Continental National Bank helps Florida schoolchildren with $100,000 contribution to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program

JULY 24, 2018 | MIAMI

Continental National Bank recently celebrated its $100,000 contribution to Step Up For Students, funding 15 K-12 scholarships during the 2017-18 school year. The scholarships allowed lower-income children the opportunity to attend the school that best met their learning needs.

It was the second consecutive year that Continental National Bank, a full-service community bank established in Miami in 1974, has partnered with Step Up For Students, contributing a total of $250,000 and providing 40 scholarships.

“Our community needs investments that lift our children up. We are constantly working to make our community better, stronger and fairer and we focus on many of our efforts in our children,” said Sonia Canessa-Gonzalez, Chief Financial Officer of Continental National Bank. “We are proud of our relationship with Step Up For Students and look forward to making a difference in our South Florida community.”

Step Up For Students helps administer the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, which allows recipients to choose between a scholarship that helps with private school tuition and fees, or one that assists with transportation costs to out-of-county public schools. The program is funded by corporations through dollar-for-dollar tax-credited donations.

“Thanks to corporate partners like Continental National Bank, more Florida schoolchildren are able to attend schools that best meet their learning needs,” said Doug Tuthill, president of Step Up For Students. “We are grateful for Continental National Bank’s generous contribution that is helping Florida students, as well as their community outreach efforts.”

For the 2017-18 school year, Step Up For Students served more than 100,000 students throughout Florida with tuition scholarships valued at up to $6,343 per student for K through fifth grade, $6,631 for sixth through eighth grade and $6,920 for ninth through 12th grade. More than 1,800 private schools participated in the scholarship program statewide.

Continental National Bank presented Step Up For Students with a check for $100,000 which provided 15 lower-income children with scholarships to attend the K-12 school of their choice. Pictured (adults from left to right) are Carol Thomas, vice president of the Office of Student Learning, Step Up For Students, Sonia Canessa-Gonzalez, chief financial officer, Continental National Bank, Natalia Arana, marketing manager, Continental National Bank and Gina Lynch, vice president of Operations and Organizational Improvement, Step Up For Students. They are joined by several Step Up scholars from PenTab Academy and Trinity Christian Academy in Miami.

About Continental National Bank
Continental National Bank is a full-service community bank established in 1974 in Miami as the first Cuban-American chartered national bank in the United States, serving its customers for over 43 years. With five branches conveniently located throughout Miami-Dade County, and with more than $490 million in assets, Continental National Bank has been recognized as a top community bank. The Bank offers a full range of financial and lending products and services for retail, business and institutional clients. Continental National Bank is committed to supporting causes that matter to their customers, employees and their community and has also supported Amigos For Kids Foundation through their $60K in 60 Days fundraiser.

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About Step Up For Students
Step Up For Students is a nonprofit organization that helps administer the income-based Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. Students who qualify for the national free or reduced-price lunch, 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 more than 680,000 scholarships.

A first-of-its-kind study on the long-term effects of the scholarship program by The Urban Institute found that scholarship students who use the scholarship for four or more years are up to 43 percent more likely to go to college and up to 29 percent more likely to earn an associate degree than their peers.

Step Up also helps administer the state-funded Gardiner Scholarship for Florida students with certain special needs, plus two new scholarships, the Hope Scholarship for public school students who are bullied and the Reading Scholarship Accounts for third- through fifth-grade students enrolled in public schools who struggle with reading.

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