Florida School Choice Fund Named Social Capitalist Award Finalist

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb 23, 2007

John Kirtley, president of Step Up For Students, Penny Phillips, manager of Community Relations for Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises and Nick Loeb, host and community activist attended the fundraiser to benefit Step Up For Students on Feb. 22 at Loeb’s Delray Beach home.

John Kirtley, president of Step Up For Students, Penny Phillips, manager of Community Relations for Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises and Nick Loeb, host and community activist attended the fundraiser to benefit Step Up For Students on Feb. 22 at Loeb’s Delray Beach home.

Nick Loeb Hosted Fundraiser to Benefit Step Up For Students

Delray Beach, Fla., Friday, February 23, 2007

Nick Loeb hosted guests at his home on Thursday who donated a total of $3,000 to Step Up For Students for administrative support to underwrite the costs of scholarship distribution. The generous donations will be used to distribute $225,000 in K-12 scholarships to provide 60 low-income children with educational options.

Loeb, community activist, hosted the event to benefit Step Up For Students and introduce the organization to the local political, social and business community as part of his continued efforts to improve education in Florida.

“I have a true passion for helping others, especially the underprivileged, and through this organization I can continue to give back to my community and the state of Florida,” Loeb said.

John Kirtley, President of Step Up For Students, was very grateful for donations and thanked guests on behalf of the 17,000 children in Florida who are currently benefiting from the scholarship program.

“The strides that these scholarships have facilitated for Florida’s low-income students could not be possible without the generous donations made by donors,” Kirtley said. “These scholarships enable thousands of Florida’s children to learn in an environment that will provide them with the foundation necessary for a successful future.”

Penny Phillips, manager of Community Relations for Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, is corporate supporter of Step Up For Students and attended the event to support the program.

“Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises support Step Up For Students because they are a great fit within our educational program focus,” Phillips said. “Step Up For Students has proven to be a successful program that provides children with the most suitable education for each child’s needs, and we were happy to find a statewide educational program of this caliber to support.”

The Step Up For Students Corporate Tax Credit Scholarship Program was created in 2001 to improve Florida’s K-12 educational system by creating and sustaining affordable educational options for low-income families and their children. By empowering parents to choose the education that best meets their child’s learning needs, parents become consumers of their child’s education.

“Where a child receives his or her education shouldn’t be determined by zoning,” Loeb said. “Parents know what is best for their children and it is ideal that we empower them with ability to choose.”

As parents begin to shop for the best academic educational setting for their child, the level of education for all students will rise as schools—public and private— as they will become more productive in an effort to maintain and enroll new children.

Step Up For Students currently serves 17,000 low-income Florida students and has raised over $300 million to fund scholarships over the past five years. For more information, visit www.stepupforstudents.com