Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company donates $5 million to Step Up's scholarship program

Apr 26 2023 • By Ashley Zarle

Step Up For Students announced April 26 a $5 million contribution to the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program from Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company (UPCIC), helping nearly 630 Florida schoolchildren attend the K-12 school that is best for them.

Since 2017, UPCIC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc., has generously funded nearly 3,250 scholarships through contributions totaling $23.5 million to Step Up For Students, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that helps manage the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. The program is funded by corporations with tax-credited donations and allows families to choose between a scholarship to support private school tuition and fees, or one that assists with transportation costs to a different public school.

“Universal is proud to support Florida schoolchildren through our partnership with Step Up For Students,” said Steve Donaghy, Chief Executive Officer of Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc. (UIH). “We strongly believe in supporting our community and we know that the work of Step Up is doing just that.”

UPCIC announced a $5 million contribution to Step Up For Students. Pictured (adults from left to right): UPCIC Regional VP of Marketing Derek Heard, UPCIC Chief Executive Officer Steve Donaghy, UPCIC Spokesperson and NFL Hall of Famer Dan Marino, UPCIC Vice President of Marketing Stacey Tomko, Step Up For Students Senior Development Officer Diana Allan, and Christian Life Academy Principal David Harvin. They are joined by Christian Life Academy students who are benefiting from the scholarship.

UPCIC celebrated this impactful donation at Christian Life Academy in Tamarac, Florida, where nearly 90% of the students use a scholarship through Step Up For Students. Dan Marino, UPCIC spokesperson, National Football League hall of famer and former Miami Dolphins quarterback, made a special appearance and spoke to the schoolchildren about the importance of education.

“We are so grateful for the continued support from UPCIC,” said Doug Tuthill, Step Up For Students president. “It is because of partners like UPCIC that more families in Florida will have the opportunity to pursue and engage in the best learning options for their students.”

More than 250,000 K-12 students throughout Florida are benefitting from a scholarship administered by Step Up For Students this school year. On average, tuition scholarships are worth $7,714 and can be used at more than 2,100 participating schools. About 51% of scholarship children are from single-parent households, and nearly 63% are Black or Hispanic. The average household income of families accepted to receive scholarships is $42,795.

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Ashley Zarle