Several non-profits in the Tampa Bay area reap the benefits of Tampa Bay's Dancing with the Stars. Pepin Academies in Tampa are among the organizations.
Pepin Academies are non-profit and tuition-free public charter schools servicing students with specific learning disabilities. More than 1,000 students attend the Pepin campuses in both Hillsborough and Pasco Counties.
Geri Henry, who is the principal of the Pepin Riverview campus, says teachers look at the "total" child and emphasize developing self-confidence. Leaders say often their students did not feel safe at their other school, did not fit in, or were bullied. They make sure students are significantly involved in extracurriculars associated with Pepin and they also have partnerships with businesses for career development.
"Our students may have not been accepted into these programs in other environments so being able to be included and other things like that just also help to develop the total child," said Henry.
"I am learning new things and my friends are really helping me. I'm really getting my grades done as well as I can," said Solomon Parris, a 10th-grade student at Pepin.
Tampa Bay's Dancing with the Stars is Saturday, October 6th. While the event is sold out, you can donate through voting for your favorite dancer. Each vote is $1.