The St. Joe Community Foundation has approved grants totaling more than $4.4 million in 2021 to be paid to local non-profit organizations, the highest for a single year since its inception in 1999. Additionally, the Foundation created the No Ordinary JOE Scholarship program which will provide scholarships to three students from every Bay and Walton County public high school beginning in 2022.
The grants approved support local non-profit organizations working in the areas of education, environmental stewardship, healthcare and cultural arts with the goal of enriching the quality of life of the people who live, work and play in Northwest Florida.
“We are very proud to see this money go to work here in our local communities,” said April Wilkes, executive director of The St. Joe Community Foundation. “To be able to see the tangible impact these grants have on the people of Northwest Florida is extremely rewarding, especially this year when we were able to approve more grant funding than ever before.”
Of the grants approved in 2021, approximately $2.3 million is targeted to support educational opportunities. These awards include more than $300,000 each for equipment for Walton County School District’s Magnet Innovation Center’s Biomedical program and equipment for Bay High School’s Allied Healthcare program. Grants approved for healthcare initiatives in 2021 total more than $850,000 and include approximately $300,000 awarded in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and an additional $250,000 granted to Ascension Sacred Heart Bay to support its Regional Clinical Education Center.
In addition to its highest-ever grant total, the Foundation announced a new scholarship program that will benefit local high school students beginning with the graduating class of 2022. The No Ordinary JOE Scholarship program will benefit 48 local students annually, three from each Bay and Walton County public high school. The annual program will provide more than $80,000 in scholarship awards including a $10,000 scholarship to one student from each county.
“The Foundation has been fortunate in 2021 to be positioned for such a big year of giving,” said Jorge Gonzalez, President and CEO of The St. Joe Company and member of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. “The non-profit organizations that are the recipients of the Foundation’s grants truly make a difference in these communities and contribute to what makes Northwest Florida such a special place. The creation of the No Ordinary JOE Scholarship program is something that we are especially proud of, and we look forward to seeing its impact on our area’s future leaders for years to come.”
Since its inception in 1999, the Foundation has granted over $33 million in Northwest Florida. To apply for a grant, or to learn more about the Foundation visit www.joefoundation.com.