Uniting children with learning options most suited to their needs, Step Up For Students holds its own special place under the EverBank BuildsSM umbrella. Whether it’s donating time or money, EverBank Builds consists of three key areas of focus for our corporate giving—affordable housing and development, financial literacy and empowering youth. As you’ll see below, Step Up goes to amazing lengths to improve the lives of children. We’ve donated more than $3 million since 2014 to Step Up, and are excited to share with you how every donation they receive helps build a brighter future.
Step Up For Students is a state-approved nonprofit scholarship funding organization that helps administer two scholarship programs for students in Florida—one for students from lower-income families and one for students with certain special needs.
1. The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship
Opening new doors for lower-income students, the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship provides financial assistance to students in grades K-12. Assistance is available in one of two ways: either toward private school tuition and fees, or with transportation costs to attend a public school in another district. Eligibility is based on financial need—not on past academic success—in an effort to provide students a learning alternative.
So then the big question is, what are the effects of the new school on students? Answer: Big gains. The typical student participating in the program gained a year’s worth of learning in one year—quite a feat considering that many of these children didn't meet this threshold at their neighborhood schools the prior year. Outside of the classroom, when you listen to parents’ excitement over the changes they’ve seen in their children, their enthusiasm is contagious. Students become more confident and more engaged in school, making it easy to see that these children are on a path to future success. Since 2002, nearly 570,000 Florida Tax Credit Scholarships have been awarded. In the 2016-2017 school year alone, over 97,000 scholarships have been awarded.