- Path to Prosperity Scholarship Program is part of the Florida Chamber Foundation’s mission of breaking the generational poverty cycle through its Florida Equality of Opportunity Initiative.
- Program seeks to raise $10 million in matching funds from Florida businesses, organizations and private donors for college scholarships.
- The Florida Prepaid College Foundation will match those contributions dollar-for-dollar.
- Total impact of $20 million will benefit more than 2,500 students.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As part of the Florida Chamber Foundation’s ongoing commitment to lift the state’s most vulnerable children out of poverty and improve their academic opportunities, today the Florida Chamber Foundation announced a partnership with the Florida Prepaid College Foundation to provide Florida Prepaid College Plan Scholarships to children living in Florida’s most economically disadvantaged areas.
Through the Path to Prosperity Scholarship Program, the Florida Prepaid College Foundation will match up to $10 million in contributions from Florida businesses, organizations and private donors for college scholarships to children living in Florida’s most impoverished zip codes.
This dollar-for-dollar match from the Florida Prepaid College Foundation will result in a total of $20 million in college scholarships to help Florida students achieve their potential and rise out of poverty.
The scholarship program is part of the Florida Chamber Foundation’s recently launched Florida Equality of Opportunity Initiative, a culmination of the Florida Prosperity Project, the Florida Business Alliance for Early Learning Project and the Florida Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Project, where Florida’s business community is uniting to help secure Florida’s future through the 39 goals outlined in the Florida 2030 Blueprint. Chief among those goals is to cut Florida’s childhood poverty in half to less than 10 percent by 2030.
“A person’s ZIP code, race, gender, ethnicity, or any other factor should never determine their opportunity to prosper,” said Florida Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Mark Wilson. “Through the Florida Chamber Foundation’s partnership with the Florida Prepaid College Foundation to launch the Path to Prosperity Scholarship Program, Florida’s business community can make a real difference by investing real resources behind implementing long-term solutions to end generational poverty and close the gap, one college scholarship at a time, giving Florida’s children in the most poverty-stricken ZIP codes another opportunity at earned success.”
Right now, 829,342 Florida children are living in poverty. Half of these children are concentrated in just 15 percent of Florida’s zip codes – resulting in extremely impoverished communities where children face a much greater likelihood of academic challenges, health risks and other obstacles. The Florida Chamber Foundation has identified 10 root causes of poverty, from food insecurity to insufficient transportation. Additional root causes highlighted are inequities in education and workforce development.
The Florida Prepaid College Foundation and the Florida Chamber Foundation will work with key local education leaders and organizations to identify and award scholarships to deserving high school students. Students must demonstrate promising efforts in their classrooms and communities while overcoming significant challenges in their life. Eligible students in priority zip codes will be in grades 9-12, economically disadvantaged, and will commit to remaining crime-free and drug-free. In the first year of the program, priority consideration will be given to students in grades 11 and 12, as they will most immediately benefit from the college scholarship.
“Research shows that a child with a dedicated college savings account is 2.5 times more likely to enroll in college and graduate with a degree,” said Florida Prepaid College Foundation Chairman John Rood. “So, for children in these priority zip codes, a college scholarship will send a powerful message: that they have a chance to succeed, that we believe in them, and that their future is not defined by their current circumstances.”
Through this program, business leaders can be part of the solution to the problem that is so prevalent in Florida communities. With matching funds from the Florida Prepaid College Foundation, participating organizations can make an impact of up to $20 million to help Florida students achieve their potential.
Learn more about the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida Equality of Opportunity Initiative at https://www.flchamber.com/EqualityFL/.
Learn more about the Path to Prosperity Scholarship Program and the Florida Prepaid College Foundation at www.pathtoprosperityscholarship.com.
About the Florida Prepaid College Foundation
Since its founding in 1990, the Foundation has committed to giving aspiring students the opportunity to build a better future for themselves and our state by providing college scholarships funded through partnerships with individuals, businesses, educational foundations and the Florida Legislature. The Foundation administers several innovative scholarship programs, including Project STARS and the new Challenge Match Scholarship Programs, designed to help students achieve their dream of earning a college education. To date, the Foundation has awarded more than 51,000 Florida Prepaid College Plan scholarships, and more than 32,000 Foundation scholarship recipients have gone to college using their benefits. The Foundation is the 501(c)(3) direct support organization for the Florida Prepaid College Board. To learn more about the Florida Prepaid College Foundation, visit here.
About the Florida Chamber Foundation
The Florida Chamber Foundation is a statewide, business-led, non-partisan research and future-oriented think tank working in partnership with regional and state leaders to secure Florida’s future. To ensure global competitiveness, prosperity, high paying jobs and vibrant and resilient communities for all Floridians, the Florida Chamber Foundation places the long-term ahead of the short term by uniting the Florida business community for good to develop strategies around six key factors, the Florida 2030 Blueprint Six Pillars of Florida’s Future Economy: improving Florida’s talent pipeline for a better workforce, creating good jobs by diversifying Florida’s economy, preparing Florida’s infrastructure for smart growth and development, building the perfect climate for business, making government and civics more efficient and effective, and championing Florida’s quality of life.
The Florida Chamber Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Contributions are deductible as charitable gifts for federal income tax. To learn more about the Florida Chamber Foundation, visit www.flchamber.com.