The 2019-2020 school year is officially over for Pinellas County students. Although the COVID-19 crisis pushed us all into uncharted territory, that didn’t stop our students from persevering and achieving incredible things with Paid for Grades!

The 2019-2020 was our most successful year yet, with 108 students successfully completing the program across four participating schools in Pinellas County, including:

  • Boca Ciega High School
  • Countryside High School
  • Dixie Hollins High School
  • Lakewood High School

Unfortunately, we were unable to host our annual celebration ceremony for successful participants due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. However, that didn’t stop our students from achieving incredible things this year.

Our students started with a grade point average (GPA) of 2.28 at the beginning of the year. At the end of the program, they’d improved their average GPA to 2.7. That’s a 34% overall average increase!

Not only did participating students improve their grades across the board, they also became more proficient and skilled readers. We calculated our students’ reading scores using Pinellas County Reading Plus / Insight testing. On average, students who participated in the program more than doubled their scores in reading comprehension and proficiency! Improvement in vocabulary among students was nearly as impressive as well:

SubjectAverage Test Score at Beginning of ProgramAverage Test Score at End of ProgramOverall Percentage Increase
Reading Comprehension 3.588.39 +134%
Mastery of Vocabulary 6.4711.11 +72%
Reading Proficiency 4.048.51 +111%

In addition to their scholastic performance, students were also evaluated based on their completion of a series of practical lessons to apply in their day-to-day lives. Students learned important tips about self-confidence, study habits, stress relief, among other topics. They also learned how to foster a “growth mindset,” and how to nail a job interview.

…and, of course, students who successfully completed the program also earned their $500 cash reward!

Here is what some of our students had to say about their experience with Paid for Grades this year:

I think it’s a great program and it kept me motivated throughout school to keep good grades I learned a lot doing these modules mostly on better performance in school and in public. My favorite aspect was the school study learning how to study correctly. Yes, I would recommend Paid for Grades to my friends.

– Paid for Grades participant

I definitely had a good experience I feel that I have learned and taking in a lot of valuable information do to this program and I feel that I will use these strategies in the future to have a successful career and life.

-Paid for Grades participant

I think this is an amazing opportunity for students to learn how to cope with others and learn new things! I learned what and what not to do at a job interview. my favorite aspect in this program is the video on confidence.

-Paid for Grades participant