Hillsborough Education Foundation CEO Kim Jowell with Mix 100.7 host Laura Diaz during last year’s EmpowerED event.

By Meghan Reyes

Join Hillsborough Education Foundation (HEF) for its annual luncheon on Wednesday, September 15. EmpowerED is Hillsborough Education Foundation’s annual luncheon, presented by Suncoast Credit Union. This annual fundraising event is held in September to raise support for HEF’s mission and raise awareness about issues impacting public schools and the entire community.

“Together with our community partners, HEF strategically invests in initiatives that impact teaching quality and increase graduation rates, bolstering a thriving workforce of tomorrow and the sustainable prosperity of Tampa Bay,” Michael McCollum, Hillsborough Education Foundation chief advancement officer, said.

Since its founding in 1987, Hillsborough Education Foundation has been a nonprofit dedicated to building public education in Hillsborough County through advocacy and programs that empower every student to achieve academic and personal success. The organization raises an average of $7 million yearly to support teachers and students in high-risk schools in Hillsborough County.

“The focus of this year’s event is Emerging Stronger: Delivering Education for Any Circumstance,” McCollum said.

The luncheon will be held both in person at Armature Works and streamed virtually through a broadcast. A plethora of speakers are lined up to speak at this year’s event, including Mayor of Tampa Bay Jane Castor, Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Addison Davis and HEF CEO Kim Jowell. During the hybrid event, guests and speakers will engage in conversations about how the past year has affected Hillsborough County and how the schools have emerged stronger.

“If someone in the community would like to support HEF and our mission, the greatest gifts a person can give are the gift of education and the gift of time,” Oestreich said.

There are a variety of different ways one can help support the Hillsborough Education Foundation. Volunteers are encouraged to mentor students and attend sponsorship events. Other ways to support HEF are donating school supplies, funding scholarships and volunteering your time.

“HEF’s mission is to raise awareness about issues impacting our public schools and the entire community,” McCollum said.

Registration is now open for this year’s event at educationfoundation.com/empowered2021. Individual tickets range from $25-55. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

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