AutoNation Celebrates $3 Million Contribution to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program with a School Supplies Drive

August 8, 2017

AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE: AN), America’s largest automotive retailer, announced Tuesday a $3 million contribution to Step Up For Students. The funding will provide as many as 459 K-12 scholarships for the 2017-18 school year, allowing lower-income children in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties to attend the school that best meets their learning needs.   

This is the second year that AutoNation has partnered with Step Up For Students, bringing its total to $6 million in support.  

AutoNation presented Step Up For Students with a $3 million check on August 8, 2017. The contribution will provide scholarships for lower-income school children in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties to be able to attend the K-12 participating school of their choice. (From left to right) Step Up scholarship recipient Raelyn Binns, AutoNation Corporate Communications Senior Manager Lisa Ryan, AutoNation Senior Director, Tax Patricia Dengler, AutoNation Vice President, Tax Beth Fergus, Step Up For Students Chief Operating Officer Anne White, Step Up For Students Development Officer III Renae Sweeney, AutoNation Tax Manager Jonathan Lavoie, AutoNation Manager of Public Affairs and Communications Paula Levenson and Step Up scholarship recipient Ranaya Binns.

In celebration of the scholarship contribution, AutoNation associates collected backpacks filled with school supplies. The backpacks were presented to Kelly Lonstein, Headmistress of Fort Lauderdale Preparatory School, a participating school in the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program. More than 50 percent of the students attending Fort Lauderdale Preparatory School are recipients of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship, which is managed by Step Up For Students.  

Recently selected by Forbes Magazine as one of America’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens”, AutoNation takes great pride in supporting initiatives that focus on the well-being of their communities.   “We are gratified to know that our investment in Florida’s youth through Step Up For Students will help hundreds of deserving children reach their academic goals,” said Cheryl Miller, AutoNation’s Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President.      

Step Up For Students helps administer the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to qualified lower-income families throughout Florida. Scholarships are funded by corporations that receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for their contributions. The program allows recipients to choose between a scholarship to help with private school tuition and fees, or a transportation scholarship to attend an out-of-district public school.  

AutoNation Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Marc Cannon presents Step Up scholars Raelyn Binns (left) and Ranaya Binns (right) from Fort Lauderdale Preparatory School with back packs and school supplies. In addition to donating $3 million to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program, AutoNation team members also collected school supplies and back packs to donate to Fort Lauderdale Preparatory School.

“We are thrilled that corporate partners like AutoNation continue to support Step Up For Students and their commitment to making a difference in the community,” said Anne White, Step Up For Students chief operating officer. “Thanks to their generosity, more Florida families will have options for their children.” 

For the 2017-18 school year, Step Up For Students will serve more than 102,000 students throughout Florida with tuition scholarships valued at an average of $6,330 per student. More than 1,700 private schools participate in the scholarship program statewide.

About AutoNation, Inc.

AutoNation, America’s largest automotive retailer, through its bold leadership, innovation and its comprehensive brand extensions, is transforming the automotive industry. As of June 30, 2017, AutoNation owned and operated 364 new vehicle franchises from coast to coast. AutoNation has sold over 11 million vehicles, the first automotive retailer to reach this milestone. AutoNation’s success is driven by a commitment to delivering a peerless experience through customer-focused sales and service processes. Through its Drive Pink initiative, AutoNation is committed to drive out cancer, create awareness and support critical research. AutoNation continues to be a proud supporter of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and other cancer-related charities.

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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 the national free or reduced-price lunch program, or those who are homeless or in foster or out-of-home care, may qualify. The scholarship program provides tuition assistance to the private school of their parents’ choice or financial assistance to offset the transportation cost to an out-of-district public school. Since 2001, Step Up has awarded nearly 580,000 scholarships.

Step Up also helps administer the state-funded Gardiner Scholarship Program 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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