inspirED

Meet our scholars, educators, donors, and partners.

Transforming Our Community.
One Scholarship at a Time.

Step Up For Students Scholarships do more than fund education. They change lives. Students thrive in environments that fit their needs. Educators extend their reach to support vulnerable students. Communities grow stronger as educational systems improve.

This is inspireEd. Welcome.

Here, you will get an inside view of that transformation in progress. See what happens when students and their families discover the power of taking control over their academics. Watch as they forge new pathways to a better future. Find inspiration in their determination to achieve their dreams.

These are the stories of Florida students who have renewed hope because they have a school that better fits their needs or educational materials to unlock their potential. They are the stories of a community that has come together to support the belief that educational choice matters. Here, you can be a part of this incredible journey.

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He started a scholarship at his high school to honor a friend and enable future students to have the 'exact experience I’m having'

TAMPA – The night ended with a set of Latin music, one of Victor Peña’s favorites, and everyone inside the theater on the campus of Jesuit High School was standing and moving something – arms, legs, hips. It was the final set of a two-hour concert to raise money for a scholarship to honor Victor, […]
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The path to being an advanced manufacturing engineer began with an education choice scholarship

The faces looking back at Da’Shaun Holmes appeared familiar. They looked like Da’Shaun. Well, a younger version of Da’Shaun. They were students at Academy Prep Center of St. Petersburg, Da’Shaun’s alma mater, and they were eager to hear what he had to say. Da’Shaun was ready for the challenge. “I was there to inspire,” he […]
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How do you help children with severe development and behavioral needs? You build them a school

DORAL – This was supposed to be Elise’s school, the white two-story building with beige trim that sits on a quiet street and serves students with moderate to severe development and behavioral needs. When John and Jamie Althoff learned Elise, their unborn daughter, had Down syndrome, they wondered what education options existed near their South […]
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Bella's life was worthy of a documentary and Columbus High senior Sebastian Broche was 'the perfect guy' to direct it

Originally, all Raymond Rodriguez-Torres was expecting was a public service announcement honoring his late daughter. He – and his daughter’s memory – received more. Much more. Rodriguez-Torres hoped the multi-media club at Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, his alma mater, could produce a PSA about Live Like Bella, the nonprofit that battles childhood cancer […]
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Honoring Dad, a fallen hero, on Memorial Day

Air Force Col. Thomas Falzarano was a family man, the type of dad who came home from work and raced his young sons to the backyard trampoline, bouncing around on the mat while Michael and Thomas jumped up and down for all they were worth. Laughter filled the neighboring yards. “We all loved it,” said […]
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Journey's journey includes volleyball, an education choice scholarship and now college

PINELLAS PARK – The workers involved in the adoption process in Guatemalan called her Viaje, which translates to English as Trip or Journey because her adoptive parents from Idaho had settled on the name “Journey” for the toddler. What’s in a name? Well, life has been a journey for Journey Hinz, who graduated this month […]
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Jaydis is a 'powerful example' of the transformative impact education choice can have on a student

ST. PETERSBURG – Jaydis Kincade sat at a picnic table in the shade next to the vegetable garden maintained by his classmates at Academy Prep Center of St. Petersburg and set up a chess board. Out came the rooks, the bishops, the knights. The pawns, the king, the queen. He aligned them in their correct […]
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By catering to students who learn differently, Beacon College helped Ryan 'Blow away expectations'

LEESBURG – Ryan Sleboda is a college graduate with a degree in anthrozoology, a 4.0 GPA, and the distinction of being one of five valedictorians for Beacon College’s Class of 2024. He’s sailing off to a future where he expects to own a business – a doggy daycare – and live on his own. “That’s […]
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Top grades and desire to ease family's financial burden leads to coveted QuestBridge scholarship

DORAL – When he begins his freshman year this fall at Boston University, Alvaro Saenz plans to major in biomedical engineering, a decision driven by his lifelong love of science and his desire to dedicate his life to helping people with special needs – such as his brother. “It combines the best of both worlds,” […]
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A student with many interests has many options thanks to his Personalized Education Program

Cooper Campen is the spelling bee champion of Alachua County who plays the trumpet, reads John Grisham novels, and would like to be a mechanical engineer. Or a doctor. Or a lawyer. He is 12 years old, a young man of many interests. Science. History. Music. Words. And this: Education choice. Cooper, 12, is homeschooled […]
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