WELCOME to our new Chair of the Adult Learners Workgroup!

UpliftED would like to welcome Zoé Colón as the new Chair of the Adult Learners Workgroup! Read her bio below. In 2019, the Adult Learners workgroup will emphasize the importance of providing resources for adult learners in Central Florida to increase education access and improve economic mobility. To join the Adult Learners Workgroup or learn more, please email annie.jones@hfuw.org.

zoe pic (4).jpg

“Zoé Colón is the Project Coordinator for the Parramore Education and Innovation District initiative at the Center for Higher Education Innovation at the University of Central Florida.  She manages a grant from the Helios Education Foundation that aims to strengthen the educational ecosystem in Parramore to ensure that every individual excels from cradle to career.  She comes to UCF with nearly twenty years’ experience managing community based programs in the areas of social services, workforce development, education, children’s enrichment programs, and youth development, serving predominantly low income communities of color in New York and Florida.  

Zoé is the former Director of Florida and Southeast Operations for the Hispanic Federation where she provided technical assistance to nonprofit service organizations and managed service and educational programs targeting the Latino and low incomes population in Central Florida.  She served as the Executive Director of the Community Resource Center, one of the leading immigrant services and advocacy organizations in Westchester County, NY for six years. The organization’s budget and services nearly tripled under her leadership, securing grants from the Ford Foundation and county, state, and federal grants. She is the former Director of Children’s Programs at the George Washington Carver Center, in Port Chester, NY, where she managed regulated and high quality educational and enrichment out-of-school programs for children and their families. 

Zoé has a Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College of Columbia University where she studied Psychology and Urban Studies with a concentration in Political Science.  She attained a Master of Public Administration specializing in nonprofit management and public policy from New York University’s Robert Wagner School of Public Service. She taught as an adjunct professor at the City University of New York for eight years. “

Central Florida College Access Network (CFCAN) rebrands as UpliftED

The Central Florida College Access Network, a public-private collaboration committed to raising the attainment rate of college degrees and high-quality credentials in the Central Florida region, has rebranded as UpliftED.


The new name affirms the organization’s core belief in the power of education to elevate the Central Florida workforce, and expands the definition of education beyond the college setting. The brand’s new logo, color palette and graphic style will roll out across all communication platforms over the next few weeks, including their new website, UpliftED.org.


Amidst the change, UpliftED mains focused on the priorities and goals that they adopted at their founding in 2013. The partnership has led the effort to address barriers to college and career access, persistence, and attainment in Central Florida. They are working toward the Lumina Foundation Goal 2025, which is committed to increasing the number of adults in the local community with a high quality credential or degree to 60% by 2025.

UpliftED is a community-based college access alliance of community and education leaders representing K-12, higher education, the nonprofit sector, government, business, and philanthropy.

Central Florida College Access Network Relaunch Recap

Thank you to all who attended our Central Florida College Access Network relaunch celebration! We had a great turnout with attendees from our local education institutions, foundations, and corporate partners! Read below for a recap from the September 10th meeting.

BLOG 1.jpg

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”, said Bob McFalls, President & CEO of Florida Philanthropic Network. The CFCAN relaunch showed just how much we can do if we work together with a shared regional goal. Leaders from across Central Florida gathered on September 10th to hear an update on CFCAN’s past year, and a look forward to what’s coming. Chair, Daisy C Franklin, MSW, who is the Community Investment Manager at the Central Florida Foundation, kicked the event off by telling CFCAN’s origin story. Read her welcome letter here.

CFCAN was proud to thank its investors who contributed to the College Access and Success Initiative match grant. With help from the Central Florida Foundation, CFCAN raised $56,000. This was matched at $50,000 from Florida Philanthropic Network in partnership with Helios Education Foundation and The Kresge Foundation, coming to a total of $106,000. We extend great thanks to our investors: Wells Fargo, Florida Blue, SunTrust Foundation, Bank of America, University of Phoenix, and The Desai Family Foundation Fund at Central Florida Foundation.

BLOG 2.jpg
BLOG 3.jpg

Leaders from each of CFCAN’s Areas of Impact presented their workgroups and recruited new members. Brian Lucas of University of Phoenix explained the importance of targeting Adult Learners to reach our attainment goals. Robin Oliver of Orange Technical College showed us how building off of each other’s strengths in the Career Connections workgroup can push our region towards achieving ready and willing talent supply. Bethany Bower explained the importance of focusing on Scholarships & Financial Aid to ensure students are taken care of when it comes to both access and persistence.

Those in attendance committed themselves and/or the institutions they represent to the mission, vision and future of CFCAN. You have the same opportunity by reviewing and signing the CFCAN Membership MOU.

To learn more, contact us to subscribe to our newsletter, tweet us @CentralFL_Can, or send us an email at goingtocollege@hfuw.org.


Your exclusive sneak peak into the September 10th CFCAN Relaunch Celebration

Come celebrate our 5th anniversary of the Central Florida College Access Network at the relaunch meeting on September 10th from 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm at Heart of Florida United Way! RSVP below.

Copy of Interested in attending Next week's CFCAN meeting on July 9th from 3-5pm_.png

Come celebrate and thank our investors (to be announced!) who contributed to the CASI challenge grant this year. CFCAN was challenged by the Florida Philanthropic Network in partnership with Helios Education Foundation and the Kresge Foundation to leverage a matched grant with the mission of enhancing, strengthening, and sustaining the Central Florida College Access Network. Thank our investors and find out more details on September 10th! Additionally, members will be encouraged to take action by joining a workgroup in one of our Areas of Impact: Adult Learners, Career Connections or Scholarships & Financial Aid.  At the meeting each workgroup chair will present their area of impact and what CFCAN intends to accomplish this year. Attendees will be asked to sign a membership memorandum of understanding (MOU) where they will commit to take action and join a workgroup.

mark brewer.jpg


Questions or concerns?

Email us at goingtocollege@hfuw.org

or tweet us @CentralFL_Can

Hear from our special guest speaker Mark Brewer, President/CEO of the Central Florida Foundation and Chair of the CFCAN Leadership Roundtable. Mark Brewer was selected as President and CEO, and joined the Central Florida Foundation board of directors in 2000. Mark has earned respect for his ability to build community partnerships that meet issues head-on and produce measurable results. He has worked with hundreds of individuals, families, and corporations to establish philanthropy plans, endowments, funding strategies, and planned gifts. More than 100 regional nonprofit boards have enlisted Mark’s assistance through the Foundation with strategic and scenario planning initiatives that included the use of endowed investments to sustain their organizations. He is a well-known national speaker on the independent sector, philanthropy’s role in America, venture philanthropy strategies, and the role of the independent sector in public policy. In his leadership role at the Central Florida Foundation, Mark frequently advises private and corporate foundation grant-makers across the region.