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College Football Playoff Foundation donates $200,000 to LEAP and FUSE

College Football Playoff Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers

TAMPA, FL – The College Football Playoff Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers initiative, which injected over $1,000,000 into the Tampa Bay education community during the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship, is excited to unveil a legacy investment of $200,000 geared towards supporting and strengthening the region’s college-going culture. The College Football Playoff Foundation is teaming up again with the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, Helios Education Foundation, the Florida College Access Network and the LEAP College Access Network to further enhance College Ready Tampa Bay initiatives in partnership with the tri-county school districts and the local and state college access networks.

These efforts will continue to support teachers and schools that build a college-going culture for their students, help students apply to college and seek financial aid, and celebrate graduating seniors’ next educational steps. Additionally, this investment will help advance the region’s ability to assess the intended outcomes of such efforts by tracking graduation rates and how to close the “summer melt” gap through extensive data research.

“We are so grateful to be in a position to extend our partnership with the Tampa Bay Sports Commission,” said Britton Banowsky, Executive Director of the College Football Playoff Foundation. “Our work last year and the community-wide impact that we made was extraordinary. There is no doubt that the educational opportunities provided for the thousands of area students will make a big difference in their lives and in the community.

Furthermore, this legacy initiative also leverages a powerful community effort to remove financial barriers for Tampa Bay’s future educators through scholarships, further building on the Extra Yard for Teachers mission by helping tomorrow’s teachers gain those first few yards toward a teaching career. The College Football Playoff Foundation is designating half of their total investment towards education scholarships. Helios Education Foundation will match those funds on a 2-to-1 basis through their existing support of LEAP, Tampa Bay’s College Access Network, equaling $300,000 in total scholarship dollars.  Given the scholarship disbursement of $5,500 per student, this investment will support over 54 FUSE students seeking a degree in education.

“A year after the event, it’s incredible to see the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship still having an enormous impact on our community’s teachers and students,” said Rob Higgins, Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. “We could not be more grateful to the College Football Playoff Foundation, Helios Education Foundation, the Florida College Access Network and the LEAP College Access Network for their continued partnership, support and thought leadership.”

Education is an investment

“Education is an investment and not an expense,” said Paul Luna, President, and CEO, Helios Education Foundation. “Alongside these great partners, we are excited to invest in Tampa Bay’s future educators and grow our region’s college-going culture.”

Overall, the College Football Playoff Foundation investment augmented by Helios Education Foundation’s match equates to a total of $400,000 invested back into the region’s education community in support of Extra Yard for Teachers in Tampa Bay.

“We are extremely grateful to the College Football Playoff Foundation and our wonderful local partners for supporting the continued college access work happening in the Tampa Bay region,” said Marlene Spalten, President & CEO of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, which is the backbone for the LEAP network.  “All our LEAP Tampa Bay partners believe that education truly ‘balances the playing field,’ so this support for students, teachers and counselors, and future teachers is a vital investment in our future.”

“Tampa Bay’s commitment to building a strong college-going culture is a model for how community leaders, educators, and organizations can work together to transform the lives of students and families through education beyond high school,” said Laurie Meggesin, Executive Director of the Florida College Access Network.  “College Football Playoff Foundation’s and the Helios Education Foundation’s support is sure to have a lasting impact on the region as a whole, and we are grateful to them and our Tampa Bay partners for their steadfast dedication to serving Tampa Bay students.”

Additional Information on the Extra Yard for Teacher Tampa Bay Legacy Initiative can be found at

Visitors can also stay on top of the latest Tampa Bay Sports Commission news and events by subscribing to the TBSC’s official e-newsletter of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission and social media platforms, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Tampa Bay Sports Commission

About the College Football Playoff Foundation

The College Football Playoff Foundation (CFP) Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization which serves as the charitable arm of the College Football Playoff. While there are many causes deserving of the CFP Foundations support, the Foundation is committed to supporting education across the country. The CFP Foundation’s reach encompasses early childhood education, inspiring a college-going culture, and supporting the teaching profession. Within these initiatives, the primary focus of the Foundation is teachers, expressed through Extra Yard for Teachers cause brand. The mission of Extra Yard for Teachers is to elevate the teaching profession by inspiring and empowering quality teachers. For more information, visit:

About Helios Education Foundation

Helios Education Foundation is dedicated to creating opportunities for individuals in Arizona and Florida to achieve a postsecondary education. Through its Florida Regional Student Success Initiative, Helios is helping first-generation, minority and underrepresented students from the state’s large population centers in Tampa, Orlando, and Miami achieve a postsecondary education. Since 2006, the Foundation has invested more than $200 million in education programs and initiatives in both Arizona and Florida. To learn more about Helios, visit

About the LEAP College Access Network,

The LEAP College Access Network is coordinated by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, launched in 2016 as a network of organizations from various sectors across the community interested in strengthening the number of residents who hold a postsecondary credential, and are successful in the local workforce. These partners include organizations from the K-12 school system, higher education, business, philanthropic and civic organizations, as well as the City of Tampa, including the Mayor’s office. Originally founded as a Hillsborough County initiative, LEAP is launching a partnership with Pinellas County and supporting college access conversations in Pasco County.

About the Florida College Access Network:

The mission of the Florida College Access Network is to create and strengthen a statewide network that catalyzes and supports communities to improve college & career preparation, access, and completion for all students. FCAN’s multi-faceted approach combines research, public will-building, statewide initiatives, and supporting the development of local college access networks.

About the Tampa Bay Sports Commission:

The Tampa Bay Sports Commission is a private, non-profit, 501c3, charitable corporation that serves the entire Tampa Bay area as the lead organization for bidding on and hosting premier sports and entertainment events. Through this, we will achieve our mission of creating social and economic impact throughout the Tampa Bay region. For more information on the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, please visit

Media Contact:

Michael Farrant
Multimedia Specialist
[email protected]

Article Source: Tampa Bay Sports

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