Jennifer SamsDirector of Marketing and Communications at Education Foundation of Sarasota County

I first had the pleasure of meeting Ed when he registered to volunteer and set-up for a hackathon event my organization was planning. Ed heard about the event through some colleagues who signed up to work with 13-18 year old students to build an impactful mobile app. When event set-up was over and student/mentor teams were beginning to form, I noticed that Ed had stuck around, diving in to work with a team. Throughout the weekend long event, I learned that Ed is a passionate, dedicated and talented team player. He helped transform every single student on his team from shy and unsure to bold and confident. He helped us reach our goal to expose students to different careers and equip them with skills needed to pursue them. Ed didn’t stop at the hackathon. Before the event ended, Ed was asking me how he could get involved further. Ed quickly signed up to teach a coding class to students at Selby Library. He also volunteered as a judge for our STEM Fair and Summit. His willingness to jump in and use his expertise to enhance our education system is remarkable. I can honestly say Ed has helped elevate our organization and provide opportunities for students that otherwise, they would have never had. He has a way with connecting with people and getting them excited about what he’s teaching. If you have the chance to work with Ed, don’t hesitate for a moment. I promise he will change your life like he did mine.