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The Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation, Florida Prepaid College Foundation to Provide Higher Education Scholarships to Youth in the Juvenile Justice System


CONTACT: DJJ Communications Office                                             (850) 921-5900


The Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation (FJJF), the direct support organization for the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), and the Florida Prepaid College Foundation have partnered together to provide $20,000 in higher education scholarships to four juvenile justice-involved youth. These scholarships are a first of their kind for youth involved in DJJ programs and are being awarded through the Stanley Tate Project STARS (Scholarship Tuition for At-Risk Students) Program. The program focuses efforts on low-income students who are at a higher risk of dropping out of school and prepares them to attend and succeed in college.

These scholarships will provide tuition assistance to youth within the juvenile justice system who have successfully completed their DJJ program. This year’s scholarship recipients include two DJJ probation youth, a student from the Hillsborough Girls Academy, and a student from the Cypress Creek Juvenile Offender Correctional Center. The scholarships provide an opportunity for youth to further their education and will cover tuition and fees at a Florida college.

“This exciting partnership between the Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation and the Florida Prepaid College Foundation will enable youth who’ve made the commitment to turn their lives around to pursue their goal of receiving a college education,” said DJJ Acting Secretary Josie Tamayo.  “With the help of the services provided in our programs and a college scholarship, these youth will continue to achieve success and thrive.”

“On behalf of the Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation, I am thrilled to provide this scholarship opportunity to enrich the lives of our youth most in need through continued education,” said FJJF Chair Monesia Brown. “Through this partnership with the Florida Prepaid College Foundation, we can expand the career opportunities available to youth who have been served by DJJ and provide them with the knowledge and continued support they need to achieve their goals.”

“The Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation works to positively change the lives of students involved in the juvenile justice system and it is through this collaboration we can continue our mission of providing educational opportunities for youth,” said FJJF Executive Director Caroline Ray. “We want to also thank our business and community partners for their support, including Walmart, who made a generous donation towards this scholarship program.”

A college education opens the door to so many opportunities and choices, and we are thrilled to award these four Project STARS Scholarships to these students who have already demonstrated incredible resilience and potential. Thank you to The Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation for partnering with us to strengthen our communities,” said Foundation Director Cynthia O’Connell.”

The partnership between FJJF and the Florida Prepaid College Foundation provides an opportunity for economically disadvantaged youth to build upon their success in DJJ programs by continuing their education at any Florida college or technical school. This partnership is ongoing and additional scholarships will be awarded in the future. 


About the Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation

The Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation (FJJF) strives to promote education and public safety through effective prevention, intervention and treatment services that strengthen families and positively change the lives of troubled youth. The Foundation seeks supplemental funds to enhance legislatively appropriated funding and is guided by a board of community leaders. FJJF is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation and a direct-support organization for the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, established under Florida Statute 985.672. To learn more about FJJF, visit here.


About the Florida Prepaid College Foundation

Since its founding in 1990, the Foundation has committed to giving aspiring students the opportunity to build a better future for themselves and our state by providing college scholarships funded through partnerships with individuals, businesses, educational foundations and the Florida Legislature. The Foundation administers several innovative scholarship programs, including Project STARS and the new Challenge Match Scholarship Programs, designed to help students achieve their dream of earning a college education. To date, the Foundation has awarded more than 51,000 Florida Prepaid College Plan scholarships, and more than 32,000 Foundation scholarship recipients have gone to college using their

benefits. The Foundation is the 501(c)(3) direct support organization for the Florida Prepaid College Board. To learn more about the Florida Prepaid College Foundation, visit here.