Founded in 2019, the LEAP 4 College Centers are focused on helping prepare Tampa Bay high school students for life after graduation.
At the new high school-based centers, students can get assistance with career planning and navigating their options for education and training after high school – including selecting a school, applying for financial aid or scholarships and completing applications and essays.
The centers are modeled after a successful college and career resource center called “The Cube,” which was started by a team of volunteers at Robinson High School in Tampa six years ago. Thanks to the collaboration of dedicated Cube volunteers and the school’s college and career counselor, Robinson is now regularly recognized as one of the top schools in the district for completion of college applications and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The LEAP 4 College Centers are located in two Tampa Bay high schools – Largo High School in Pinellas county (now open) and Armwood High School in Hillsborough county (opening spring 2019).
The LEAP 4 College Center pilot program is financially supported by a grant from the Florida College System Foundation in support of the Rise To 55 Initiative, which – like LEAP Tampa Bay – aims to grow the number of working age adults holding a college degree or workforce credential.
Volunteers play a pivotal role at the LEAP 4 College Centers, working with the school guidance staff to advise students across all grade levels.
Training is provided to volunteers on topics like the various options for education after high school, the financial aid process and the “nuts and bolts” of applying to college.
While many volunteers are parents of students at the schools, community volunteers are also welcome. A background check is required, and volunteers are asked to make an ongoing commitment to work at the center approximately once per week during the school year. If you are interested in volunteering with a LEAP 4 College Center, please complete our volunteer interest form.