March 26, 2018 – (Bonita Springs, Florida)- The Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation has received a $50,000 grant from the Southwest Florida Community Foundation which was leveraged into $200,000 through matches to support the Earn to Learn Florida Program, an initiative of the Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation. Earn to Learn Florida helps low to moderate income students pursue higher education with little or no student debt. It’s a simple formula that combines student savings with financial aid, required financial literacy training and success coaching.
“Our research shows that fewer than 1 in 5 women over age 25 in Southwest Florida have earned a Bachelor’s Degree,” says Brenda Tate, Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation CEO. “That’s why we took action to develop and implement Earn to Learn Florida.”
Last year the Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation helped over 42 low-to-moderate income students, like Yuzellie Garcia, save for their education by matching their savings of $500 at an 8:1 ratio. This created a grant of $4,000 for each student to leverage their $500 investment in themselves. The funds are dispersed directly to their college or university to pay for tuition, books, fees and other related expenses. This helps students graduate with little to no student loan debt. Armed with the knowledge gained from the required Financial Literacy Training Program, students graduate ready for success and empowered to improve their economic mobility.
The use of Earn to Learn Florida accounts, in conjunction with success coaching, has been proven as a way to help individuals and families develop productive financial behaviors that increase the likelihood of finishing college with a degree and less debt, as well as be better prepared for post-college careers.
“Earn to Learn FL has empowered and motivated me to become a successful woman in my community and has motivated me to empower other women who do not think it is possible for them to succeed,” says Earn to Learn FL student Yuzellie Garcia.
“When the Southwest Florida Community Foundation learned that our community impact funding could be matched essentially 3 times through this innovative program helping local women through education, we knew that we had to be part,” said Sarah Owen, president & CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. “We believe that by funding together, our region and programs like this will be stronger and more effective.”
Improving the status of women in Florida requires enhanced educational opportunities, investments in women’s entrepreneurship and steps to narrow the gender wage gap to elevate Southwest Florida women and girls; Visit www.FundWomenFL.org to learn more. Social connect at www.facebook.com/womensfundfl. To inquire email Contact@FundWomenFL.org.
About the Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation
The Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation, serving Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry, and Glades counties, is the only non-profit in Southwest Florida focused exclusively on women and girls and was the first to publish academic research assessing the status of women in the area. The Women’s Foundation elevates women and girls by investing in programs that educate, boost security and entrepreneurship, and advocate from a woman’s perspective. For more information, visit http://www.fundwomenfl.org/or email mailto:contact@FundWomenFL.org. Follow the Women’s Foundation online at https://www.facebook.com/EarnToLearnFL/ and on https://twitter.com/earntolearnfl.
About the Southwest Florida Community Foundation
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Foundation partners with individuals, families and corporations who have created more than 400 philanthropic funds. Thanks to them, the Foundation invested $5.4 million in grants and programs to the community. With assets of $115 million, it has provided more than $71 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan. Currently, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s regional headquarters are located off College Parkway in South Fort Myers, with satellite offices located on Sanibel Island, in LaBelle (Hendry County) and downtown Fort Myers. For more information, call 239-274-5900 or visit www.floridacommunity.com
For more information about the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, call 239-274-5900 or visit www.floridacommunity.com.
Did you know? Research on women’s economic, political, and social status in the United States, rated Florida D+ when assessing the status of women. If progress continues at the rate of change since 1975, Florida, along with other Southern states, won’t achieve gender parity until at least 2066. Therefore, it is imperative to invest in causes that advocate for the leadership and development of local women and girls.
Naples United Church of Christ has partnered with the Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida to Elevate Her SWFL with a $5,000 grant award. The grant is matched by individual donors and corporate underwriters. A $10,000 grant to Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida and a $10,000 grant to the PACE Center of Lee and Collier County were awarded at a January 27, 2015 event to launch the Women’s Foundation Initiative Elevate Her SWFL, formerly known SparkSWFL. Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida will apply the funds to signature programs such as Baby Think It Over, which helps teenagers understand the full-time commitment of parenting. Pace Centers for Girls in Lee and Collier in Immokalee will invest in programs to offer a healthy healing environment to their clients. For more information, the agency websites are listed below:
In addition, the NUCC grant will be leveraged and matched in the form of PopUp grants to other nonprofits serving women and girls in Southwest Florida.
The Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida Is the only non-profit in Southwest Florida focused exclusively on women and girls and was the first to publish academic research assessing the status of women in the area. Signature programs include #StopSellingOurKids, Kiva Zip Micro-Loan Program, and PopUps. The Women’s Foundation welcomes financial contributions to support key initiatives. Follow the Women’s Foundation online at https://fundwomenfl.org, http://facebook.com/womensfundfl and on http://twitter.com/womensfundfl. To learn more about the Status of Women visit https://fundwomenfl.org/research/