The Florida African American Male Experience initiative will support students along each stage of their academic progression and provide a clear pathway to and through their degree completion.
ST. PETERSBURG — Helios Education Foundation has awarded a Community Investment Grant for $1.6 million to St. Petersburg College (SPC) to support the Florida African American Male Experience (FAAME). This initiative will create a robust ecosystem of support that empowers African American male students in their journey from grade school to postsecondary degree completion.
“The ongoing decline of African American students, particularly male students, in higher education highlights the urgent need for improved access to academic success,” SPC President Dr. Tonjua Williams said. “That’s why we are so excited and grateful for the continued support of Helios Education Foundation in our efforts to enhance the African American male experience at St. Petersburg College. We’re partnering with Pinellas County Schools and other higher education institutions to create equitable opportunities for students, narrow the achievement gap, and increase economic mobility.”
The FAAME initiative will support students along each stage of their academic progression and provide a clear pathway to and through their degree completion. Other partners on the project include the Local College Access Network/LEAP Tampa Bay and Take Stock in Children.
“We’ve known for decades that significant achievement gaps persist for certain student populations. And COVID-19 has shined a glaring spotlight on the fact that things have gotten worse for those students, not better,” said Paul J. Luna, President, and CEO of Helios Education Foundation. “This is especially apparent in data on learning losses, growing achievement gaps, and declines in postsecondary enrollment. FAAME will help close the achievement gap for Black male students, giving them a clear path toward postsecondary success.”
FAAME is an expansion of the Helios-SPC Titan Achievement Program (H-TAP) grant, awarded to SPC in 2020 to assess the educational pathways of African American males in Pinellas County. H-TAP included summer programming, career and academic support, tutoring, and social engagement opportunities aimed at helping students transition to a four-year program at SPC or a partner institution.