Meet 10 of Florida Prepaid’s biggest fans
It’s our 30th anniversary here at Florida Prepaid, and we are still celebrating! There is much to be joyful about. We’re changing lives for a new generation: The first Prepaid recipients now have children of their own, and many are purchasing plans to give their little ones the promise and security they felt while growing up. And across Florida, the leaders you trust — governors, teachers, college administrators and others — are sharing their praise for a program that has meant so much to so many Florida families. Here is what some of them have to say.
Former Gov. Jeb Bush
“Over the last 30 years, the Florida Prepaid College Program has grown into the single largest and most successful prepaid college program in the country, helping more than a million families open the door to higher education. Through the vision of founder Stanley Tate, Florida has become a model for other states seeking to empower parents as they plan for their children’s futures. Florida Prepaid will ensure our state remains on the vanguard of providing affordability and access to our outstanding colleges and universities for generations to come.”
Former Gov. Bob Martinez, who signed Florida Prepaid into law
“I felt strongly that working-class families should have an opportunity to have their children go to college and that they would be able to afford it. That’s the value of prepaid tuition. You don’t have to wait until they’re 18; you can start immediately to secure your children’s future. I can’t think of a better gift for life than being able to say, ‘I’m prepared for my future because I got my education.’”
Joy Prescott, 2019 Florida Teacher of the Year
“My mom bought Florida Prepaid for my sister when she was in 8th grade, and she was grateful that she was able to pay monthly because it did not put such a hardship on the family. She looked at like it was a savings account for my sister’s future. My sister ended up getting a full ride to Indian River Community College as well as the Bright Futures scholarship, and she did not have to use her Prepaid for the first two years of college. However, her last four years were spent at UF pursuing a professional degree as a pharmacist, and this is when she used her Prepaid. She is thankful that my mom invested in her future. She is now expecting a child of her own and she will definitely be utilizing the Florida Prepaid program.”
Ryan Riggs, Director of College Counseling at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville
“Our experiences with the Florida Prepaid College Savings Plans over the past 30 years have been fantastic. We have a wide range of families at our school, and many of them bought into Florida Prepaid when their children were younger. Many of our top students have stayed in Florida for college because of this program and the Florida Bright Futures scholarships. Thank you to our state Legislature for sticking to their commitment to these helpful and necessary programs for our wonderful students in Florida.”
Nikki Kimbleton, WJXT Anchor
“One thing I have learned from my career is that life can change in an instant. So many things can cause life not to go as planned and the last thing we want is for that to impact our kids. We want to make sure that our son gets a great education and Florida Prepaid is our answer. I feel so much better knowing that when the time comes for him to go to college, he won’t have to worry about student loans or come up with the money in other ways. This was one of the easiest choices we’ve ever made!
Esteban Bovo, Miami- Dade Commissioner, District 13
“We have purchased five Florida Prepaid plans, one for each of my children. With three of my five children either already graduated from, or currently in, institutions of higher learning, I can personally attest to the impact that Florida Prepaid has had on their education journeys. I would encourage any parent, no matter their child’s age, to inquire about the Florida Prepaid program. The Florida Prepaid program lessens the economic burden associated with sending our children to school and allows us to better enjoy the experience of watching them pursue their dreams.”
Juan C. Reyneri, Ed.M., ESOL Department Chair, Alonzo and Tracy Mourning High School
“Florida Prepaid made college very affordable for a middle-class family like mine. I enrolled my daughter when she was 1 1/2 years old, and I made a monthly payment of $110 until she was 18. This covered four years of tuition, two years of room and board, and four years of fees. To illustrate how affordable this was, my car insurance and cell phone bills were always higher than my Florida Prepaid bill. I encourage all young families to take advantage of this remarkable program and to start early!”
Dr. Tonjua Williams, President, St. Petersburg College
“With more than 2,000 of our current students participating, you can be assured that St. Petersburg College is a huge supporter of the Florida Prepaid College Plan. Florida’s colleges and universities are among the finest in the country. They are varied in their course and degree options and one or more of them will most certainly fit a student’s requirements for a post high school education. The Florida Prepaid College Plan has bettered the lives of many and will undoubtedly continue to do so. Together, our future shines brightly.”
John Holdnak, President, Gulf Coast State College
“About 28 years ago, not long after our daughter was born, my wife and I chose to invest in our family’s future by starting to save for her college education. As we looked around for a safe and secure way to protect and grow that investment, we discovered Florida Prepaid. … We went on to make the same investment for our son when he was born seven years later. That momentous decision to invest, almost at the beginning of Florida Prepaid, turned out to be one of the very best decisions a young family could make. I’ve worked in Florida higher education for my entire career, and I’ve seen a lot of good ideas and programs come and go. However, the one program that has stood the test of time and that I’ve continued to recommend over the years to many friends, family members, and colleagues is Florida Prepaid. I know of no better, safer way to lock in future college costs at today’s prices and protect a family’s hopes and dreams for their children.”
Alberto M. Carvalho, Superintendent of Miami/Dade Schools
“Every child, regardless of socioeconomic status, should have the opportunity to expand their sphere of learning and exploration by attending a college or university. The harsh reality, however, is that for many students — even those who demonstrate strong academic achievement — a post-secondary education is beyond their reach because of rising tuition costs. Fortunately, programs such as Florida Prepaid make it possible for every Florida student to receive a college education. The Florida Prepaid College Savings Plans are making the dream of a college education a reality for countless Florida families.”
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