Republic National Distributing Company donates $65 million to help fund scholarship program for lower-income students
October 22, 2019 |
Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC), one of the nation’s leading wholesale alcohol beverage distributors, has once again contributed $65 million to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program.
RNDC celebrated the substantial donation while visiting Tampa Catholic High School students who use the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship through Step Up For Students. RNDC’s contribution funds 9,339 scholarships for deserving K-12 Florida schoolchildren. The scholarships give lower-income children the opportunity to attend a private or out-of-district school that best meets their learning needs.
“At Republic National Distributing Company, we are committed to making a positive difference that enriches the spirit and well-being of our associates, communities, and business partners”, said Ron Barcena, executive vice president of RNDC. “We know that our partnership with Step Up For Students is doing just that and we are proud to help provide thousands of Florida schoolchildren with the educational opportunities they deserve.”
While visiting Tampa Catholic High School, RNDC representatives had a chance to experience the zSpace Lab. zSpace is a virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) system that uses a unique stylus and eyewear to create an interactive experience covering subjects like animal dissection and anatomy, but also others like geography and history. Users can access a frog dissection model, as well as other 3D programs like simulated archeological digs or interactive geometry. Students enjoyed showing the representatives how to use the program and the different courses that are available.
Since 2012, Republic National Distributing Company has generously funded 49,675 scholarships through contributions totaling $310 million to Step Up For Students, a nonprofit organization that helps manage the income-based Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. The program is funded by corporations with tax-credited donations. Step Up is serving more than 100,400 students for the 2019-20 school year. More than 1,800 private schools participate in the scholarship program statewide.
“RNDC has once again shown their incredible commitment to Florida’s disadvantaged schoolchildren through the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program which is producing exceptional results,” said Doug Tuthill, president of Step Up For Students. “Recently, the Urban Institute evaluated graduates of our program and found students who use the scholarship for at least four years are 99% more likely to attend a four-year college and up to 45% more likely than their public school peers to earn a bachelor’s degree. RNDC is a critical part of this success and we are grateful for their support of deserving students in our community.”
About Republic National Distributing Company
RNDC, a world-class distributor of fine wines and spirits in North America, has operations in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Young’s Market Company, a partner of RNDC, distributes wines, spirits, and select beverages in the western United States including Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Visit www.RNDC-USA.com or www.youngsmarket.com.
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 784,000 Florida Tax Credit scholarships.
In February 2019, the Urban Institute released results of a study on the effectiveness of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, the nation’s largest private K-12 scholarship program. The study found that students on scholarship for four or more years were up to 99 percent more likely to attend a four-year college than their peers in public school and up to 45 percent more likely to earn bachelor’s degrees.
Step Up also helps administer the state-funded Gardiner Scholarship for Florida students with certain special needs, plus three other scholarships, the Family Empowerment Scholarship for additional lower-income families, 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.
For more information, visit: www.StepUpForStudents.org.