The purpose of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce’s Education Foundation is to bring together the strengths and resources of the community to support the needs of public education in Miami Beach. To stimulate greater governmental and public awareness and appreciation of the importance of public education in Miami Beach; to encourage greater and more efficient use of governmental and private resources for the development and support of public education in Miami Beach; to encourage and support public education in Miami Beach; to create and support educational opportunities for residents of Miami Beach. The Miami Beach Chamber Education Foundation is a 501C3.
Current components provided by the Miami Beach Chamber’s Education Foundation include a variety of donations for scholarship funds supported by events hosted throughout the year as well as programming to help educate the future leaders of the community. Proceeds from community business leaders who support the Chamber’s Annual Miami Beach Golf Classic and the Annual Miami Beach Chamber Dinner Gala & Silent Auction help fund programming costs for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programs available at all the public schools in the City of Miami Beach, a unique school system in itself as there is a feeder pattern program with the five public schools on Miami Beach feeding into one public high school. The IB Program helps develop the intellectual, personal, emotional, and social skills of students from age 3 to 19 to live, learn, and work in a rapidly globalizing world. In addition to this program, the Education Foundation is able to provide scholarships at the end of each school year to graduating seniors at Miami Beach Senior High School. There is an application process and a committee of community leaders who choose the top winners. These winners are announced at an annual ceremony and scholarships are provided directly to the college of choice for the winning students.
Another program developed to benefit the Miami Beach Education Foundation is a Real Money Business Camp which is hosted in partnership with City National Bank. The Real Money Business Camp features 9 category specific business stations to help graduating seniors learn about the real world and how to make, spend, and save money. From opening a check book to paying for their education, buying their first car and home, finding the right insurance policy, choosing an entertainment plan, and ultimately saving to make sure they balance their family budget. An initiative of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, the Real Money Business Camp was created to support the Chamber’s Education Foundation and help students prosper as they move on to college. The last two events have been held with 150 students from Miami Beach Senior High School and neighboring high schools. City National Bank executives visit the classrooms for the five days prior to the event in order to prepare the students for the final day at the Real Money Business Camp. Ten station sponsors help facilitate the real money simulation and provid donations for an essay contest, in which three students will be chosen to receive scholarship funds. The goal of this program is to host the simulation twice a year and grow the event to be able to host a larger group of students each time.
The Miami Beach Chamber Education Foundation also spearheaded The School Healthcare Initiative to provide on-site healthcare in three Miami Beach feeder pattern schools. The three schools – Ruth K. Broad K-8 Center, North Beach Elementary and Treasure Island Elementary – previously did not have access to medical attention, but thanks to the efforts of the foundation and the unprecedented collaboration with five municipalities and more than a dozen organizations, they now do. With the funds raised, the initiative was able to fully implement the Health Connect in Our Schools model, currently utilized throughout Miami-Dade County Public Schools by Children’s Trust, in the feeder pattern schools. Each school now has a nurse, medical assistant and social worker on staff.
Since the 2001 establishment of the foundation, the Miami Beach Chamber has hosted the Elayne Weisburd Excellence in Education Luncheon each year to honor the Miami Beach “Teacher of the Year” with the partnership and support of Florida Power & Light and a classroom donation provided by Office Depot.
Over $100,000 in programming and scholarship support has been provided in total and it is the mission of the Miami Beach Chamber to continue the legacy and grow community support of our future leaders for years to come.
For more information on how to get involved with the Business Camp, please contact the Chamber at (305)674-1300.
For more information on the Education Foundation please contact Wendy Unger at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact her at (305)695-6829.