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Multiple Pathways

Preparing students for life after high school

We believe that all students should leave high school ready for the world. Whether they pursue a college education, enroll in career technical training or start a job, our Foundation seeks to impact graduates regardless of the path they choose.

Career Technical Education

The Academies of Pinellas programs offer students rigorous, relevant and challenging academic courses to prepare for for in-demand jobs. Students combine traditional coursework with technical training to earn high school credit, college credit and certifications for industries such as Trade and Industrial; Business and Marketing; Family and Consumer Sciences; Health Occupations; Public Safety and Security; and Technology.

100+ Certifications available

11,850 Total certifications earned

5 % High schools awarded Academy of Distinction Honors

Take Stock in Children

This statewide scholarship program helps low-income youth—many from minority families—escape the cycle of poverty through education. But Take Stock in Children offers much more than college scholarships: students are paired with mentors who provide inspiration and guidance, college success coaches and school-based ambassadors who monitor their progress and enhance their learning. These services begin in middle school, continue through high school, and include students’ transition into college and career.

200+ Scholarship opportunities

$ 3.7 M Awarded each year

Take Stock Graduate Testimonials

“If I didn’t go to college, I wouldn’t have ever seen or been exposed to a world outside of my neighborhood in Pinellas County. This program has not only opened doors for me—it’s brought me through them!”

- Johnny Boykins, Gibbs High School Graduate and Take Stock in Children Alumni

“My mother has Parkinson’s disease. That’s why I want to do research on neurological disorders and develop technology to treat them. Take Stock in Children has connected me with a wonderful mentor who is like a second mother to me. The program has also provided the funds I need to attend Washington University to study neuroscience.”

- Katie McGilvery, Senior at St. Petersburg Lakewood High School and Take Stock in Children Scholar

Senior Scholarships

The Pinellas Education Foundation offers numerous scholarships to help students achieve their educational goals and dreams. These scholarships range from $500 to $5,000 and are available to high school graduating seniors in the Pinellas County Public School system. Students only need to fill out one application, and their needs and future interests are matched with nearly 100 scholarship opportunities.

$ 682 K Awarded last year

Walker’s Rising Stars

Created by Dr. Jeffrey Walker and the Pinellas Education Foundation, Walker’s Rising Stars Scholarship Program is a yearlong initiative that helps students hone their audition, portfolio and performance skills. Participants in Walker’s Rising Stars compete for college scholarships in six categories: Culinary Arts, Dance, Instrumental, Theater, Visual Arts and Vocal Performance.

$ 900 K+ Scholarships awarded

Elevating Excellence

Elevating Excellence assists high-achieving students and their families, particularly low-income and first generation college students, with personalized college and career counseling and additional college preparedness supports. In partnership with Pinellas County Schools, College and Career Centers program has expanded to include all 17 Pinellas high schools.

Ja’tanaisha Thompson’s Elevating Excellence Success Story

Ja’tanaisha Thompson is a first-generation college student who graduated from Gibbs High School this year at just 16 years old. Her accelerated scholastic path began at John Hopkins Middle School, where Ja’tanaisha took several high school courses offered there. Starting ninth grade with the credits of a typical high school sophomore, Ja’tanaisha decided at the end of the year that she was ready to accelerate her high school track even more. So she met with her principal and academic advisor, who were both extremely supportive and recommended Ja’tanaisha work closely with the College and Career Center, supported by Pinellas Education Foundation and Pinellas County Schools’ Elevating Excellence program, to ensure she would be college ready by the time she graduated.

At the College and Career Center, Ja’tanaisha met with Sarah Alvarez, who first enrolled her in the program’s four-day summer seminar to prepare for the SAT. Sarah then helped Ja’tanaisha identify her college preferences and guided her through the application, financial aid, and scholarship processes. After a lot of hard work, summer school and extra online classes, Ja’tanaisha graduated early and is now a 17-year-old freshman at the University of Florida, majoring in criminology to become a criminal defense attorney. She’s also a recipient of the Bailey Family Foundation Scholarship and the Machen Florida Opportunity Scholarship. Ja’tanaisha credits Sarah and her academic advisor in large part for helping her reach her goals, and she encourages others to take advantage of the resources that the College and Career Center has to offer.

“At the College and Career Center I learned about so many scholarships that I applied for that helped me, like the Bailey Family Foundation Scholarship,” Ja’tanaisha said.

Ja’tanaisha hopes that her example inspires her younger family members by showing them that college is a real and attainable goal. Her plan is to take college at the usual pace so she can enjoy the experience while she’s there.

Student Internships

Student Internships aim to ensure that rising seniors graduate prepared to enter the workforce with real world experience. The program prepares students for the workforce through a combination of a summer internship, career readiness skills training and a financial literacy workshop.