Patrick Brett Foundation Creates Fresh Starts for SPC Students


Patrick Brett Foundation check presentation

Patrick Brett’s life was tragically cut short in a car accident in 2005, but his legacy lives on in a powerful way at St. Petersburg College. His parents, Terry and Kim Brett, created a foundation in 2016 to honor the memory of their late son and simultaneously open doors for students needed a helping hand to renew their college dreams – and the results have been nothing short of transformative.

Their generosity was on display May 20 at the SPC Midtown Center when the Patrick Brett Foundation donated $100,000 to SPC to provide students the opportunity for a second chance through the Fresh Start Scholarship. This donation matches a similar $100,000 donation given to SPC in 2020.

“The Patrick Brett Foundation believes in investing in others, even people they don’t know,” SPC President Dr. Tonjua Williams said. “I am so proud and thankful to the young people who started it, and I am most grateful to the parents of Patrick Brett who are allowing us to remember Patrick for his love for people and for helping them to succeed.”

On June 9, FOX 13 Tampa Bay aired a moving segment on their evening newscast about the life-changing donation by the Bretts. The “What’s Right With Tampa Bay” piece featured several SPC students, including Danielle Stewart, who, as a teenage mother, had to give up on her college plans. “I couldn’t afford the tuition,” she told the station. “At the time, I wanted to go but I didn’t have the means to go. … The Bretts gave me a new flower, a new bloom, to go back to school.”

When Stewart decided to reenroll in college in 2017, one of her professors encouraged her to apply for scholarships through the SPC Foundation. Her heartfelt essay touched the Bretts, who awarded her a full scholarship the next semester. As a result, Stewart has earned her Associate in Arts degree and is working to earn her Bachelor of Science in Biology, with the hopes of becoming a dermatologist.

“It’s so meaningful to wake up every day to know that you’re going to be a part of changing someone’s life,” added Jesse Turtle, SPC’s Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of Foundation. “The Patrick Brett Foundation and family has been a part of this community for so long and it has been an honor to work with them and be included in this successful endeavor.”

“I want to thank the SPC Foundation for the great stewardship they’ve provided. Also, to our corporate and individual sponsors, thank you for believing in our vision,” Terry Brett said. Over the years, the Patrick Brett Foundation has donated more than $375,000 to SPC in support of scholarships.