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Good grades earn Pinellas County high schoolers an extra $500

Improved performance in the classroom allowed for students to have full pockets heading into the summer.
Credit: Paid for Grades

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Students from three different Pinellas County high schools are starting off their summer vacation with a little extra money in their pockets.

If you're wondering what exactly the students did to receive the extra bucks — they got good grades! A group of freshmen earned $500 for their improved performance in the classroom.

Local nonprofit Paid for Grades created the program to make sure the good grades of freshmen from Hollins, Lakewood and Boca Ciega high schools didn't go unnoticed. A ceremony Wednesday night celebrated their accomplishments while students picked up their checks.

Students are paired up with a mentor who tutors them throughout the year through the nonprofit. In the end, they are awarded $500 if they pass certain benchmarks.

This year, 123 students made it to the end of the program, which is the largest class in the program's 10-year history.

"For many of the students, it’s more than earning cash at the end, it’s the overall confidence in their hard work.," nonprofit leaders explained in a news release.

The students aren't the only ones receiving money — each mentor and participating school gets a check, as well. This year's total donation came out to $123,000.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our 2022 graduates,” Chargebacks911 Co-founder Monica Eaton-Cardone said in a statement. The company started the Paid for Grades nonprofit. “These incredible, hardworking students had to overcome social disruptions, economic hardships and a global pandemic, and they still managed to complete the PFG curriculum. I know these young men and women will continue to do great things both in and out of the classroom.”

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