2015 WEDU Be More Entrepreneurial Award Voting

The 2015 WEDU Be More Awards Voting pages are sponsored by Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors

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Engaged Philanthropist Award  |  This award will recognize an individual who has distinguished himself or herself in the nonprofit community by engaging entrepreneurial skills and expertise to build or support a successful nonprofit endeavor. Examples may include: Utilizing a keen business sense to build a new nonprofit serving our community; providing the driving force for a unique and successful fundraising campaign to support an existing nonprofit organization’s initiative. The top candidates that have achieved the most votes will be further researched by an impartial judging panel to decide the ultimate winner.

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Beverly Steele, The Steele Organization (TSO), LLC

We, Young Performing Artists (YPAs), Inc., nominate Beverly Steele. CEO of The Steele Organization, LLC, is a former NYC corporate manager, lover of ‘the arts’, children, history, heritage and culture. Founder of Young Performing Artists (YPAs), Inc. YPAs, Inc., a 501 (c) (3), not-for-profit, statewide focused, state recognized corporation whose mission is to identify and address the specialized needs of young performing and visual artists and provide creative solutions to youth development. Nomination is based on the local efforts in Sumter County, FL, a small rural county. Under Steele’s leadership, YPAs, Inc. is the lead agency to provide art, culture & history via the Royal Historical Enrichment & Art Program (RHEAP) after school, school breaks and summer program. Royal is one of Florida’s oldest African American Communities. Founded in 1865, it was settled by former slaves from the Old Green Plantation loc ated on the Withlacoochee River. RHEAP is a 2007 Governor’s Point of Light project and the community received a state issued historical marker. As a collaboration with the Sumter County Historical Society, has registered many items with the Florida Department of Historic Preservation. YPAs, Inc. spearheaded the efforts to develop a WFSU TV CrossRoads’ feature program about Royal and is one of the driving forces regarding ‘the arts’, culture, history and heritage in such a small rural county. Since 1998, YPAs, Inc. has provided $300,000+ services and $25,000+ in scholarships/ awards statewide. FAMU graduate and a former NYC corporate manager overseeing up to $10 million budget; named the 2011 Florida Alliance for Arts Education Business Leader and the 2011 Sumter County Community Hero. Steele markets the needs of children via The Steele Organization (TSO), LLC, her marketing & management Consulting firm. TSO, LLC has provided services to corpora tions from NYC to DC to CA and now in FL.

Debra Campbell, Forward Thinking Initiatives

Since coming to Tampa, Debra has been active in the Tampa Bay community. She was involved with Tampa’s Olympic bid (Florida 2012), volunteered for Stageworks Theatre, the American Cancer Society, helped begin the ‘Art Not Hate’ student initiative, co-sponsored TEDXYouth Tampa Bay, been a speaker for Ignite Tampa Bay and founded the non-profit organization Forward Thinking Iniatives (‘FTI’). FTI was created to teach teenagers the principles of entrepreneurship, innovation and life management skills.

Debra has created some groundbreaking curriculum teaching entrepreneurship to teens in fun and creative ways. She recently opened the first FTI teen academy at the Greenhouse in St. Petersburg. As a testimony to FTI’s effectiveness, some program graduates now run their own businesses and have even hired employees. Debra has partnered with community organizations such as MOSI, Coordinated Child Care of Pinellas, the Greenhouse in St. Petersburg and Department of Child and Family Services to provide entrepreneurial training to at-risk, gifted and home-schooled kids. Her goals are to help keep kids off the streets, encourage them to stay in school and provide early workforce training.

Debra has dedicated most of her free time to creating new programs that empower teens and give them a voice. She is continually developing partnerships with like-minded community groups and also teaches classes throughout Tampa Bay. She has spent countless hours mentoring her graduates and helping them to develop their business plans. She has often spent her own money developing and maintaining these programs.

Debra has won the Freedom Foundation’s prestigious Leavey Award honoring excellence in free enterprise education, the Kauffman Foundation Platinum Award, Creative Tampa Bay’s Creative Catalyst Award, served as the State Coordinator for the National Consortium of Entrepreneur Education and chaired the CTE Marketing Committee for the Florida Department of Education. Education, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship are her passions.

Glen Schubert, Instruments of Change

His mission is to provide music to the children’s whom parents cannot afford to pay rental instruments in school. Music teaches a lot. The children have to earn their instrument thru practicing and becoming an all around blessed child. Glens heart is gold, his smile is brilliant , and his love for God is fabulous…great family man, wonderful co-worker for me! His gift in getting used instruments or new is his ever waking mind, I have been blessed to go to a concert where, I watched parents be so proud to just have their children on the stage. I am sure, never in their wildest dreams this could happen. The children are glowing because their parents or entire family is there for them.. What a thought, be the first one in the family that will grow and flourish just like seeds. I am so proud to call Glen a friend, of giving. Can you just imagine how proud God is. Proud of all that help teach, nurture , and provide miracles to peopl e just like you and me. With your help Glen can reach more schools, more communities. It has been said, a community is needed to raise a child. Just think of what these kids will become, just because someone truly cared and mostly believed in them. I just wish I would of experienced this love when I was young. I am sure all the siblings will want to follow in their footprints. Thanks so much for your time…sit back and just listen to music. Music clears my mind and soul.

Heather Barrow, High Risk Hope

Heather Barrow utilized her accounting background and extensive non-profit training after her own personal hardship to found High Risk Hope (HRH), a 501(c)(3) for purpose organization that provides support, encouragement, information and resources to women and families who are experiencing a high risk pregnancy resulting in hospital bed rest, potential premature birth and neonatal intensive care after delivery.

HRH’s incorporation date of 2/16/2011 is the second anniversary of Heather’s water breaking, 24 weeks into her pregnancy, with her son Hill. Preterm premature rupture of membranes at 24 weeks is rare, and the risk of infection, cord prolapse, compression of the umbilical cord, and placental abruption, threaten the life of the mother and baby as long as the pregnancy continues. Heather was admitted to the hospital and was placed on complete hospital bed rest for 8 weeks. Hill was born at 32 weeks and had a two-week stay in the NICU.

It is hard to imagine how difficult and stressful this type of ordeal can be on a mother-to-be and her family. While in the hospital, Heather did not receive any type of support from a local or national nonprofit. HRH evolved out of one mother wanting to encourage others facing similar terrifying circumstances by bridging the gap between their worst fears of losing a child and the hope of leaving the hospital with a healthy baby.

With the help of volunteers (and no paid staff), Heather has built HRH from the ground up and oversees all aspects of operations including drafting legal documents, federal/state tax filings, bookkeeping, fund development, special events, PR, graphic design, website development and volunteer management. Since 2011, HRH has raised over $210,000 in cash and in-kind donations, which has enabled their 100+ volunteers to reach over 2,500 patients in crisis in our community.

Jesse Stokes, The Pink Magnolia Charities

I would like to nominate sixteen year old Jesse Stokes. He is a junior at King High School in Tampa, Florida where he is enrolled in the King Advanced Placement Scholars program. He is a member of the National Honors Society, The Key Club, The King Impact Christian Club, King High School Yearbook Staff, and Chairman of the Relay for Life Committee held at the school. Jesse volunteers countless hours at the Northside Mental Health Hospital’s Phone Friends Program, The American Cancer Society, The Arthritis Foundation and Moffitt Hope Lodge. Jesse is President and founder of The Pink Magnolia Charities to benefit Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa Florida.

Jesse was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of five. He has to fit multiple doctors’ appointments and chemotherapy as well as other treatments into his week. Yet, he has a full schedule in front of him but his spirit is inspirational and his philanthropy is his passion.

Jesse started The Pink Magnolia Charities October of 2013 in honor of his Mother’s, five year breast cancer survivor anniversary. The Pink Magnolia Charities is a registered charity to raise funds for Moffitt Cancer Center. Last year, over $1500.00 was raised and donated the money to Moffitt’s Art in Medicine Department. Jesse often visited the “Art Room” while visiting his mother during her stay at Moffitt Cancer Center. This program allowed him to release stress and express his feelings in a creative manner.

This year, The Pink Magnolia Charities Second Annual Bash to Beat Cancer turned Temple Terrace pink. He worked with local businesses, Temple Terrace City Council, and formed a Pink Magnolia Committee. Over $3600.00 was raised and donated to Moffitt Cancer Center’s Research Department.

It is my pleasure to recommend, sixteen year old, Jesse Stokes for this worthy recognition.

Jim Freyvogel, MacDonald Training Center

Those associated with MacDonald Training Center (MTC) recognize that without the visionary leadership of Jim Freyvogel, President/CEO, MTC might not be celebrating 60 years of service to Tampa. Dramatic changes in state funding for people with disabilities, and the economic recession impacted many organizations in the social services arena. Under Jim’s leadership, MTC is successfully weathering the winds of change, by greatly expanding its business base.

Jim’s focus is on the long-term, self sustainability for the organization and the people we serve. In a paradigm shift, in 2006 he brought in a team who knew about business and not disabilities. Under their guidance, in 2007 MTC bid on and won a FDOT contract to package all of the Sun Pass transponders for the State of Florida. Having kept the contract and successfully packaging and shipping over 7 million transponders, Sun Pass is the catalyst that’s elevating MTC from a sheltered workshop into a state of the art training and employment resource center for people with disabilities.

Today’s training opportunities run the gamut from 2013’s innovative debut of a FDA compliant “Clean Room” to package medical devices to our about to launch venture: “e-Quality recycling” of electronic equipment. Trainees are successfully transitioning into community employment, with real work experience and data driven resumes.

Before coming to MacDonald Training Center, Jim worked for the State of Florida, Department of Children & Families, for 23-years. During that time he played key roles in the closure of two outdated state institutions; in the creation of specialized services for individuals with medical and physical challenges; and in the design and implementation of a new community based system of services.

Jim is responsible for MTC providing free housing at our Tampa location to two other non-profits: Wheels of Success and Healthy Communities, a Special Olympics program.


Spelling and grammar have not been corrected. Essays have been included as submitted.

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