The Shine’s on LiFT Academy

Posted On 03/11/2019 by St. Pete Chamber

All children deserve to be educated in an environment where they can feel accepted and valued. Sadly, there are children who do not have that opportunity because they learn differently – kids who feel a difference can lack a close support system of friends – students who fear school because they are treated differently.

The nonprofit school, Learning Independence For Tomorrow (LiFT) offers an environment free from bullying, labels and seclusion. The mission of LiFT is to provide a safe, inclusive environment with challenging academics for traditional students and those with neurodiversities including autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, ADHD, and various other intellectual and learning delays. Founded six years ago by three moms with neurodiverse children, LiFT has grown from 17 initial students and 3 teachers to more than 130 students and 40 teachers and staff. LiFT accepts the McKay, Gardiner, FTC, and HOPE Student Scholarships.

They place high expectations on each student, so they may reach their fullest potential, academically, spiritually, creatively, emotionally, physically and socially, all to foster independence. LiFT Academy serves students from kindergarten through 12th grade and they are proud that 90% of these students receive a high school diploma. LiFT Academy offers a variety of after school clubs and opportunities for students to be exposed to and experience a wide range of activities and interests such as art, music, basketball coding, drama, and running club.

LiFT also boasts a comprehensive post-secondary transition program, LiFT U, with a full Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior class offering students a unique and highly individualized opportunity to further their education while developing skills necessary to meet daily life challenges independently and full of confidence. Their experience is enhanced through internships with community partners that often leads to job placement with a community partner. Students further their skills through working profitable micro-businesses.  LiFT U Cleaning Crew provides cleaning services to local businesses and LiFT Your Hearts sells handcrafted merchandise throughout the community and online.

“Our community needs our school and our school needs your support,” explained Sandi Geller. LiFT is proud to announce their 6th Annual LiFT Your Spirits Auction & Mixer to be held on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. at The Historic Coliseum in downtown St. Petersburg. Described by many as one of the most fun events on the “fundraising circuit,” this year’s LiFT Your Spirits at Derby de Mayo has added a fresh spin to the horseracing themed gala and includes a bonus After Party from 10:00 PM ‘til midnight to ring in Cinco de Mayo! This fantastic evening will include the LIVE viewing of the 145th Kentucky Derby at post time, open bars, live music, a grand gourmet buffet, an exclusive silent auction and an exciting live auction, all benefiting the students of LiFT Academy and LiFT University Transition Program.

“We would love for you to tour our school to witness the incredible things happening around our campus and meet some of our amazing students.” Please contact Sandi Geller ­­­­­­­­at 727.560.5806 or sgeller@liftacademy.org if you would like to schedule a visit to LiFT.  For sponsorship information and to purchase tickets to our exciting event, please click here. You may also visit our website at www.liftacademy.org .