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Press Release

Monday, December 20, 2010

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Florida Education Foundation Raises $35,000 for Top Students

~ Grants from Gulf Power and Helios Education Foundation will support Florida’s Sunshine State Scholars ~

Tallahassee – Florida Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith, along with Florida Education Foundation (FEF) Chairman Alan J. Levy, today announced that Gulf Power contributed $10,000 and Helios Education Foundation provided $25,000 in grants in support of the FEF’s upcoming Sunshine State Scholars initiative. The Scholars event, which will take place on Feb. 17-18, 2011, in Orlando, recognizes the best and brightest science, technology, engineering and math students and recruits them to attend Florida’s colleges and universities.

“Imagine treating STEM scholars like blue-chip athletes—getting their attention in the 11th grade before they make college commitments and then showing them the vast educational and career opportunities available in Florida,” said Commissioner Smith. “We are very appreciative of the support and dedication we have received from Gulf Power and Helios Education Foundation and are confident their contributions will help to keep many of our star students here in the Sunshine State.”

The Scholars event started as a simple science and math competition in 1997 and has evolved into a program designed to recognize Florida’s top high school STEM students and recruit them to pursue their post secondary education in Florida—increasing the likelihood that they will join Florida’s future workforce. Each school district will name one Scholar based on established criteria. These Scholars, as well as their parents and teachers, will convene in Orlando to meet with representatives from Florida’s colleges and universities as well as STEM industry leaders where they will learn about exciting STEM research initiatives, degree programs, and internships.

“I am appreciative of the wonderful support of the Helios Education Foundation and Gulf Power to our students in Florida,” said FEF Chairman Alan J. Levy. “With their help, we will be able to provide a unique learning opportunity for Florida’s top scholars to meet personally with representatives from excellent institutions of higher learning and gain a better perspective of their stellar STEM programs.”

Under the leadership of Chairman Levy and its board of directors, the FEF promotes and supports academic excellence for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students in Florida. Additionally, the foundation recognizes outstanding teachers and educational contributors, develops strategic alliances with business organizations and advances statewide educational goals.

Additional sponsorship opportunities in support of the Sunshine State Scholars initiative are available for businesses that want to become involved in cultivating a future talent pool for Florida. To inquire about these opportunities, or learn more about the Sunshine State Scholars event, contact .