TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Anne Eason, Ph.D., as the 22nd Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight's game against the Vancouver Canucks. Eason, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate to LEAP Tampa Bay through the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.
Eason has dedicated her life, both professionally and personally, to helping others. As a practicing psychologist, Eason understands how different environments can affect a child's academic success. After seeing first-hand the barriers low-income students face when pursuing higher education, Eason made it her mission to better prepare students for life after high school. In 2012, Eason implemented a program called the Cube at Robinson High School, which serves as a college and career resource center for students. Eason takes the lead on recruiting, training and managing the team of volunteers that run the Cube program. Eason's efforts have resulted in the growth of more volunteer-driven, high school-based college and career centers in Tampa Bay
In addition to managing the Cube, Eason volunteers for LEAP Tampa Bay, a college access network that works to provide students with easier access to grants and scholarships. In partnership with Leap Tampa Bay, Eason's Cube program was replicated at two additional Tampa Bay high schools and will be implemented at nearly 20 more schools over the next five years. Eason has received numerous recognitions for her volunteer contributions, including LEAP Tampa Bay College Access Network's Co-Volunteer of the Year Award and the Florida Department of Education's Outstanding School Volunteer Award.
Eason becomes the 387h Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the Lightning Community Hero program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through this evening's game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $19.5 million to more than 750 different nonprofits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. During the summer of 2016, the Vinik's announced that the community hero program will give away another $10 million over the next five seasons.