The St. Joe Community Foundation approves $135,490 grant for FSU PC’s ASCENT Program.

Becky Kelly

The St. Joe Community Foundation has approved a $135,490 grant for Florida State University Panama City’s Advancing Science and Career Education in New Technologies (ASCENT) Program. 

At 1 p.m. Tuesday, October 11, FSU PC will hold a check presentation at the Bay District Schools Board Meeting (1311 Balboa Ave, Panama City, FL) with members of St. Joe Community Foundation and ASCENT Program, including Dr. Larry Dennis, Program Director and Dr. Suzanne Remedies, Program Manager. 

Left to right: Pamm Chapman, Dean Hanna, Shonda Bush, Loral Monn, April Wilkes, Katie May, Dr. Irvin Clark,
Dr. Suzanne Remedies, Superintendent Bill Husfelt

“We are excited about this generous gift from St. Joe in support of the ASCENT Program,” said Randy Hanna, Dean of Florida State University Panama City. The Foundation is a great community partner with a demonstrated commitment to education.” 

The ASCENT program’s mission is to increase the IT computing skills and knowledge within the Florida Panhandle.  This includes expanding educational opportunities in computing and IT with the primary goal of strengthening collaborations to help build computing proficiency, opportunities, and careers across the region.

Dr. Larry Dennis, ASCENT Program Director noted, "This grant from St. Joe Community Foundation directly supports local teachers and FSU PC in creating and funding Integrated Technology Clubs (ITC). As a result, hundreds of local middle and high school students will enjoy hands on experience with computing technology, build computer skills, and learn about exciting career and educational opportunities."

Created in 1999, the St. Joe Community Foundation provides grants to 501(C)(3) entities for the areas of education, environmental stewardship, building healthier communities, and programs that honor the cultural arts.

“It’s our mission to help enrich the quality of life for everyone in Northwest Florida,” says St. Joe Community Foundation Executive Director April Wilkes. “By supporting programs that improve educational opportunities in our community, like FSU PC’s ASCENT Program, we’re equipping today’s students with the skills they will need to find great jobs and become the local business leaders of tomorrow.”

The grant from the St. Joe Community Foundation will support the ASCENT program’s efforts to increase interest in technology, information security, and cybersecurity among middle and high school students that will include both student and teacher training and certifications.

“Career and Technical Education (CTE) plays a critical role in ensuring our students are prepared for the real-world tasks that face them after graduation,” says Bay District School Superintendent Bill Husfelt. “CTE classes and clubs provide students with valuable hands-on experiences and the opportunity to explore a plethora of different career paths while they are still in middle and high school. We know this invaluable experience pays rich dividends for them later in life and we are incredibly grateful to everyone involved in this project,”. 

For more information about ASCENT and how to be involved, visit 

Local non-profits can apply for grants through the St. Joe Community Foundation. Learn more at 

In addition to Dr. Larry Dennis and Dr. Suzanne Remedies, the FSU PC ASCENT Program’s team includes Beverly Nelson, Director of Homeschool and Informal Programs; Heidi Gentry-Kolen, Curriculum Development Adjunct; Grant Macdonnell, Director of Information Technology; Denise Newsome, K12 Director of Youth Initiatives; and Ebe Randeree, Project Manager.

Need help? Contact ASCENT Program Manager Dr. Suzanne Remedies at at 850-770-2501.