Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company donates $2.5 million to Step Up For Students Scholarship Program

Nov. 6, 2019 |

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.– Step Up For Students announced Nov. 5 a $2.5 million contribution to the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program from Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company (UPCIC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc.

UPCIC’s contribution funds 359 scholarships for deserving K-12 Florida schoolchildren for the 2019-20 schoolyear. The scholarships give lower-income children the opportunity to attend a private or out-of-district school that best meets their learning needs.

“Universal is committed to giving back and empowering the communities that it serves to accelerate community opportunities and build the foundation for the next generation of business leaders,” said Steve Donaghy, chief executive officer for Universal.

UPCIC announced a $2.5 million contribution to Step Up For Students. Pictured (adults from left to right) are UPCIC Chief Executive Officer Steve Donaghy, UPCIC Vice President of Marketing Stacey Tomko, UPCIC Spokesperson and NFL Hall of Famer Dan Marino, Saint Helen Catholic School Principal Farah Barrat, Step Up For Students Development Officer David Bryant. They are joined by Saint Helen Catholic School students who are benefiting from the scholarship.

UPCIC celebrated this incredible donation at Saint Helen Catholic School in Fort Lauderdale where nearly 75% of the students use the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship through Step Up For Students. Dan Marino, UPCIC spokesperson, National Football League hall of famer and former Miami Dolphins quarterback made a special appearance and spoke to the schoolchildren about the importance of education.

“We are honored to have UPCIC as a partner in our mission to help lower-income Florida families access schools that best fit their children’s unique learning needs,” said Doug Tuthill, Step Up For Students president. “Through their support of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program, which is producing measurable results, companies like UPCIC are transforming the lives of deserving schoolchildren in our community.”

Since 2017, UPCIC has generously funded 1,260 scholarships through contributions totaling $8.5 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.

About Universal Property & Casualty Insurance
Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc., with its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is a vertically integrated insurance holding company performing all aspects of insurance underwriting, distribution and claims. Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company (UPCIC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, is one of the leading writers of homeowners insurance in Florida and is actively writing business in 18 states. American Platinum Property and Casualty Insurance Company (APPCIC), also a wholly-owned subsidiary, currently writes homeowners multi-peril insurance on Florida homes valued in excess of $1 million, which are limits and coverages currently not targeted through its affiliate UPCIC. APPCIC is additionally licensed and has commenced writing Fire, Commercial Multi-Peril, and Other Liability lines of business in Florida. Learn more at Universalinsuranceholdings.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.

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