The GEO Group Contributes $75,000 to Step Up For Students for Scholarships

MAY 25, 2016 | BOCA RATON

The GEO Group, the world’s leading provider of correctional, detention, community reentry and rehabilitation services, announced today a $75,000 donation to Step Up For Students which will provide K-12 scholarships to 13 low-income Florida schoolchildren for the 2015-16 school year.

This is the second year The GEO Group Foundation has contributed to the nonprofit organization that administers the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. The program is funded by corporations that receive dollar-for-dollar tax credits for their contributions.

The money contributed by The GEO Group Foundation will be allocated to benefit schoolchildren in the local counties and communities where The GEO Group operates, owns and manages facilities, including Palm Beach, Glades, Jackson, Bay and Santa Rosa counties. About 2,800 Step Up scholars are attending nearly 70 Step Up partner schools in those areas.

“We’re proud to support Step Up For Students and its mission of providing educational opportunities for financially-disadvantaged children in Florida so they can find the school that best meets their learning needs,” said George C. Zoley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GEO. “Through The GEO Group Foundation, The GEO Group is committed to making a difference in the lives of people in the communities in which we serve, and this partnership aligns with our company’s philanthropic goals. We’re honored to be part of this initiative and look forward to growing our partnership with Step Up For Students.”

Nearly 78,000 low-income students are using Step Up scholarships for the 2015-16 school year, with tuition scholarships valued up to $5,677 per student. More than 1,600 private schools participate in the scholarship program statewide.

“We are excited that The GEO Group has committed to help us provide educational choices for students who otherwise wouldn’t have this opportunity,” said Doug Tuthill, Step Up president. “We are grateful for our partnership and for all they are doing to give back to the communities in which they operate.”


The GEO Group, represented by South Bay Correctional Facility Warden Don Stine, center right, presented Step Up For Students with a check for $75,000 which will provide 13 low-income children with scholarships to attend the K-12 school of their choice. The presentation, done at South Bay City Hall, included from left to right South Bay City Manager Leondrae Camel, City Clerk Jessica Figueroa, Step Up For Students Development Officer Renae Sweeney, Don Stine, Public Works Director Edgar Kerr, Parks and Recreation Director King Kindred, and South Bay Mayor Joe Kyles.


Moore Haven Correctional Facility Warden Gary English, representing The Geo Group, shared the announcement of a $75,000 contribution to Step Up For Students which will provide K-12 scholarships for low-income children at the Moore Haven Public Safety Building. From left to right: Superintendent of Schools, Glades County Scott Bass, Glades County Education Foundation Executive Director Laura Perry, Glades Education Foundation Susana Palumbo, Gary English, and Step Up For Students Development Officer Renae Sweeney.

About The GEO Group

The GEO Group, Inc. (GEO) is the world’s leading provider of correctional, detention, and community reentry services with 104 facilities, approximately 87,000 beds, and 20,500 employees around the globe. GEO’s facilities are located in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and South Africa.

About Step Up For Students

Step Up For Students is a nonprofit organization that helps manage the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. Students who qualify for free- or reduced-price lunch program, or those who are homeless or in foster or out-of-home care, may qualify. It provides tuition assistance to the private school of their parents’ choice or transportation help to an out-of-district public school. Since 2001, Step Up has awarded nearly 480,000 scholarships.

Step Up also helps administer the state-funded Gardiner Scholarship, formerly known as Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts (PLSA), for Florida students with certain special needs. With the Gardiner Scholarship, recipients may use the funds for a variety of approved services including private tutoring, occupational therapy, instructional materials and other services.

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