The Education Foundation of Sarasota County is proud to serve as the convening organization for the Sarasota Local College Access Network, PLANit Sarasota. PLANit Sarasota is a cross-sector group of education and youth services organizations and community partners focused on increasing the rate of students who pursue a purposeful postsecondary pathway, particularly among those historically underrepresented in higher education.

In the fall of 2018, the Education Foundation began serving as the backbone organization to convene PLANit Sarasota for its next, broader iteration supported by early funders Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, and the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation.

Most recently, PLANit Sarasota workgroups have been focusing on helping families and high school graduates learn about the potential long-term consequences that taking an untraditional “gap year” could result in, due to unforeseen lasting effects of COVID-19 on families and students. PLANit Sarasota has also prepared a resource guide that includes answers to frequently asked questions and other resources to help students and families formulate plans and persist to realize them.

PLANit Sarasota Workgroups

Having a plan

Increase awareness of college and career pathways for all students, with emphasis on students not currently identified as college or career bound.

Data & Community Report

Provide the workgroups and our key partners with a feedback loop of key performance indicators to measure our progress by. Create dashboard of performance metrics to monitor progress and adjust tactics.


Increase Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion rates.


Establish structured, individualized support to ensure students find their spark and persist in realizing their plans.

Career Explorations

Develop career, college, and life readiness by exposing young people to relevant options, encouraging exploration, and increasing communications between employers and students.

If you’re interested in joining a workgroup, please contact Thomas Williams, PLANit Sarasota Director.

Short-term Success
We will focus on identifying nearly 43,000 young people ages 11 – 24 who face barriers such as being economically disadvantaged and the first in their families to pursue education beyond high school. We will work to provide resources and tools to access and navigate the postsecondary pathway from preparation to admission to completion.

Long-term Success
Our goal is to increase the percentage of Sarasota County residents 25 years and under who have obtained a high-value certificate, college degree, or training experience to 60% by 2030. This multi-dimensional problem demands a multi-pronged approach by a multi-partner collective for transformational change. Each PLANit Sarasota stakeholder will pool their unique knowledge base and constituent reach for the greater good and use data to achieve the long-term vision to extend outreach and services to all youth and their families throughout Sarasota County.

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