John Kirtley is a Tampa, Fla., venture capitalist who in 1998 started his own foundation in to fund private school scholarships for low-income children. In three months, with little publicity, his Children’s Scholarship Fund of Tampa Bay received 12,500 applications for 750 scholarships. In 2001, he persuaded the Florida Legislature to create a statewide tax credit scholarship to serve more. John is now chairman of Step Up For Students, which provides tax credit scholarships to 33,000 low-income students. He also has established himself as a national figure in the arena of parental choice, serving currently as vice chairman of the Alliance for School Choice and the American Federation for Children. He has built numerous partnerships with public education and was recently appointed to the Hillsborough Education Foundation, which supports the nation’s eighth largest school district.