Encourage, Mentor and Take Time to Care
Florida Blue is committed to helping people and communities achieve better health – this mission leads my work and encouraged me to find outlets to use my passion for education to encourage Floridians to achieve a better life. My parents, educators and extended family all mentored. They taught me as a young girl that education is something no one can ever take away from you. It is one of the pathways to achieve a better life.
Last year, I was appointed to serve on the Board of the Florida Education Foundation, a direct support organization to the Florida Department of Education and a nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to lead in education enhancements statewide. My first meeting was during the Teacher of the Year event in July, and that is where I learned the theme of the week was “encourage.” Velma Monteiro-Tribble, Florida Blue Foundation Director, Grants and Programs.
As I reflect on the teachers and other educators who have encouraged me throughout my life, I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to pay it forward to educational professionals by serving on the Florida Education Foundation Board.
I am encouraged by the steps Florida education has taken: The Florida graduation rate is at an all-time high, having increased by more than 22 percent in 10 years; we are No. 1 in the nation for the number of students taking advanced placement exams; and we are the only state in the country to improve significantly in grade 4 math and grade 8 reading and math from 2015 to 2017, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
With continued encouragement from community leaders and organizations like Florida Blue, the Florida Blue Foundation and initiatives like Florida’s Teacher of the Year program, I am confident 100 percent of Florida students can achieve a high school diploma and graduate ready for post-secondary education and a career. No student deserves to be left behind.
I am committed to encouraging Florida educators to help students reach their highest achievement – this mission leads my work to make Florida the best place to live, work, learn, play and grow.
This is the fifth in a series of blogs sharing Florida Blue’s appreciation for our state’s teachers, who not only educate but also provide guidance and inspiration to our next generation. Florida Blue is a proud supporter of Florida’s Teacher of the Year program, which honors and recognizes excellence in teaching, supports continued learning for all educators and highlights the importance and impact of the profession.
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Velma Monteiro-Tribble is currently the Director of Grants and Programs at the Florida Blue Foundation. In her executive position, she is responsible for carrying out the vision, mission, strategic direction, management and supervision of the philanthropic giving decisions and investments across the state of Florida for the Foundation and Florida Blue. Prior to this position, she was the Chief Operating Officer and Assistant Treasurer at Alcoa Foundation in Pittsburgh, PA and New York, NY directing all facets of the business with a $500 million dollar global budget. Velma also served as an executive with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation working primarily on initiatives and partnerships in Latin America and South Africa. Velma has received numerous awards for her work, among them, the Urban Bankers Leadership Award and the National Woman of Achievement Award from the National Business and Professional Women Association. A respected author she is currently under contract to complete her book on women aspiring to take on leadership roles in the Corporate Suites. Currently Velma serves on several nonprofit boards, including Florida State College System Foundation, Jacksonville Urban League, Jacksonville Women’s Giving Alliance, and the Jacksonville Ritz Chamber Players. She is past chair of the Advisory Board for the Morehouse College International Leadership Center and has served on the boards of Seton Hall University, Highmark Foundation, Tampa Bay Community Foundation, and WQED Public Broadcasting, and other local, national, and international boards. Velma holds a B.S. degree from Stillman College, and a nonprofit management certificate from Case Western Reserve.