Hillsborough County Education Foundation CEO awarded first-ever Joe Rizzo award

The CEO of the Hillsborough County Education Foundation was recognized by a statewide organization for improving education.

Kim Jowell said the mission of the foundation is to strengthen public education by providing resources and advocacy. The foundation invests in programs that enhance student success. 

Jowell recently received the Joe Rizzo Learner & Leader Award from the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations. 

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The group comprises 65 CEOs from education foundations across the state. 

"There's nothing like being nominated by your peers, and especially in honor of somebody who was loved by so many," said Jowell, referring to the award's namesake, Joe Rizzo.

Rizzo passed away last year and the organization felt this was a great way to honor his legacy. 

"He took over an education foundation in Flagler, and he grew that he grew the mentoring programs. He grew their financial resources enormously," Jowell explained. 

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The award is given to the person who continues their educational development while serving as a leader in their organization and actively participating in the foundation.   

"I've been with the education foundation for almost six years, and the consortium has been really good to me. And so I've tried to give back. And I think that was they saw that I make myself available. I give back to them. I participate," Jowell added. 

Her participation is driven by a passion to improve the lives of students and teachers everywhere.