Established to identify and motivate historically disadvantaged minority elementary and secondary students and ultimately increase the pool of these students motivated and qualified to enter college. Ten Centers throughout Florida have provided the impetus for the induction of more than 19,000 high achieving students into the National Achievers Society. More than 16,000 students have participated in the Annual Brain Bowl Competitions.  

Established in 1985, the Centers of Excellence (COE's or Centers) are community-based initiatives whose mission is to identify and motivate disadvantaged minority elementary and secondary students. The Centers' mission includes: a) assuming a more proactive stance in the education of youth; b) employing the development of a group achievement model for disadvantaged elementary and secondary students; and, c) increasing the pool of students who are prepared, motivated and qualified to enter higher education.     Ten Centers operate throughout the State of Florida, in Dade City, Ft. Lauderdale, Gainesville, Lake City, Miami, Orlando,
Palm Beach, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, and Tampa (<< click on a location for Center contact information).

Each subscribes to individual and group motivation, academic skill development, cultural enrichment, career awareness and increased exposure to higher education.
The FEF has established the following four COE program requirements:

- developed in communities to supplement student learning experiences through tutoring and standardized test preparation.

NATIONAL ACHIEVERS SOCIETY (click here for more information) (NAS) - designed to identify and acknowledge high achieving disadvantaged students.

THE BRAIN BOWL (click here for more information) designed to improve academic skills outside traditional classrooms through local and statewide competitions in mathematics, history and culture, word definition, speech, and writing.

AFRICAN AMERICAN CHURCHES - intended to encourage and promote the church as an integral and primary resource in a significant portion of Center activities.

In addition, the FEF has developed the following two initiatives to expand the positive programmatic impact of the COE's:

BELIEVERS SOCIETY - developed to recognize "academic determination" among students who may not meet the requirements of NAS. By recognizing this "academic determination," we believe Believers will become National Achievers.

- developed to formally engage parents in support of COE activities.

COE Program Highlights:
  • Approximately 3,500 students participate annually in the ten Centers.
  • More than 19,000 students have been inducted into the National Achievers Society since 1986.
  • More than 16,000 students have participated as team members in the Annual Brain Bowl Competition.
  • More than 700 students have won Brain Bowl college scholarships since 1985. 
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