Earn to Learn FL Announces Partnership with Boys & Girls Club of Tampa Bay

Earn to Learn FL (ETLFL), a 501(c)3 nonprofit that envisions a world without barriers to higher education, announces a partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay for the 2022-2023 school year. Through the partnership, high school students at the Wilbert Davis Belmont Heights Club will have access to ETLFL Near Peer Coaches. The high school students will be eligible to apply for an Earn to Learn FL a 1-, 3, or 4-year tuition scholarship upon completing Personal Finance Training and opening a Florida 529 Savings Account during their senior year.

“We’re excited to partner with our colleagues from Earn to Learn FL. This will bring much-needed support to our youth for potential scholarship opportunities and provide dedicated mentors to our Club staff to focus on a variety of challenges,” says Terry Carter, President, and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay.

“This is a great opportunity for our Club teens to utilize the support of the Earn to Learn FL coaches to help them set the foundation for their futures post high school graduation,” says Jason Jenkins, Director of Programs and Training, Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay.

Earn to Learn FL, in partnership with Volunteer Florida, recruits, trains, and deploys AmeriCorps members to become Near Peer Coaches to income-challenged students in the areas of postsecondary access, personal finance training, and career planning. Near Peer Coaches support student preparation for pursuit of a non-degree award (career & technical education), associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree. ETLFL Near Peer coaches are current college students who promote college success by supporting students and working through obstacles related to retention and degree completion.

“Our Near Peer Coaches are part of our formula for student success,” said Brenda Tate, Earn to Learn FL CEO. “We provide the near peer coaching, matched savings for education scholarships, and personal finance training. Our goal is that every student who participates in our programs completes their post-secondary education career ready, on time, and with little or no debt.”

For more information, email Brenda Tate at Brenda@EarntoLearnFL.org.

Save for College on Your Terms

A Florida 529 Savings Plan is a flexible, affordable, tax-free way to save for college. Saving a little at a time adds up to big college savings!

Earn to Learn FL’s mission is to empower income-challenged students to complete college. Our Matched Savings for Education scholars receive Near Peer Coaching, Personal Finance Training powered by LifeCents, and an opportunity to open a Florida 529 Savings Account.

We couple personal finance training with near peer coaching for college success. Earn to Learn FL scholars and their families will receive assistance opening their Florida 529 Saving Account and receive a match on the amount of money they save. Our Matched Savings for Education Scholars can save up to $500 into their newly opened Florida 529 Plan and have those dollars matched 8:1. This turns a $500 investment into $4,500. These funds – ETLFL Matched Savings for Education scholarship plus Florida 529 Savings Account – are used for tuition, books, fees, and other approved educational-related expenses.

Since 2016, hundreds of students have been income-qualified for Earn to Learn FL’s Matched Savings for Education program. Many of our scholars have graduated on time and debt-free. Our students, many of whom are the first in their families to graduate high school and attend college have excelled in college.

For more information on Earn to Learn FL Matched Savings for Education CLICK HERE.

Earn to Learn FL™ Announces Partnership with the Southern Scholarship Foundation

Ashley Gastel, chief program officer, Earn to Learn FL

Earn to Learn FL (ETLFL), a 501(c)3 nonprofit that envisions a world without barriers to higher education, announces a partnership with the Southern Scholarship Foundation (SSF) for the 2022-2023 school year. Through the partnership, 150 first-year college students across 26 SSF homes throughout Florida will head to school with SSF scholarships and have access to ETLFL Near Peer Coaches; many will have ETLFL tuition scholarships as well.

ETLFL Near Peer coaches are current college students who promote college success by supporting students and working through obstacles related to retention and degree completion. “The goal of the partnership is that every student that moves in to SSF housing ends their college journey by walking across the stage at graduation,” said Ashley Gastel, chief program officer, Earn to Learn FL. “Earn to Learn FL will be partners in their college journey from start to finish.”

“The new partnership will provide up to sixty students with up to four years of tuition assistance, rent-free housing, and Near Peer Coaching,” said Shawn J. Woodin, Ed. D., president and CEO of Southern Scholarship Foundation. “It also provides the opportunity for SSF residents who are currently in college to become ETLFL Near Peer Coaches and earn a living allowance and scholarship. That is the power of partnership!”

Earn to Learn FL, in partnership with Volunteer Florida, recruits, trains, and deploys AmeriCorps members to provide Near Peer Coaching to economically disadvantaged students in the areas of postsecondary access, personal finance training, and career planning. Near Peer Coaches supports student preparation for pursuit of a non-degree award (career & technical education), associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree. In addition, the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Scholarship, up to $6,195 per year, is granted to AmeriCorps members who complete their term of service to pay education costs at qualified institutions of higher education for educational training or to repay eligible students loans.

Through rent-free housing and cooperative living, Southern Scholarship Foundation supports students who lack financial resources, demonstrate excellent academic merit, and exemplify good character attend institutions of higher education. For more than 65 years, SSF has helped students achieve their dreams of attending their choice university through partnerships at Florida Gulf Coast University, University of Florida, Santa Fe College, Florida State University, Flagler College – Tallahassee, Florida A&M University, and Tallahassee Community College.

For more information, please visit EarntoLearnFL.org or email Brenda Tate at Brenda@EarntoLearnFL.org.

 

The heart of Earn to Learn FL

Ashley Gastel with her Mom, Kristine and Dad, Glenn at her graduation from Florida State University (August 2007). Ashley is a first-gen college graduate, who went on to further her education at the University of Central Florida and earned a Masters degree in Educational Leadership in 2018.

Working in education and nonprofit is not for the faint of heart. We put our all into everything we do to help students become the best versions of themselves.

  • This is heart work. 
  • Plain and simple. 

So when Earn to Learn FL heard the news that we were vetoed from the 2023 budget passed by the Florida Legislature it was a gut punch. I felt the void of what we are not going to be able to deliver to students this year. 

At Earn to Learn, we don’t just give hope to students… 

  • We mentor them.
     
  • We coach them.
     
  • We teach them—financial skills, college readiness skills, how to advocate for themselves.
     
  • We are partners in their learning journey. 

We give our students everything we have with our very small team so they can learn how to achieve their dreams and be more than they ever thought possible. 

My own journey is why I do this work. I am the first person in my family to graduate high school, a #firstgen college grad—shout out to Florida State University. And the first person in my entire family—immediate and extended— to earn a grad degree-thank you University of Central Florida. 

There is more to my story and every student like me in the state of Florida. If you want to learn more about Earn to Learn FL and our mission, reach out to me. 

Come be a partner in this heart work, and let’s give opportunities to students across Florida. 

Questions? Please contact Ashley Gastel, Chief Program Officer, Ashley.gastel@earntolearnfl.org  to ask any questions about the heart of Earn to Learn FL.  

Stay informed: Earn to Learn FL Matched Savings for Education Scholars, Near Peer Success Coaches, and alumni, stay connected to our blog at earntolearnfl.org/blog. 

Making smart financial decisions

Earn to Learn FL Personal Finance Training (PFT) will empower you to acquire the knowledge, build the habits and gain the confidence you need to make smarter everyday financial decisions. Preparing a realistic budget for college is essential for students to graduate on time, career-ready, and free of student debt.

Why this matters: We checked in with our partner LifeCents – the platform behind Earn to Learn FL PFT – to discover how PFT will shape your financial future, starting with your college budget plan:

  • Motivation – Personal finance often feels very complex and challenging which can deter you from taking action. Earn to Learn FL PFT, powered by LifeCents, has innovative features, design, and personalized conversations to keep you engaged and inspired.
  • Discovery – Helping you identify your financial needs, interests, and goals is the first step–and often the most overlooked–in the journey towards financial security. The Earn to Learn FL PFT process is the starting point of your highly personalized and impactful user experience.
  • Achievement – When it comes to improving your financial health, every day counts. Earn to Learn FL PFT tracks your progress and celebrates every step, milestone and goal that you achieve.
  • Connection – Earn to Learn FL PFT helps you transform information into action by responsibly connecting you to partners, programs, products and services that can help you succeed.

Steps to create a realistic budget for a college student

  1. Have conversations. Before building a college student budget, chat with everyone who will be involved in paying for your education. Talk about who is paying, expected expenses, financial aid and perhaps opening a new credit card or checking account.
  2. List all of your expenses. The costs of textbooks and school supplies, room and board, transportation, clothing and discretionary spending should be anticipated.
  3. Track your spending. Once at school, monitor your spending relative to your college budget plan. Determine needs and wants, and decide which nonessentials you can trim.
  4. Take budgeting to the next level with Earn to Learn FL PFT. If you’re in good financial shape, start setting yourself up for the future. Create an emergency fund, plan for paying off student loans, or open a ROTH IRA.

Bonus: Earn to Learn FL Matched Savings for Education Scholarships are available to income challenged students who complete Earn to Learn FL PFT, open a FL 529 Savings Account, and engage with a Near Peer Success Coach.

Questions? Please contact your Earn to Learn FL Near Peer Success Coach for assistance to answer any of the questions about budgeting tips for college students or ask other questions.

  • Stay informed: Earn to Learn FL Matched Savings for Education Scholars, Near Peer Success Coaches, and alumni, stay connected to our blog at earntolearnfl.org/blog.

 

 

1 2 3 6