Florida College Access Network (FCAN) is once again recognizing leaders throughout the state who went above and beyond in supporting their students’ dreams of education beyond high school.

Despite a year like no other, these Innovators worked to ensure the Class of 2021 finished the school year strong!

Award winners are typically recognized during a special luncheon at the annual FCAN Summit, which was canceled this year due to COVID-19. As a result, we are pleased to once again celebrate this year’s honorees virtually!


2021 College Ready Florida Innovator

Jillian Hasner
 President and CEO,
Take Stock in Children

Watch the video to learn more about this year’s honoree and her innovative work.


The College Ready Florida Innovator Award recognizes those trying new approaches to help students get into and pay for college while increasing the effectiveness of FCAN’s College Ready Florida initiatives:
Apply Yourself Florida, Florida FAFSA Challenge, Florida College Decision Day, and Plan It Florida.

Ms. Hasner led Take Stock in Children (TSIC) in transitioning their traditional 25-year-old model to include in-school, virtual, and hybrid mentoring, coaching, and college readiness service options for the 2020-21 school year. TSIC and Take Stock in College developed college readiness workshops around the key topics of FAFSA completion, mental health and stress management,
and college preparation for seniors.  


2021 Workforce Education Innovator

Nadia Kotula
Dean of Academic Affairs,
Hillsborough Community College, SouthShore Campus

Watch the video to learn more about this year’s honoree and her innovative work.


The Workforce Education Innovator Award recognizes schools, communities, business leaders, and professionals who strive to prepare students of all ages for the education and careers that are right for them, especially in high-demand fields.

Ms. Kotula partnered with Enterprising Latinas to develop a program, “Women Building Futures,” where a cohort of 25 Latina and African American students from low-income households completed a workforce program in the field of construction.
She also led the HCC SouthShore Campus in transitioning faculty and student support virtually. 


About the Innovator Awards

The Innovator awards were created in 2019 to recognize the many college access and success practitioners throughout Florida who go above and beyond to find fresh ways to help students prepare for their education beyond high school that will lead to a rewarding career.  The awards also sought to inspire education stakeholders with ideas to try in their own community. 

To find out more about the awards, please see the College Ready Florida Innovator and Workforce Education Innovator announcements.

Please join us in celebrating the 2021 College Ready Florida and Workforce Education Innovators!

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