Waste Management, Houston, announced on Oct. 9 that the company is making a $5 million donation to Step Up For Students, Jacksonville, Florida, to help lower-income children attend the K-12 school that best fits their learning needs.
The contribution was celebrated at Highlands Christian Academy in Pompano Beach, Florida, alongside an activity that helped teach students about recycling. Third- through fifth-grade students learned what items can and cannot be recycled. To help with the activity, Waste Management brought out its recycling robot, Cycler.
During the event, Dawn McCormick, Waste Management director of communications & community relations, presented the $5 million check to Step Up. The donation will fund 744 K-12 scholarships for the 2018-19 school year through the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, which serves lower-income children in Florida so they can attend the school of their choice.
Since first partnering with Step Up in 2007, Waste Management has contributed $42 million, providing 8,237 scholarships.
“We are proud of the impact we’ve had on Florida schoolchildren through our contributions to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program,” McCormick says. “Waste Management takes pride in helping our communities become better places to live and work, and we know this partnership is doing just that.”
Step Up helps administer the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, allowing recipients to choose between a scholarship that helps with private school tuition and fees, or one that assists with transportation costs to out-of-county public schools. The program is funded by corporations through dollar-for-dollar tax credited donations.
“Thanks to Waste Management, more schoolchildren will have the opportunity to attend the school that fits the way they learn, regardless of where they live or their parents’ income,” Anne White, COO of Step Up For Students, says. “On behalf of Step Up and the families we serve, we thank Waste Management for their generosity and their commitment to support our mission.”
For the 2018-19 school year, Step Up is serving nearly 98,300 students throughout Florida with tuition scholarships valued at up to $6,519 per student for kindergarten through fifth grade, $6,815 for sixth through eighth grade and $7,111 for ninth through 12th grade. More than 1,800 private schools participate in the scholarship program statewide. In Broward County alone, more than 8,900 students at over 150 schools participate in the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program.