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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Entirety K-12: Where learning is fueled by the imagination

BROOKSVILLE – Six individuals who attend Entirety K-12 private school form two lines of three inside the studio used for physical education. Normally, the six would be called students, but at this moment they are known as the “talent.” In a few minutes, they will go through various workouts – squats and burpees and curls […]
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Florida Reading Scholarship program helps twins stay on pace and excel in middle school

BY LISA BUIE TAMPA – Since they were babies, Darnell Taylor’s identical twin daughters, Janae, and Sasha, have loved books. First, picture books, then chapter books. Now, the 12-year-olds are finding novels on BookTok, the bookish community on TikTok, where people post videos recommending books, make pithy observations about reading, and share their love of literature. […]
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STEP UP FOR STUDENTS APPOINTS DENISHA MERRIWEATHER TO ITS BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Step Up For Students, the nation’s largest education choice scholarship funding organization, is proud to announce that Denisha Merriweather has been appointed to its Board of Directors. The Jacksonville native becomes the first scholarship program alumnus to serve on the non-profit’s board. Denisha previously served as School Choice and Youth Liaison to Secretary of Education […]
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South Florida Auto Dealers Association contributes $21 million to fund Hope Scholarships for state’s most vulnerable students

Miami Beach, FL – Step Up For Students, the non-profit organization that manages Florida’s Hope Scholarship Program, recently recognized the South Florida Automobile Dealers Association (SFADA) and its dealer members with the Partners For Hope Award for supporting the program since its inception. Collectively, SFADA’s dealer members have contributed $21,887,000 to fund Hope Scholarships for […]
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Prenda microschools provide education choice opportunities for educators as well as students

After 13 years of teaching at district schools in Shreveport, Louisiana, Pam Lee was searching for something that would give the students what she called a “better opportunity” to succeed. Disappointed in Louisiana’s education system, which annually ranks near the bottom in the nation, Lee’s passion for her job was slowly eroding. She wanted to […]
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From class clown to class leader with the help of an education choice scholarship

TAMPA – One of Margene Avery’s first moves as principal at Tampa Bay Christian Academy was to install a student government. For junior class president, she chose Joshua Brutus, an immensely popular yet irresponsible student who was content to coast through high school. Joshua summed up his reaction in one word: “Me?” “My freshman, sophomore […]
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State, Step Up working to fund students

Several families with students on the Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities (FES-UA, formerly Gardiner) and the income-based Family Empowerment Scholarship-Educational Options (FES-EO) recently have expressed frustration with delays in the first quarterly payment to their scholarships. Today, Step Up For Students and the Florida Department of Education sent this joint email to […]
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Adelante! Why a former Step Up scholar completed his UF degree during rookie season in NFL

Where to begin with CJ Henderson? That the former Step Up For Students scholar used his time wisely at Christopher Columbus High in Miami and earned a football scholarship to the University of Florida? That he turned three seasons with the Florida Gators into an NFL career, and in 2020 was drafted ninth overall by […]
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Tips on transitioning your child to a new school or learning environment

The Buddy Bench found on the playground at Christ the King Catholic School in Jacksonville is a yellow beacon that helps new students find playmates, make friends, and ease the transition to their new school. The Lunch Bunch provides the same opportunities, but in a private setting. These are two examples offered by Amanda McCook, […]
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Tips on picking the right school for your child

Because of the expanded eligibility requirements that went into effect July 1, more families in Florida are eligible for private school scholarships managed by Step Up For Students. The Family Empowerment Scholarship is now available to families with higher incomes, up to nearly $100,000 per year for a family of four. Also, dependents of active-duty members of the armed forces, […]
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