A Hope for the Future

Author: Helios Education Foundation

January 3, 2014

"I would like to be in a profession where I can help someone.  I think I would like to be an interpreter where I can become a bridge between two languages, possibly working in a court room.  I want to be able to wake up every day and be happy to go to work."  Sara Correa-Giraldo, First Generation Scholar, University of South Florida  

In 2006, Helios Education Foundation invested $10 million to fund the First Generation Scholars Program for students in the State University System of Florida and the Florida College System. The investment was used to create endowments designed to provide scholarships for first generation college students in perpetuity. Additionally, every scholarship awarded from the endowment is then eligible for a full match from Florida’s First Generation Matching grant program.

Since 2006, the First Generation Scholars Program has provided both traditional and non-traditional students who otherwise may not have access to higher education an opportunity to attain a postsecondary degree. Within the state university system, the program has supported 540 students who have graduated with a bachelor's degree, including 346 graduates in Teacher Education.

Students seeking a degree in education with plans to become a teacher in Florida are given primary consideration for the program. Each scholar is also provided an individualized student support plan based on their specific needs, such as advising, mentorship, and referrals to campus resources.

Category: Postsecondary Success

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