UnitedHealthcare Donates $10 Million for Step Up For Students Scholarships

  • Donation funds nearly 1,650 scholarships in Florida
  • UnitedHealthcare and Step Up for Students sponsor cooking class to teach connection between healthy eating and learning

OCTOBER 4, 2016 | FORT MYERS

UnitedHealthcare CEO Nicholas Zaffiris (third from left) presented Step Up For Students with a $10 million check at an event at Summit Christian School in Fort Myers. Joining Zaffiris is Step Up For Students President Doug Tuthill (second from right) and Step Up scholars (from left to right) Ethan Godoy, Jensen Howell, Manny Pina, Joseph Martinez and Regina Pina.

UnitedHealthcare CEO Nicholas Zaffiris (third from left) presented Step Up For Students with a $10 million check at an event at Summit Christian School in Fort Myers. Joining Zaffiris is Step Up For Students President Doug Tuthill (second from right) and Step Up scholars (from left to right) Ethan Godoy, Jensen Howell, Manny Pina, Joseph Martinez and Regina Pina.

UnitedHealthcare donated $10 million today to Step Up For Students, which will fund K-12 scholarships for nearly 1,650 financially disadvantaged school children throughout Florida.

Nicholas Zaffiris, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of South Florida, announced the donation at a scholarship celebration event at Summit Christian School in Fort Myers, where 42 students were awarded scholarships for the 2016-2017 school year. This is UnitedHealthcare’s seventh year participating in Step Up For Students, bringing the company’s total contribution to $69 million since 2009.

Step Up For Students is a nonprofit that provides scholarships for children in grades K-12, so they may attend a private school or an out-of-district public school that best fits their individual learning needs. During the 2016-17 school year, Step Up For Students expects to serve more than 92,000 lower-income students throughout Florida with tuition scholarships valued at up to $5,886 per student

“UnitedHealthcare is honored to partner with Step Up for Students to support scholarships that ensure more Florida students have access to quality education,” Zaffiris said. “We value the role schools can play in helping students understand the importance of good health as they evolve to become productive adults.”

Local chef and culinary instructor Melissa McCartney (back row third from left) led the 7th and 8th grade classes in making healthy after-school snacks as part of a healthy lifestyle presentation by UnitedHealthcare at Summit Christian School. Presenting the healthy snacks are (front row left to right) Step Up scholars Jensen Howell, Regina Pina, Ethan Godoy, (back row left to right) Step Up President Doug Tuthill, UnitedHealthcare CEO Nicholas Zaffiris, McCartney, Summit Christian School Principal Todd Zylstra, and Step Up scholars Manny Pina and Ethan Godoy.

Local chef and culinary instructor Melissa McCartney (back row third from left) led the 7th and 8th grade classes in making healthy after-school snacks as part of a healthy lifestyle presentation by UnitedHealthcare at Summit Christian School. Presenting the healthy snacks are (front row left to right) Step Up scholars Jensen Howell, Regina Pina, Ethan Godoy, (back row left to right) Step Up President Doug Tuthill, UnitedHealthcare CEO Nicholas Zaffiris, McCartney, Summit Christian School Principal Todd Zylstra, and Step Up scholars Manny Pina and Joseph Martinez.

Following the scholarship donation announcement, students at Summit Christian School traded in their pencils for spatulas during a healthy snacks cooking demonstration sponsored by UnitedHealthcare and Step Up For Students.

Local culinary instructor and owner of Method Teaching Kitchen Melissa McCartney showed seventh- and eighth-graders how to prepare tasty after-school snacks that can satisfy hunger and give them energy for extra-curricular activities and homework time. The program was designed to show the connection among nutrition, physical fitness and learning.

“The Step Up For Students Scholarship Program is positively shaping the future of our state’s children, and we could not do this important work without donors like UnitedHealthcare,” said Doug Tuthill, Step Up For Students president. “We are grateful for its support and generosity, and for the impact that UnitedHealthcare is making in our community.”

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 1 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @myUHC on Twitter.

About Step Up For Students

Step Up For Students is a nonprofit organization that helps manage the income-based 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 more than 570,000 scholarships and more than 1,600 schools participate in the program.  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.

For more information, visit: http://www.StepUpForStudents.org.

Media Contacts:
Elizabeth Calzadilla-Fiallo
UnitedHealthcare
(954) 378-0537
Elizabeth.Calzadilla-Fiallo@uhc.com

Paul Soost
Step Up For Students
Office: (727) 451-9828
Email: psoost@sufs.org

 

 

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