Step Up For Students

Step Up For Students


Step Up For Students provides scholarships for Florida children! Many of the families who come to Brainchild Institute have qualified for the Gardiner Unique Abilities Scholarship. The Gardiner Scholarship is different than other state scholarships in that it allows parents to personalize the education of their children with unique abilities by directing money toward a combination of programs and approved providers. These include schools, therapists, specialists, curriculum, technology – even a college savings account.

The Gardiner Scholarship amount varies according to grade and county of residence. The average amount for most students in the 2019- 2020 school year is up to $10,000 for services.

This scholarship is for Florida students 3 years old through 12th grade or age 22, whichever comes first, with one of the following disabilities: Autism spectrum disorder, Muscular dystrophy, Cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Phelan McDermid syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Spina bifida, Williams syndrome, Intellectual disability (severe cognitive impairment), rare diseases as defined by the National Organization for Rare Disorders, anaphylaxis, deaf, visually impaired, dual sensory impaired, traumatic brain injured, hospital or homebound as defined by the rules of the State Board of Education and evidenced by reports from local school districts, or three, four or five year-olds who are deemed high-risk due to developmental delays.

  • Students need an IEP written in accordance with the rules of the State Board of Education or with the rules of another state OR the diagnosis of a Florida physician or psychologist or a physician who holds an active license issued by another state or territory of the United States, the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
  • Students must be at least 3 or 4 on or before Sept 1. Students entering kindergarten must be 5 on or before Sept 1. Students entering first grade must be 6 on or before Sept 1.
  • Students can participate in the Gardiner Scholarship program as part of home education. However, they cannot be enrolled in a public school or receive any other state-sponsored scholarship (McKay Scholarship or the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship).

For more information you can call 1-877-735-7837 or email info@stepupforstudents.org

Step Up For Students empowers parents to pursue and engage in the most appropriate learning options for their children, with an emphasis on families who lack the financial resources to access these options. By pursuing this mission, we help public education fulfill the promise of equal opportunity.

Step Up For Students is a state-approved nonprofit scholarship funding organization that helps administer two scholarships for Florida schoolchildren: the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program (FTC) for lower-income families and the Gardiner Scholarship for children with certain special needs.

For more information you can call 1-877-735-7837 or email gardiner@stepupforstudents.org