Summer usually means a break from a school. But the work of educators and college access champions is never done.  As Labor Day weekend begins, Florida C.A.N. gives a late summer update on some of our partner organizations.

New Home for Rotary Futures in SW Florida

In Venice, Fla. Rotary Futures got a brand new home in the newly constructed Venice High School.  For the previous  eleven  years, the agency operated out of a portable classroom. The organization is unique in Southwest Florida, as it provides students with on-campus access to an independently-funded  agency solely devoted to getting them into college. Rotary Futures is now located just inside the main doors of the high school, where it will be available to the entire community (not just high school students) during after-school hours as well.  With new computers, more space and a private conference room equipped with a 55” LCD monitor, the group is prepped for a new year of making sure students get into college and secure the scholarships that will support them once they are there.  The new facility opened last week, timed with the start of the new school year.

Elite Explorers of Educate Tomorrow Travel the US Southwest

During mid-August, the Miami-based Educate Tomorrow embarked on a trip to the national parks of the US Southwest, with five college students from its innovative postsecondary access program. The program is called Elite Explorers and this was their inaugural trip. Educate Tomorrow helps foster students access college scholarships and state-mandated tuition waivers. All five students on the Elite Explorers trip are former foster youth, who aged out of the dependency system and are currently attending a higher education institution.

Led by the agency’s CEO, Brett McNaught and founder, Virginia Emmons, the journey involved strenuous hiking, tent camping, volunteer service and lessons about the historical and cultural significance of such sites as Arches National Park and the Grand Canyon.  “This is our organization’s most intense life skills course. Many of the students that have been selected have never left the state of Florida or traveled on an airplane before.  This is an incredible, life-changing opportunity for them and us,” said McNaught.

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