IMMOKALEE (Oct. 4, 2022) – Immokalee-based RCMA is one of 64 quarterfinalists in the 2022 competition for the $1 million Yass Prize for Sustainable, Transformational, Outstanding and Permissionless Education (STOP). The announcement was made Oct. 3 at the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Detroit.
As a quarterfinalist, RCMA has already earned a $100,000 donation and is participating in a virtual accelerator to engage with experts, investors and mentors.
“The timing of this announcement could not have been better,” said RCMA Executive Director Isabel Garcia. “As we work diligently to help our children, families, staff and communities affected by Hurricane Ian, this recognition of our impact on education is a bright spot. The monetary award will help us with expansion of our charter schools. We are honored to have been selected as a quarterfinalist and look forward to all of the benefits of participating in the process.”
Florida’s largest nonprofit provider of quality early childhood and a nationally recognized charter school operator, RCMA annually serves 5,500 children and their families in 21 primarily rural Florida counties through 65 child development centers and two K-8 charter schools.
According to the Yass Prize press release, the quarterfinalists hail from 33 states and the District of Columbia as well as groups serving the entire nation. They include schools with one location and some with multiple, and represent 8 different kinds of education providers.
The STOP Awards initiative will distribute more than $10 million to honor education innovators, providers, and entrepreneurs during the course of the competition.
Janine and Jeff Yass are the visionaries behind the initiative initially created to find and advance the work of education providers that continued to serve children despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic. The effort is powered by the Center for Education Reform (CER) in Washington, DC, with Forbes as a media partner.
The 32 applicants selected as semifinalists on Oct. 13 will have the ability to receive a $200,000 STOP Award. Six finalists will each receive a $250,000 STOP Award, with the $1 million prize winner announced in December.