With the 2020-2021 school year wrapping up, we’re ecstatic to announce it’s been another successful year for Paid for Grades!

Overall, eighty-eight freshman students from Boca Ciega, Lakewood, and Hollins High Schools managed to successfully complete the Paid for Grades program this semester. This means that, in addition to the skills and confidence they gained as part of the program, each of these students walked away with a $500 cash prize in recognition of their hard work!

The Spring 2021 ceremonies took on a special significance. With last year’s program, Covid-19 forced us to go with a fully-virtual event for the awards ceremony. We were super-excited to be back for in-person awards presentations this year!

Of course, social distancing was still a concern. In response, we held three separate ceremonies for students at each participating school to commemorate the occasion. Students gathered with parents, teachers, administrators, and program mentors to celebrate their achievements over the last five months while maintaining Covid-safe protocols.

We saw some remarkable success stories with Paid for Grades this year. Looking at our Spring 2021 participants as a whole, our students started the year with an average reading proficiency score of 3.39. By the end of the program, it had nearly doubled to 6.73. Meanwhile, the average student’s GPA jumped from 2.3 to 2.7.

One of the greatest benefits of the Paid for Grades program is that it reinforces the idea in students that hard work really does pays off. In this case…literally!

The financial prize functions as an initial incentive that gets kids excited about the program. But, as we see students grow in their self-confidence during the semester, it’s clear that many of them come to view their success is its own reward.

As one dedicated student noted, “During this program, I learned to have a growth mindset and that there are several ways to be successful. I would recommend it to all my friends.” Another student added, “If you believe in yourself and work hard enough, you can get rewards in life.”

As we close the chapter on another school year, we truly hope that the lessons these kids learned through the PFG program will help prepare them for the next chapters in their lives. We’re confident that they will carry these new-found skills with them into future academic and career success.

Congrats, everyone: you earned it!