Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
June 8, 2023

Grow Supports Hillsborough County’s 2023 Academy of Finance Graduates

As an organization passionate about preparing the next generation with the financial skills and tools they need for a successful future, we were thrilled to support Hillsborough County’s 2023 Academy of Finance and Entrepreneurship graduates and celebrate them at the annual recognition breakfast.

About the Academy of Finance and Entrepreneurship

Students can join the Academy of Finance and Entrepreneurship (AOFE) starting freshman year, and each school year, they take a different course to cover several areas of business and finance. The curriculum includes topics like banking, credit, financial planning, global finance, securities, insurance, accounting and economics, so completing this additional coursework is no small feat. This year, 25 students from three Hillsborough County Public high schools — Jefferson High School, Armwood High School and Brandon High School — were celebrated for completing the program. Multiple students were awarded scholarships by the William Gregory Foundation, including Boglarka Csandi, a senior from Brandon High School who was awarded a $20,000 scholarship. After four years of diligence and hard work, Csanadi expressed her sincere thanks to the Gregory Foundation, saying, “I’m very, very happy and grateful for this opportunity.”

Addison Davis, Hillsborough County Superintendent, spoke of the impact that financial education brings for these students. “It’s so important to train our students to be able to transition to the real world because these are skills they’ll always need as they move forward to be able to seek any number of careers under the financial pathway.”

Our Own AOFE Graduates

We can’t overstate the importance of this program, and others like it, when it comes to impacting young people and their future paths. Grow is lucky to employ graduates of the program, including Paola Woodruff, AVP of Financial Operations, and Ja’Mia Canadiate, Relationship Specialist III. Canadiate said, “There are so many career paths you can go down, and AOFE gives you that opportunity to explore which career in banking will best fit your future goals. Personally, being in the program helped me find ‘what I wanted to be when I grew up,’ through many internship and learning opportunities in high school.”

Woodruff couldn’t help but reflect on her own journey as she attended the event in support of this year’s graduates. “This means a lot to me, as I once was in their shoes as a student and wouldn’t be where I am today without the AOFE board members of my time. It was through the AOFE board that I came to know and love Grow.” After embarking on her own financial services career, she continued to support the AOFE program, serving at various times as Chair, Vice Chair and board member. Woodruff shared, “Attending the breakfast is exciting and very emotional, as I now sit alongside individuals that paved the path for me. It’s an honor to join hands with them in doing the same for others. Seeing these bright students go out into the world gives me hope. It also reminds me of where I started and rekindles my desire to propel forward.”

We wish all the graduates of the Academy of Finance and Entrepreneurship the very best in all their future endeavors! We hope you’ll consider a career at Grow when you’re ready to take your next step into the workforce.

To learn more about the program, visit

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