The Pepin Academies Foundation is honored to announce that Suncoast Credit Union has presented a $11,125 grant to Pepin Academies Riverview to help with an educational initiative that provides hands-on experience in robotics.

Titled S.T.E.A.M. Ahead for Learning Disabled Students, the grant’s goal is to integrate coding and robotics skills in academic and learning environments for students with learning disabilities. Pepin Academies’ Riverview campus will develop a STEM robotics program that will teach students about the fundamentals of coding concepts, opportunities in STEM industries, and create interest and awareness of STEM. The students will design and build robot models which will culminate in robotics competition.

“On behalf of Pepin Academies, I would like to extend a warm thank you to Suncoast Credit Union for their generous grant for our STEM robotics program,” says Denise Morelli, Pepin Academies Riverview Skills Lab Facilitator and grant project manager. “STEM fields affect virtually every component of our everyday lives and Suncoast Credit Union’s grant will allow our unique students to explore the world of STEM-robotics at their own individual entry levels.”

The grant funds will provide a VEX IQ robotics kit for 24 students and training for up to 10 Pepin Academies teachers. IQ robotics kits are designed to give students a fun and intuitive introduction to the world of robot building while teaching exciting concepts in STEM. The kits are reusable for continued use within the Riverview campus and will provide an opportunity for other Pepin Academies campuses to benefit from a robotics program and competition. The program will be initiated at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.

Teachers from all three Pepin Academies’ campuses will be trained by experts and staff from the USF College of Education to help students learn about coding, computer science, tangible learning and STEM education.

Morelli, adds, “The grant resources will provide our students the opportunity to solve problems, reach conclusions and follow their own individual passions to prepare for their place in the future workforce. This allows our students who learn best from experience rather than explanation to use these foundations to build upon real world experience and to participate and thrive in our ever-growing technological world.

Thank you Suncoast Credit Union!

About Suncoast Credit Union

Suncoast Credit Union is the largest credit union in the state of Florida, the ninth largest in the United States based on membership, and the 12th largest in the United States based on its more than $9.1 billion in assets. Chartered in 1934 as Hillsborough County Teachers Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union currently operates 65 full-service branches and serves more than 760,000 members in the following Florida counties: Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Dixie, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Sumter. Since its founding in 1990, the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation has raised and donated more than $22 million to organizations and initiatives that support the health, education and emotional well-being of children in the communities that the credit union serves. For more information, visit:, or @SuncoastCU.