Educate & Empower Now Foundation's Mission
Along with Tutoring and Educational Support, EENF is responsible for creating the D.A.S.H. Shining Star Award. The Distinguished Achievement Student Honor Shining Star Award was created to acknowledge and honor outstanding and noteworthy graduating seniors who have remarkable dispositions that center around the principles of integrity, leadership, and ambition. There are many awards that are handed out for the great achievements of high test scores and perfect GPAs, but this award is to give merit and scholarship to the students who have gone above and beyond in and outside the classroom to make long lasting, positive impacts in their school, with peers, and within the community. The recipients shall be diverse in abilities and skills, but through resiliency and grace, these students have been a light in other’s lives and proven to be admirable in their endeavors to inspire and lead.
Ashley (President): "When I was in eighth grade, I was timid and going through some quirky years. I wasn't valedictorian and didn't excel in one single field, so when award night came around, I wasn't expecting any recognition for my efforts. Although, I wasn't the smartest student, I was accountable and friendly. I always lended a helping hand wherever it was needed. The award night started and names were listed off for great achievements in math, social studies, English, and so forth, but then a community member came to the front to introduce a new award, the Dean Frigo Shining Star Award. She introduced herself as Nancy Frigo and spoke of her thoughtful son, Dean Frigo, who was once a senior in high school and an Allstar football player. He tragically past away a year before in a car accident, but as she shared his story, she said how Dean was someone who made others feel like somebodies, who made others feel valued. She didn't talk about his GPA or tests scores, she spoke of his heart, his character, and his love for others, and that's why she created a scholarship fund in his name to honor outstanding individuals who share those same qualities with her son. After she spoke and brought the audience to tears, I looked down reflecting on my own life. Nancy called my name and I was instantly shocked because she had explained how the teachers and administration nominated one girl and one boy per graduating class. This was the first time I had felt seen and valued, not for how well I could test, but for who I was as a person. That award inspired my love for learning and set me on a path to empower and uplift others. So I co-founded EENF and the D.A.S.H. scholarship fund to inspire others to believe in themselves and to recognize noble character."
Jennifer (Exec Director):” Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I was suppose to be a teacher. I am a natural born educator and find such fulfillment in knowing that I am impacting other’s lives, one student at a time. I have memories of playing school and having a large chalkboard on the wall in the basement as well as a few school desks. All of my free time was spent making up assignments and modeling after my former teachers. I still remember my first grade teacher, Mrs. Brown who was one of my first inspirations. Over the years, many other teachers have impacted my life and I knew one day I would do the same. After having children, I knew I needed to pursue my passion. I spent years teaching kindergarten and first grade in Indiana before moving to Florida in 2013. As I continue my teaching career in Florida, I am blessed to work with so many amazing and inspirational leaders who not only impact the lives of students, but also teachers. I believe in equality and want to support students regardless of their age, gender, race, religious belief, socioeconomic status, or academic ability, which is why this foundation is very important to me and my daughter. The impact that Dean and Nancy Frigo have made in the life of my daughter, Ashley, has inspired me to pay it forward. This foundation is to make the difference in the lives of students because of the difference each student has made in my life. Thank you to each student I have had the honor to teach. This foundation is for YOU – keep shining and be the star because you never know who you are inspiring. Remember, to live your life and love with all your heart”