TAMPA BAY, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Paid for Grades (PFG), a not-for-profit academic program that offers incentives to Tampa Bay students who improve their grades, just celebrated its 2020-2021 class of students, presenting nearly 100 students with $500 each. In partnership with the Pinellas Education Foundation, the program aims to foster a generation of students with the skills and confidence to reach their potential.
To successfully complete the program, students must improve their reading comprehension, grade point average (GPA), maintain their attendance, and complete a series of life skills workshops. By pairing at-risk students with school-selected mentors, students have the guidance they need to meet their goals.
This year’s participating schools included Boca Ciega High School, Hollins High School, and Lakewood High School. PFG students improved their reading proficiency scores from an average of 3.8 to 6.8 over the course of the program, an increase of 78.9%. One Boca Ciega student in the PFG class started the school year with a 0.8 GPA and through the program finished with a 3.5 GPA.
“We're so proud of our 2021 graduates,” said Jaclyn Lannon, Program Director of Paid for Grades. “Improving your grades and raising your literacy skills by an entire grade-level requires unbelievable dedication, commitment and hard work -- especially amidst all the chaos of the COVID pandemic. The young men and women who graduated from this year's PFG program have learned that hard work pays off -- quite literally -- and hopefully, these life lessons will stay with them.”
Paid for Grades receives zero taxpayer dollars. The program is privately funded by Monica Eaton-Cardone and her Tampa Bay-based fintech company, Chargebacks911. In addition to student cash rewards, PFG also provides funding for participating public schools and teachers who mentor PFG students during off-hours.
Now in its eighth year, PFG has provided nearly $500,000 to Tampa Bay students, teachers, and schools.
In anonymous year-end critiques, the PFG students lauded the benefits of the program: One student said they “learned to deal with anxiety and stress.” Another wrote, “I have learned new study habits and hacks.” PFG “makes students push past their limits,” explained a third student. And finally, a fourth PFG graduate said simply: “I loved the Paid for Grades program really because it made me realize that I can do better, so I pushed myself to be greater in life.”