A major donation will ensure every student at Academy Prep has a laptop for virtual learning

Photo of students working on laptops in class

Academy Prep, a nonprofit college preparatory middle school in South St. Pete, has made the decision to go entirely virtual for its next semester.

The transition will be made much easier courtesy of a generous gift from two local philanthropists. Trevor Burgess and Gary Hess, who have taken an active role in finding solutions to benefit marginalized communities in Tampa Bay, made a donation to enable each Academy Prep scholar to have their own Chromebook and carrying case.

“Our family is focused on making sure that all members of our community can learn and thrive,” said Trevor and Gary in an email to I Love the ‘Burg. “By providing 150 new computers for all of the exceptional students at Academy Prep, we hope that we can make distance learning during the Pandemic as productive as possible. We all wish that we could do more and know that we can do no less.”

Chrome Books for all students at Academy Prep

“Trevor and Gary have enabled us to transition from using older equipment signed out to a select few to now providing all our students with new systems that will cultivate a more robust and consistent virtual learning format,” said Gina Tanase Burkett, Head of School of Academy Prep of St. Petersburg. “Our scholars will be given the specific tools and resources they need to be successful during these challenging times. We are so grateful to Trevor and Gary for seeing the value of investing in our Academy Prep students.”

The mission of the non-profit is to inspire and empower students qualifying for need-based scholarships to be future community leaders through a rigorous middle school program coupled with ongoing graduate support.

It’s modeled after the Nativity Miguel Network of Schools, which has helped economically disadvantaged children utilize and value their education for over 40 years.

Make a donation to support the school 

When not in a pandemic, students attend Academy Prep up to 11 hours a day, six days a week, 11 months per year on full scholarships provided by the local community. Upon graduation, students are provided graduate support services throughout high school and college.

Over the past 15 years, 98% of Academy Prep’s alumni have graduated from some of the area’s most prestigious high schools.

To make a contribution or to learn more about Academy Prep, contact Lacey Nash Miller, Development Director, at 727-322-0800 ext. 2109 or lnashmiller@academyprep.org or visit
Academy Prep’s website.

If you would like to learn more about Academy Prep, or are interested in investing in the education of a new generation, follow this link. You can stay up-to-date with the latest fundraising events and classroom happenings at Academy Prep by following them on Facebook.


Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is the Editor of ilovetheburg.com. Follow him on Twitter @harlanyoungII and Instagram @harlanyoung. Send tips and potential stories to info@ilovetheburg.com.