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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Gold Coast Eagle Distributing donates $4.8 million to help Florida schoolchildren

SARASOTA, Fla.– Gold Coast Eagle Distributing has contributed more than $4.8 million to Step Up For Students, providing 605 Florida schoolchildren with access to the education options that best help them succeed. Gold Coast Eagle Distributing sells and markets all brands produced by Anheuser-Busch, Modelo/Corona, and many import and craft beers in Manatee and Sarasota […]
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Juliette is reading at grade level thanks to New Worlds Reading Scholarship Account

BY ROGER MOONEY Juliette Doyon was elated to score a Level 4 on her FAST ELA Reading for Progress Monitoring assessment test this past spring. It was almost two points higher than she scored at the beginning of the year. “I was really, really excited,” said Juliette, who completed the third grade at Valleyview Elementary […]
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Education choice scholarship was 'huge' in Miguel's journey to the top of his class at Notre Dame

BY ROGER MOONEY Miguel Coste delivered the salutatorian invocation in May during graduation at the University of Notre Dame. It was a 2 minute, 49 second prayer that set the tone for the ceremony that capped a commencement weekend that took his family on an emotional roller coaster. “So much joy,” Nordis Del Toro said. […]
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She paints, she cheers, she earns top grades: Brooke is back with help of Hope Scholarship

BY ROGER MOONEY LAKELAND – Brooke Bertsch is back. The one who loves to sketch and paint and who earns top grades in class. The one who smiles. That was Brooke before the bullying began in middle school. Before she became withdrawn and depressed. And that’s her now. “I feel good again,” she said. The […]
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The sky may not be the limit for this Step Up For Students scholar

BY ROGER MOONEY MIAMI – Julian Vazquez was 6 months old when he flew for the first time, traveling across the Atlantic Ocean to London. He said he remembers some of the trip. Five seconds, maybe. Impossible, said his parents, but nearly 18 years later, Julian is sticking to his story. He can trace his […]
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Picture of an African American girl in her cap and gown. She's holding flowers and a balloon. She's looking back towards the camera.

Her home life may be chaotic, but Kaylia has Ivy League-potential and big plans for her future

BY ROGER MOONEY MARGATE, Florida – Kaylia Powell’s home life is in a constant state of flux. At times, she has lived apart from her mom and separated from her brothers and sisters. She has lived with friends and, for a few months this year, at the home of a teacher. She has lived with […]
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An education choice scholarship helped JR be all that he can be

BY ROGER MOONEY PLANTATION, Florida – There was no way William “JR” Moreland was taking AP Language and Composition as a junior, or so he thought. He heard it was hard, harder than Honors English, which he aced. “The difference between honors (classes) and AP is completely night and day,” JR said. “You think it’s […]
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Picture of two young boys. The taller boy is wearing glasses and has a medal for "Rising Stars"

The bus ride to school is long but the opportunity for a Catholic education is well worth the trip

BY ROGER MOONEY PALM COAST – Every school day at 7 a.m., a small bus rolls to a stop in front of the rectory of the Catholic church in Crescent City. Waiting to board are a handful of students, including Jesus Martinez-Cruz and his little brother, Christian. They are headed on a 50-minute ride to […]
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photo of young african american boy grinning teeth at the camera

From a chaos to calm: How an education choice scholarship is changing David's life

BY ROGER MOONEY PINELLAS PARK – David Facey remembers sitting in his Language Arts class last year hoping for salvation. Hoping someone would pull the fire alarm. Drastic, yes, but anything to bring class to an end. The other students were nearly finished with their writing assignment. David had written only three words. His teacher […]
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headshot of girl wearing green cap and gown

Of dreams, sacrifices and an education choice scholarship: How one high school grad has her sights set on becoming a doctor

BY ROGER MOONEY MIAMI – Nery Perez-Valdes wanted to become a doctor, but life got in the way. She fled Cuba for Miami with her mom when she was 11 and found herself working at 14 to help pay the bills. Nery would become a single mom and for a long stretch worked two jobs […]
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