GEICO Funds 1,041 Scholarships for Florida’s Underprivileged Schoolchildren

DECEMBER 19, 2018 | Tampa, FL

GEICO’s commitment to Step up for Students will fund 1,041 scholarships, providing educational options to Florida’s underprivileged K-12 schoolchildren. 

Step Up For Students administers the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. Through GEICO’s generosity, 1,041 financially disadvantaged schoolchildren will be provided the opportunity to choose between a K-12 scholarship that helps with private school tuition and fees or one that assists with transportation costs to out-of-county public school.

GEICO has been a partner of Step Up For Students since 2010 and has contributed $33 million toward the scholarship program.

“GEICO is committed to giving back and making our communities stronger,” said Pionne Corbin, Senior Vice President of GEICO. “We recognize that each child is unique and as strong corporate stewards, we are confident that our investment in Step Up For Students will provide options to those who need it the most.”

GEICO announced a $7 million contribution to Step Up For Students. Pictured (adults from left to right) are Cristo Rey Tampa High School Principal Matthew J. Torano, Step Up For Students Vice President of Development Jillian Metz, Step Up For Students Founder and Board Chair John Kirtley, Cristo Rey Tampa High School President & CEO Charles D. Imbergamo, GEICO Senior Vice President Pionne Corbin, and GEICO Associate Vice President Heather McIntyre. They are joined by Step Up scholars from Cristo Rey Tampa High School.

“Companies like GEICO are transforming the lives of Florida’s lower-income students, and through their partnership, the program is producing measurable results,” said John Kirtley, founder, and chairman of Step Up For Students.  “Last year, the Urban Institute evaluated graduates of our program and found that students who are on scholarship for at least four years are more than 40 percent more likely to attend public Florida college. GEICO is a large part of this success.” Heather McIntyre

The celebration was hosted at Cristo Rey Tampa High School where several students benefit from a Step Up scholarship, and the curriculum boasts a work-study component to give students a competitive edge.  Representatives from GEICO and Step Up For Students gathered with a panel of scholarship students to hear how the program has impacted their visions for the future.

“Through the Step Up scholarship, I have been given the opportunity to attend Cristo Rey where I have access to the tools, I need to be successful,” said Armando Diaz, junior at Cristo Rey.  “I know colleges will look at my resume and see I’ve had four years of internships and experience and I’ll stand out from my friends.  I am dreaming for the future and hope to make GEICO and other donors to Step Up very proud.”

Step Up For Students is a nonprofit organization that administers the income-based Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. The program is funded by corporate tax credits and allows parents and students to choose between a K-12 scholarship to support private school tuition and fees, or one that assists with transportation costs to out-of-county public schools.

For the 2018-19 school year, Step Up For Students is serving nearly 100,000 students throughout Florida with tuition scholarships valued at up to $6,519 per student for kindergarten through fifth grade, $6,815 for sixth through eighth grade, and $7,111 for ninth through 12th grade. More than 1,800 private schools participate in the scholarship program statewide.

About GEICO:
GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company), the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S., was founded in 1936 and insures more than 27 million vehicles. To make changes, report claims, print insurance cards and purchase additional products, policyholders can log into their car insurance policy, connect via GEICO Mobile, phone or by visiting a GEICO local agent. Homeowners, renters, condo, flood, identity theft  and  life coverages are written through non-affiliated insurance companies and are secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc.  Commercial auto and personal umbrella coverages are also available.

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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 students who use the scholarship 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 school who struggle with reading.

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