Students throughout Hillsborough County benefitted recently from scholarships issued by Hillsborough Education Foundation and the Kiwanis Club of Tampa.

Students throughout Hillsborough County are one step closer to reaching their goals thanks to the generosity of two local groups. Hillsborough Education Foundation (HEF) and the Kiwanis Club of Tampa and Tampa Kiwanis Foundation issued scholarships last month that will help local seniors further their educations.

“Hillsborough Education Foundation is proud to support graduating seniors’ dreams of continuing their education at a university, community college or technical college through our community scholarships,” said HEF’s Kendra Oestreich.

More than 200 Class of 2021 seniors were awarded more than $500,000 in scholarships, ranging from $500-$15,000. Twelve of these students graduated from East Bay High School, six from Lennard High School, 22 from Riverview High School, one from Spoto High School, nine from Bloomingdale High School, four from Brandon High School and six from Durant High School.

“We never want families’ incomes to be a barrier for students to reach their fullest potential. These scholarships can help reduce that financial strain, positively [impacting] students’ lives and the future of our community,” said HEF CEO Kim Jowell.

HEF teams up with business partners, community organizations and individual donors to fund the scholarship program.

“We are grateful to the partners who share our beliefs and are investing in the next generation through our programs,” said Oestreich.

One of the partners is the Kiwanis Club of Tampa. According to Oestreich, over the past 20 years, the Kiwanis Club of Tampa and Tampa Kiwanis Foundation have given out nearly a half-million dollars in scholarships through Hillsborough Education Foundation. The scholarships help deserving Hillsborough County Public Schools students achieve their goals of going to a university, community college or technical college.

“In Kiwanis, internationally, our goal is kids. We think the future is really tied to good education. We feel in our community there’s a lot of kids who need help financially in being able to get into college. We’ve been very pleased to partner with Hillsborough Education Foundation in our programs,” said Dave Rogoff, Tampa Kiwanis Foundation president.

Last month, the club awarded $20,500 to eight high school seniors.

Established in 1987, HEF is a nonprofit focused on strengthening public education by supporting teachers and empowering students to achieve academic and personal success. HEF’s resources and financial support enrich K-12 educational experiences and provide equity in education for all students. Learn more at educationfoundation.com.

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Kate Quesada is the Multimedia Manager for the Osprey Observer Newspapers. She has been working for the paper in various positions since 2005 when she graduated with her Masters degree in mass communications. She lives in Valrico with her husband Mike and son Dylan.