a dog. He’s my partner. He’s the best friend I’ve ever had, and I wouldn’t trade him for the world. This dog is giving me my life back.”

CHAMPIONS FOR CHILDREN

Talking is Teaching TALK READ SING Community Campaign, $25,000

Champions for Children (CFC) is proposing partnering with the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay in a broad early childhood initiative educating our Hillsborough County community about the positive, lifelong effects of intentional, positive parent/caregiver interactions with children at the earliest ages of life. Talking, reading and singing to an infant from the moment of birth builds brain architecture, increases language acquisition, promotes attachment and, thus, protection. Using the nationally proven “Talking is Teaching: Talk Read Sing” (TRS) model, this strategic initiative will equip parents and caregivers with knowledge, tools and supports that will enable their young children to be ready to learn and succeed in school and life. This request would implement an extensive TALK READ SING Community Campaign, which will bring critical TRS messages to a minimum of 1200 parents with infants and very young children and to the Hillsborough County community at large. Funds will be used to provide CFC leadership and coordination of the Campaign and support of community partners; training and oversight of Trusted Messengers; Book Corners in family-accessed sites and facilities, materials & supplies; and ongoing reinforcement of TRS messages. Foundation support also will fund Community Prompts in family-friendly accessible locations and via TRS Collaborative Partners Networks.

FRAMEWORKS OF TAMPA BAY

POSITIVE IMPACT: Expanding Frameworks’ Teens In Action Service Learning and Leadership Development Program, $15,000

We’ve all heard the refrain about schoolwork, “When am I ever going to use this?” The vast majority of teens (70%, according to one study) feel that what they are learning in school has nothing to do with “real life.” Service-learning programs like Frameworks’ Teens In Action (TIA) make learning relevant and can contribute to improved academic performance and higher graduation rates.
TIA combines social and emotional learning (SEL), civic engagement, and leadership training to help youth develop the skills they need to prepare for personal, academic and career success. The 23 students in this year’s TIA cohort join more than 350 teens served since the program’s inception in 2010. In addition, weekly, purposeful volunteerism increases social interaction and helps build a support system based on common interests, both of which have been shown to decrease depression. A meta-analysis of 40 research studies on the impact of volunteering on physical and mental health found that volunteering had a favorable effect on depression and well-being (Jenkinson et al., BMC Public Health, 2013).

INNER EXPLORER

Expanding on Success –‘Hillsborough -Readiness to Learn and Ability to Achieve’ 2020, $27,000

The proposal builds on the momentum of the 2019 grant, which included funding from the district as well as from CFTB. In 2019, we implemented Inner Explorer in 41 schools in HCPS to reduce student stress, improve their focus and regulate their emotions. Since the audio-guided, 5-10 minute a day intervention is a “low-lift” for teachers and a “high-impact” for students, academic performance increased significantly and behavior issues were reduced. The 2020 project aims to implement Inner Explorer in 50 Achievement schools, to train on-site champions, and to leverage the recommendations made by the experts in the recently released Brain Futures Policy Report (www.brainfutures.org/brainfitnessinschools/). Inner Explorer was chosen as a Top 10 Brain Futures Program because it improves children’s executive functioning (EF). The authors state: “The power to take action and support the health, well-being, and intellectual development of our youth is within the reach of every school in the nation…The evidence is clear: every school in the U.S. should adopt an executive function program.” This proposed project supports the Positive Education movement by reducing stress and improving executive functioning (EF) as the foundation for academic excellence. It will provide a multi-year assessment of program impact on key academic measures including test scores, attendance and discipline. Costs will be share between the district and CFTB.

PARENTS AND CHILDREN ADVANCE TOGETHER (PCAT) LITERACY MINISTRIES

PCAT Positive Education Initiative, $15,000

PCAT Family Literacy provides after-school educational programming to a total of 60 children in both Kindergarten and first grade attending Ruskin Elementary. Since its inception in 2003, PCAT has assisted almost 3,000 students with improving their reading and reading comprehension. Program services have incorporated some elements of positive education including engaging volunteer mentors who have positive relationships with students and encourage accomplishment and a sense of masterly. Additionally, the program has incorporated literacy through music. However, it has not incorporated all elements of this approach, and it proposes to evaluate and implement improvements to ensure that all elements support the positive education through books utilized, parenting education, and teaching strategies used by mentors and staff.

SENIORS IN SERVICE OF TAMPA BAY

Foster Grandparent Program SEL Enhancement, $32,386

We are seeking to fund our Foster Grandparent Program SEL (Social Emotional Learning) Enhancement to equip over 3,000 children with social/emotional skills critical for success in school, career & life. Our Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) is a long-standing evidence-based program that helps impoverished children overcome life obstacles to succeed in school & beyond. We engage highly trained volunteers to tutor/mentor at-risk students in Hillsborough & Pinellas public schools. We impact 3,000+ children/year in PreK-3rd grade, with over 94% success in improving academic performance of the MOST challenged students (evaluated by the teacher, NOT by Seniors in Service). But improving academic performance isn’t enough. We serve children whose lives are encumbered by poverty and many other life challenges. We will infuse FGP with proven SEL tools/methods to proactively help challenged kids face adversity in productive ways, building critical foundations for both academic learning & for long-term personal and professional success.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA ST PETERSBURG

PLAY: Partners in Literacy Advocacy for Youth, $10,084

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg and Police Athletic League are collaborating to implement an innovative project in our South St Petersburg Community. Our project, PLAY: Partners in Literacy Advocacy for Youth, will focus on strengthening social emotional learning (growth mindset) and reading comprehension of children, in Kindergarten through third grade, through literature circles and multicultural children’s literature. Literacy professors at USFSP will work with volunteers from the Kiwanis Club of St. Petersburg and PwC of Tampa to serve the children at the PAL centers. Over 95 percent of these children come from economically disadvantaged homes, and 80 percent are reading below their current grade level. PLAY will implement a researched-based literature circles program, an intervention specifically designed to maximize the potential to foster academic and socioemotional learning. We plan to train volunteers to engage in 5 literature circles a week. The expected results of this new program are: 1) an increase in reading achievement and engagement, and (2) an increase in social and emotional learning. The funds will provide resources, materials, books, and training for volunteers to effectively implement this program.

Fall 2018 Grant Cycle

DAVID A. STRAZ, JR. CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

2018-2019 Straz Center Arts Education Partnerships Program,  $20,000

The Straz Center’s 2018-2019 Arts Education Partnerships Program will deliver high-quality arts learning experiences to more than 3,500 disadvantaged K-12 children in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, and Manatee counties. Program activities will be tailored to the needs of more than 50 partnering schools, after-school programs, and service agencies, and will be delivered throughout the 2018-2019 school year.

Services will be delivered at no cost to all 52 partnering Title I schools and service agencies, including the Firehouse Cultural Center and RCMA Wimauma/Leadership Academy. Several partners also serve special-needs children, adults, and seniors.

FLORIDA HOME PARTNERSHIP

Bayou Pass Village Community Mural,  $10,000

Florida Home Partnership provides opportunity, education, upward mobility, and stability by meeting the housing needs of low to moderate income individuals and families. In Bayou Pass Village 4, the back of a maintenance building is blank and faces a busy intersection. A community art project to paint a mural there will enable adults and children to engage in their community, and offer visually compelling community art for passers-by. FHP has a history of engaging its families in focus groups and playground installations to give them a voice and hands-on activities in the development of their communities. The project would be led by professional artist and muralist Michael Parker of Ruskin, who has a successful career in leading groups to conceptualize and paint large-scale murals. We are confident that Mr. Parker will help create a compelling image fitting for a self-help housing community.

FLORIDA MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS

FMoPA Community Gallery,  $5,000

The FMoPA Community Gallery gives a voice to the artists in our community who do not have access to gallery shows or exhibition opportunities. We aim to represent minorities in our community, veterans as well as local and emerging artists. Every show that is hung in the Community Gallery supports local artists or causes that are relevant to the museum’s audience.

FMoPA hosts several calls for entry throughout the year to give emerging photographers a platform to exhibit their work in a museum setting. The goal is to support local artists and help them build their skills and resumes so that they can continue to make art.
The gallery also features shows that are culturally relevant to visitors such as Faces of Alzheimer’s (portraits of patients), Our Living Past (blues and soul jazz musicians for Black History Month), and Underwater Photography (conservationist photography of beautiful underwater creatures and their habitats).

FRIENDS OF LIBRARY-HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, INC.

SouthShore Regional Library John Crawford Art Education Studio Art Classes,  $4,000

The John Crawford Art Education Studio at the SouthShore Regional Library in Ruskin serves a diverse and growing community in the South Shore area, and the residents turn to their local library for access to resources and cultural experiences that may not otherwise be available to them. There are many residents of this rural area who cannot afford to pay for art classes or do not have transportation to seek art instruction outside of their community, and the library is able to provide professional art instruction to them for free.

Thanks to the generous support of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and the Friends of the SouthShore Regional Library, the local community has become accustomed to a robust offering of quality art classes at the library, even during the extended vacancy of the library’s art coordinator position. We are asking for funding to continue to provide free art classes for ages pre-K through adult.

GREAT EXPLORATIONS INC. 

Great Explorations’ Outreach Program,  $10,000

Great Explorations’ Outreach program is run by a team of educators known as the STEAM Team that takes learning on the road, directly into at-risk neighborhoods and schools. The Outreach team sets up mobile learning stations to explore STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) concepts where children, teachers, and families can conduct experiments, watch engaging staff-led shows, create original pieces of art utilizing nontraditional tools, and more.

The goal is to engage 9,500 children from underrepresented and vulnerable populations to take an active interest in their education by providing innovative ways to interpret the world around them through hands-on learning during free Outreaches at schools or in their neighborhoods.

SOUTHSHORE ARTS COUNCIL

South Shore High School Art Exhibit,  $4,700

The annual juried High School art exhibit is displayed at Hillsborough Community College (HCC), South Shore Campus in Ruskin. The partnership with HCC provides a great exhibit space and increases the level of enthusiasm and inspiration. A local arts professional judges the submissions. The exhibit gives the students an opportunity to experience what it is like to exhibit their work in the community and also helps the school’s art department promote students dedicated to creating art. This will be the 9th year the all-volunteer SAC Board has sponsored and facilitated this Community Foundation-inspired event. This is the only event of its kind in the South Shore community.

THE FLORIDA ORCHESTRA

Community Concerts,  $7,500

The Florida Orchestra is committed to ensuring that people of all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of and engagement in music. Numerous studies have affirmed the benefits of the arts on cognitive, academic, social and personal development. Through its outreach efforts, TFO aims to set up our local youth for success by providing high-quality arts enrichment experiences, educational resources, and other support. Our outreach programming aims to eliminate social and economic barriers to participation.

Through free outdoor performances and opportunities for community participation – as well as community engagement programming throughout the year – TFO works to cultivate an appreciation for orchestral music among people of all ages and backgrounds. These programs develop new audiences for live music and help sustain TFO as a cultural resource for all of Tampa Bay’s residents.

THE STUDIO@620

The Studio@620 Artist Support,  $5,000

The Studio@620 engages more than 300 visual and performing artists in over 100 programs each year in all creative disciplines, providing meaningful income to artists. The Studio@620 has supported many emerging artists who have gone on to full-fledged careers and provides the tools to help them broadcast their work to a larger audience. The result is a community that is enriched economically as well as culturally by having a thriving pool of talented artists among its citizens.

This grant would support programming that provides opportunities for emerging artists to showcase their work and that brings people from diverse cultural backgrounds and experiences together as artists, audiences and volunteers.

AMIKIDS Y.E.S.

AMIkids Y.E.S,  $25,000

Students come from communities with high to severe concentration of poverty, single parent households, low academic achievement, teen parenthood and other risk factors that contribute to violent and delinquent behaviors. The cornerstone of AMIkids programs is its Personal Growth Model, which provides support for growth through education, counseling, and behavior changes.

The Personal Growth Model has been recognized by the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention as a promising model for improving the academic achievement of troubled youth and preventing delinquency. The boys at AMIkids Y.E.S. also work toward a high school diploma or GED and have a clear plan for school or work when they turn 18. AMIkids Y.E.S. also provides vocational education programs in food service and construction because we understand that to obtain and sustain a productive, crime-free life our kids must succeed in the classroom and acquire the skills needed to obtain employment after graduation.

AMSKILLS

Adult Pre-Apprenticeship Program,  $3,000

Recruiting and hiring qualified manufacturing employees in Florida and the Tampa Bay area is a growing problem. Our unique Tampa Bay Regional program started operations in 2015 to address the economic development workforce needs and to support the needs of manufacturers in our region.

AmSkills provides an alternative for people who are unemployed/underemployed and looking to increase their skills, career opportunities and wages. The AmSkills Pre-Apprenticeship Program is the first step to launching a career in manufacturing or other industries. It provides foundational skills training, manufacturing job exploration through hands-on projects, manufacturer tours and job placement at local companies, with on-going coaching and Apprentice training. In addition, AmSkills Pre-Apprenticeship Program is the perfect skills training program to assist veterans in transitioning to civilian careers.

BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF TAMPA BAY

Town & Country Initiative; Morgan Woods Elementary,  $20,000

A Boys & Girls Club presence was established with Town & Country Elementary in 2010. In 2014 a more robust on-site program was initiated where the school allowed BGCTB programming in classroom space and were encouraged to engage the students during the school year as mentors. In 2018, the new Hasham BGC opened on the school property, increasing number of youth. Collaborating on a pilot program with Champions for Children and the Hillsborough County School District, BGCTB is part of a cradle-to-12th grade pipeline in the Town & Country area schools.

This grant request includes the support of Morgan Woods Elementary as an on-site location. Originally intended to provide programming to 30 youth, the administration and parents pleaded with our agency to expand the program, as no other on-site after school program was available. Instead of the 30 budgeted, we have 124 youth, requiring additional part-time staff to augment the full-time person at Morgan Woods.

BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF THE SUNCOAST

Power Hour,  $10,000

The goal of Power Hour is to help young people develop academic, behavioral and social skills through homework completion, high-yield learning activities and tutoring. The program model is designed to create a climate of academic success in the Clubs during out of school time hours. In addition to conducting homework help for members in elementary, middle, and high school, the program implements fun and beneficial learning activities intended to instill a life-long love of learning.

Power Hour takes place for at least one hour a day during out of school time hours at all six Club locations across Pinellas County. This includes after-school hours and school breaks. It is also run during the summer using curriculum and tutors provided by United Way Suncoast and St. Petersburg College.

CHAMPIONS FOR CHILDREN

Kids on the Block,  $10,000

Kids on the Block’s (KOTB) expertly trained puppeteers teach and interact with children via the puppets. The puppeteers elicit conversations with the children and answer their questions. The letters the students write to the puppets after each show are reviewed by the guidance counselors. If there is any indication that a child may be in a dangerous situation, the guidance counselor follows up appropriately with the child and, if necessary, with a report to Florida’s Child Abuse Hotline. Last school year (2017-2018), KOTB reached 25,487 students and parents with 360 performances and addressed 468 student concerns resulting in 13 bullying reports and 44 abuse disclosures.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Education about Economic Crimes Targeting Seniors,  $10,000

The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay conducted a needs assessment for the Sun City Center Community last year, which determined a need for more education about financial and economic frauds that target seniors for the Sun City Center Community. Residents of Sun City Center Community will be notified of the presentations through a community-wide mailing. In addition, the funding will be used to support economic crime training for a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputy. This is the second year of this program. Over 500 Sun City Center Community residents attended last year’s program.

HILLSBOROUGH COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOUNDATION 

Food 2 Finish,  $19,500

The objective of the Food 2 Finish program is to remove a significant barrier to college completion for many students: hunger. A taskforce created by HCC to take on this issue on our campuses has partnered with Feeding Tampa Bay. The taskforce has also consulted with experts at the University of South Florida and at our local hunger groups, including the Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger and the Hunger Action Alliance, to research available resources and discover best practices.

Support will help implement one of the immediate solutions, food pantries, and increase completion by helping our deserving, determined students stay fed and focused. The HCC Foundation requests support to stock food pantries at our Dale Mabry, Ybor and Brandon campuses at $6,500 per year per pantry.

KIWANIS OF SOUTHSHORE

Key Club Leadership Training and Conference,  $6,000

This grant will be used toward sending 30 student leaders and five adult advisers from Lennard and East Bay high schools to The Kiwanis District Convention in Orlando, April 4-7, 2019. The cost to attend the 3-day leadership conference is approximately $12,250, or $350 per person. Additional funds needed (NOT covered by this grant) for this leadership training will be covered by student led fundraisers ($3,000), and work projects at Florida Historical Train Museum ($3,250).

The students will learn what hard work, teamwork, school spirit and giving back to the community involves — as this leadership training is totally run by seasoned Key Club leaders from all over the State of Florida. Our 30 students will come away equipped with better leadership skills and the inspiration to become leaders in their community.

PARENTS AND CHILDREN ADVANCE TOGETHER (PCAT) LITERACY MINISTRIES, INC.

PCAT Literacy Program,  $21,383

The program is serving Wimauma and Ruskin Elementary Schools, both are on the state’s list of 300 lowest performing schools in 2017-2018. At Ruskin Elementary 84.6% of the students are minorities and 93% are economically disadvantaged. At Wimauma Elementary, 90.8% students are minorities and 97.3 are economically disadvantaged. At both schools, 34-35% of students are reading at grade level, compared to 53% for the county.

Expanding the programs at Ruskin and Wimauma elementaries created a need for more volunteers. A partnership with Encore Tampa Bay and Seniors in Service has helped, but additional resources are needed to engage and train more volunteers. PCAT proposes to hire a part-time contracted Volunteer Coordinator.

PASCO EDUCATION FOUNDATION

The Investing in Teaching and Leading Excellence for Greater Student Achievement Project,  $40,000

During the 2014-15 school year, Pasco County Schools underwent a complete instructional diagnosis that confirmed a number of areas in need of improvement, particularly teacher and leader development. Resources and professional development aimed at elevating high academic standards are critical to the success of students, yet state funding for professional development is extremely limited, and federal funds typically used for teacher and leader development are at risk of deep cut and elimination.

Since 2014-15, Pasco County Schools has leveraged every opportunity available to make needed improvements, and we have seen promising gains, including a reduction in the number of schools considered “failing” (from 23 in 16-17 to 2 in 17-18). The significant gains in student achievement were due in large part to the partnership Pasco County Schools has with a consortium of Florida School Districts, the Pilot Florida Implementation Network (PFIN) through The New Teacher Project (TNTP). We are looking for ways to make these promising practices sustainable.

PASCO-HERNANDO STATE COLLEGE FOUNDATION

Concept College readiness program,  $10,000

Pasco-Hernando State College Concept College is a pre-collegiate program for students in 5th to 12th grade who are identified as being at-risk. The goal of Concept College is to increase interest in, and enrollment of at-risk high school students into college programs. In 2017-18, the program expanded from a high school program to a modified program for middle schoolers and some 5th graders. Both programs are designed to connect the interests of students with career paths and build their confidence that success is possible for them.

An intensive, yet fun program, it provides interaction with people and programs that help them visualize themselves as college students. More than four in five (83%) Concept College participants report that the program increased their interest in attending college. The long-term community outcome is certificate or degree program attainment and greater workforce participation in living-wage careers.

PINELLAS EDUCATION FOUNDATION

Operational Expenses,  $6,809

The Pinellas Education Foundation is a coalition of business and community leaders who collaborate to improve the quality of public education. Together, advocating for public education achievement, creating programs to improve student and teacher performance and raising funds for scholarships, grants and teacher recognition. The Pinellas Education Foundation collaborates with the school district to create greater opportunities for the next generation. From scholarships to career education, our initiatives directly impact more than 100,000 lives annually, and countless more are touched by our efforts.

In 1986, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Dr. Gus A. Stavros, started a local, economic education impact program for Pinellas County Schools called Enterprise Village. In the years since, the Pinellas Education Foundation has grown and championed many innovative programs in support of this initiative, including Youth Connect, Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program, Future Plans, Enterprise Village and Finance Park. Efforts have raised more than $140 million to support the students and teachers of Pinellas County Schools, and the Foundation is consistently ranked among some of the top public school education foundations in the United States.

REDLANDS CHRISTIAN MIGRANT ASSOCIATION

Graduate Support Coordinator,  $22,000

Only 70% of the students who graduated from Redlands Christian Migrant Association, Inc.(RCMA) in 2013 graduated high school in 2017. The high school environment is a contrast to the small, nurturing school community that characterizes RCMA schools. A strong majority of our students are from farm-working families. Homes are often overcrowded, poorly lit and ventilated and absent of educational materials including books and access to technology. The Graduate Support Coordinator, based at the Wimauma Leadership Academy, will know students’ family and academic histories and will facilitate adjustment into the new school environment. This assistance will be as important for the families as for the students. The goal is for 95 percent of participating students to complete high school. To sustain the position, RCMA expects to do fundraising and diverting funds from other sources and expects the success of the position to attract future funders.

SENIORS IN SERVICE OF TAMPA BAY

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program,  $25,504

The program will continue to address the decline in volunteerism in Sun City Center and the South Shore community, which follow a national trend among all volunteers and volunteers ages 55 and older. Through the generous support of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, Seniors in Service and Encore Tampa Bay have made gains in 2018. From January through July, we invested in learning about the Sun City Center community, the leadership of the community, understanding their challenges as the community sees them, giving our time, energy, support, and encouragement whenever possible and ultimately being accepted and embraced by the community. This strong foundation will serve us well towards our goals for 2019 in creating a sustaining campaign for change in how volunteers are recruited, engaged, and appreciated.

SUN CITY CENTER CHAPTER 226 OF THE MILITARY ORDER OF THE WORLD WARS

MOWW Tallahassee Youth Leadership Conference,  $7,000

The Military Order of the World Wars serves America’s youth by hosting Youth Leadership Conference programs throughout the United States at no cost to the high school students attending. MOWW also sponsors awards programs for ROTC and Junior ROTC cadets, the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of the USA.

This chapter sponsors 45 students to attend the three-day conference. The request would fund about 18 of those students.

THE CYPRESS INITIATIVE

S.P.A.R.K. Mentoring Program,  $37,500

The Cypress Initiative developed The Spark Mentoring Program in 2010 to promote well-being in the lives of the community’s most vulnerable, at-risk students attending Hillsborough County Public Schools. Through SPARK, students begin to take personal responsibility in their education, relationships, and face life/situation with a greater sense of purpose and confidence.

The request is to fund 5 South Shore area middle/ high schools during the second half of the 2018-2019 school year and the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year: 25 students per class and up to 3 classes per school. However, we could use partial funding for fewer classes. It costs $2,500 per class.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA FOUNDATION

Bedside Optical Monitoring of Stroke,  $22,988

Strokes and Traumatic Brain Injuries are the leading cause of long-term disability in the U.S. In the ICU, neurologists can reverse injuries caused by reduced blood flow to the brain with drugs and/or surgical procedures. However, they lack the technology to continuously monitor a patient’s cerebral blood flow and must wait until a patient’s condition deteriorates before modifying the treatment plan. As a result, the brain health of up to one in four patients worsens in the first two days at the hospital, often leading to secondary injuries, disabilities, and even death.

This research project has the potential to dramatically improve the care received by patients with acute strokes, through quantitative bedside monitoring of their cerebral tissue health.

Skip to content