1. Grandview Goes Green, Grandview Preparatory School
What happens when students and teachers band together to instill a more eco-friendly culture on campus? Grandview goes GREEN! Grandview Preparatory School (PK3-Grade 12) in Boca Raton shifted its focus from traditional school colors “red, white and blue” to green in the 2019-20 school year which resulted in several top honors from the Green Schools Recognition Program at Florida Atlantic University’s Pine Jog Environmental Education Center. The Program announced its 2020 Green Schools Awards in May honoring the many incredible teachers, students, school leaders, and community members that made the Green Schools program possible this year.
This year, Grandview Preparatory School received recognition as a:
- 2020 Green School of Quality
- Top 5 Finalist for Green Teacher of the Year for science teacher, Donna Leech. Earlier this year, Mrs. Leech also received the honor of becoming a National Geographic Certified Educator and was recognized as Grandview’s 2019-20 Teacher of the Year.
- Best Green Schools Video: Secondary Education Award, which also came with a monetary gift. This honor is awarded to a school that did an outstanding job explaining their green school story in an especially fun and creative way at the secondary level.
- Gold Status from the Champion Schools program for Grandview’s efforts in educating students and the community about the Everglades ecosystem.
As a result, Grandview has now developed a culture of ongoing environmental stewardship and sustainability at school benefiting students, and the planet, for years to come.
2. Path to College Fellowship
Path to College is a local non-profit committed to helping hard-working students with extraordinary challenges solidify their chance at a selective university, debt-free. We believe that low-income students with high academic aspirations need targeted guidance and committed professionals to provide encouragement and accountability. The Covid-19 pandemic is putting the path to college in danger for many students. During the 2008 Financial Crisis, the rate of low-income students enrolled in higher education decreased by 10%. The current global crisis has skyrocketed unemployment rates close to 20% which will likely lead to millions of students curtailing their plans to attend or complete college. Path to College is here to disrupt this unfortunate trend to ensure that high-achieving students from low-income households apply and enroll in selective universities for a better chance of upward mobility. In addition to our signature academic fellowship program, we provide free outreach to hundreds of high school students with hands-on college and career preparation workshops, as well as SAT tutoring at partnering organizations in the community. By achieving our mission, We are committed to creating a society that prioritizes the education of its citizenry and envision a community that will benefit from this investment in terms of economic prosperity, innovation, health outcomes, and cultural vitality for years to come.
Path to College’s flagship academic fellowship offers three years of comprehensive and rigorous academic enrichment opportunities and wraparound support to directly increase the competitiveness of low-income students in college admissions. We take the best and brightest students and help them become more competitive, get better scholarships, and attend top-tier universities, without the crippling effects of student loan debt. Our fellows apply to college at 200% the national average, have an average 250-point increase on the SAT, and 100% of our fellows have been accepted to four-year universities of which 70% were accepted to top-tier universities with full-ride scholarships. We enrich our students’ academic growth by providing them with once-in-a-lifetime career exploration opportunities such as workshops, field trips, and college tours. We offer extracurricular academic enrichment and rigorous learning opportunities. We help our students achieve their scholastic goals with weekly expert SAT tutoring and one-on-one holistic support during the college and scholarship application process. We encourage them to serve their community and address challenges directly, thereby giving them leadership experience and instilling them with a sense of civic duty. Our core belief is that in order to be a happy and fulfilled individual you must give back. The foundation that all our work stands upon is our Career Coach Mentoring program. Our mentors are local, experienced, and dedicated professionals who devote time each week with their student to help them achieve their most audacious dreams!
3. Prestigious National Scholarship Program, Palm Beach Atlantic University
Since its establishment in 2017, the Prestigious National Scholarship Program at Palm Beach Atlantic University has promoted and assisted student applicants to major national and international awards. While no student in the school’s first fifty years of existence won a Fulbright Award (one of the highest honors an American college student can receive), PBA has now had six Fulbright Award winners in the past three years – with success that has increased each year (one winner in 2018, two in 2019, and three in 2020). This has allowed PBA students to serve as national ambassadors by teaching in countries from Spain to South Korea and from Bulgaria to Burma. The Prestigious National Scholarship Program advises a diverse group of students, coordinates support during the application process, and offers students a clear method for approaching any prestigious application. As a result, even those student applicants who have not won Fulbright Awards have been well prepared to achieve other major opportunities – from the Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies in Cambodia to the United States Senate in Washington, D.C. to offers for graduate study at Georgetown University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Florida. Currently expanding to mentor applicants for the Truman, Gilman, and Rhodes Scholarships, the Prestigious National Scholarship Program has established an institutional culture of success for PBA in major award competition, highlighting the global potential of both the school and its students.
Above Photo: PBA’s first Fulbright Award winner, Esther Hagan, teaching at Jin Ding Elementary School in Kinmen, Taiwan.
4. New Faculty Experience, Palm Beach
In 2016, Dr. Matt Klauza founded “The New Faculty Experience” (NFE) program, a year-long, bi-weekly series of dialogues and seminars that provides information, activities and interactions to integrate new faculty into the life of the College and to enhance their teaching skills. Since then, Dr. Klauza has helped nearly 100 new faculty (and counting) enhance their teaching methodologies and provide student-centered learning experiences that transform lives and strengthen our community—impacting thousands of students.
The NFE’s purpose is to guide faculty so that they—and their students—can be successful. Dr. Klauza’s program allows new faculty to immediately form a community, collaborate, and grow together. NFE creates a supportive ‘class’ of new faculty members, helping them to better understand the complexities of PBSC students and explore every available resource at the College’s five campuses—all in the interest of student success.
As a group, the participants learn just as much from their peers as from Dr. Klauza. Various workshops and presentations represent every area of the College, raising awareness of the support personnel and services that would otherwise take years to learn.
On the professional side, applying for tenure is usually a solitary activity at most colleges. Dr. Klauza has developed the NFE program to guide every new faculty member in their instructional, professional and personal development through the standards set by the College throughout their first five years here. He mentors and develops the lives and careers of faculty members so that they can help students succeed.
5. Suits for Seniors
We provide at-risk high school seniors an 8-12 week course in life skills, financial empowerment, and college preparation skills in order to succeed in the next chapter of their lives. Most importantly, we “suit them up” for lifelong success by providing them mentors to further encourage, motivate, and support their education and career exploration.
Founded in 2016, Suits For Seniors identified the various educational and financial needs in our low-income community; we are successfully serving more than 20 Title 1 High Schools in Palm Beach County with low high school graduation and college transition rates. Suits for Seniors’ program impacts the academic, social, and leadership abilities of at-risk young people in Palm Beach County while enhancing their traditional education and social development.
Students must complete an enrichment program addressing college transition, leadership, scholarships, career exploration, trades, financial literacy, public speaking, mental health, interaction with law enforcement, entrepreneurship, and developing a personal vision for a successful future. When the seniors graduate, they are awarded personally a new tailored suit. The men receive ties and the ladies receive pearls.
To date, Suits for Seniors accomplishments are:
• 1,012 Students served
• 100% High School Graduation Rate.
• 98% College Entrance Rates
• 1,235 Mentoring Hours
• $25,000+ Scholarships Awarded
• 12 established Entrepreneurs