Campus & Community

The Foundation for PBSC to host Achieve Palm Beach County

Achieve Palm Beach County team members meet with guidance staff at the School District of Palm Beach County’s back-to-school launch event on August 8, 2022.

The Foundation for Palm Beach State College was named the host organization for Achieve Palm Beach County, a network that supports postsecondary access and success for Palm Beach County high school graduates. After considering many outstanding candidates, The Foundation for PBSC was chosen because of the College’s dedication to equity, commitment to collective impact and passion for preparing students for career success.

“Palm Beach State has been educating students in this county for nearly 90 years. Partnering with Achieve Palm Beach County only enhances our mission and commitment to the community,” said Ava L. Parker, J.D., president of Palm Beach State College. Parker has been instrumental in expanding PBSC’s philanthropic endeavors.

Achieve PBC launched in 2016 to help students earn a post-high school credential within six years of receiving their diploma. The collaborative includes more than 50 organizations that ensure equitable access to college, professional certifications and vocational programs, ultimately leading to a meaningful career and a sustainable income for Palm Beach County residents. PBSC has been an active member of the initiative since inception, leading the development of pilot programs like the Aspiring Male Panthers, a mentorship strategy that promotes college retention and graduation.

“We are excited to work with the community, schools and local businesses to enhance the programs that are already helping students to prepare for a vibrant future,” said Kimberly Lea, executive director of Achieve PBC. Lea has more than 17 years of higher education and leadership experience, most notably as President Emeritus at Keiser University. She will join PBSC as part of the transition. “We are a proud member of the Florida College Access Network (FCAN), which is doing collective impact work throughout the state to ensure each community has a plan to elevate and prepare students. There have been some wonderful initiatives already created, and we look forward to continuing and expanding the positive outcomes,” she added.

Previously housed at the United Way of Palm Beach County, Achieve PBC is now located at PBSC’s Historic Building in downtown West Palm Beach with The Foundation for PBSC, which recently relocated there from the College’s Lake Worth campus. Achieve PBC will retain its membership structure, which includes nonprofits, corporations, funders and executive champions dedicated to thinking outside the box and creating new opportunities for local youth to achieve their goals.

“Palm Beach State College has been a longtime partner of United Way and its work around education. Under President Ava Parker and her team’s leadership, Achieve PBC will continue to benefit students in our community and their postsecondary education journeys,” said Laurie George, Ph.D., president and CEO of the United Way of Palm Beach County.

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