How Educate Tomorrow Began in 2003
In 2003 the Emmons sisters, transplants to the Miami area with a commitment to social justice, stumbled upon a piece of barely known Florida legislation. Florida Statute 1009.25 set forth that any Floridian who grew up in foster care, had spent time without a home or was adopted out of the foster care system, had the opportunity to attend any state college, university or vocational program tuition free. Yet at this point in time, nationally branded organizations founded on disadvantaged youth advocacy were unaware of this opportunity and not actively promoting it. Community colleges did not know how to process a state tuition waiver of this nature and of the thousands of kids who enter the Florida dependency system each year, just 8 were utilizing this lifesaving advantage, despite its having been law for almost a decade.
In an effort to end the cycle of delinquency, poverty, and dependence plaguing those who grow up in foster care, the sisters quickly founded Educate Tomorrow with an ethos of Independence Through Education. Education is proven to be a leading indicator of adult success and knowing this the sisters decided that every young person who has experienced abandonment, homelessness or abuse should have a professional mentor to help them realize their potential, and that this support should be a constant. There are a multitude of noble impactful charities which help vulnerable youth in incredible ways, but almost all these services conclude for young people after their 18th birthday or high school graduation, leaving them with the rug figuratively pulled out from under them. Educate Tomorrow is unique in our belief that we are a family to all our students who have never had the benefits of a nurturing family environment. You never age out of a family and Educate Tomorrow believes in creating a Continuum of Care staying engaged with our youth through graduation, college, graduate school, employment and beyond. As our students age, accrue degrees, become young professionals and even parents themselves, our programming continues to evolves in breadth and depth with a focus on meeting our population where they are, working with community partners to provide individually tailored wraparound services for each Educate Tomorrow student.