Community Involvement | November 29, 2022

Gopher Resource Helps Launch New High School College and Career Center in Tampa, Florida

Brian Leen, Gopher Resource President/CEO, joins other community leaders in a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the new Student Center of Postsecondary Exploration (SCOPE) at King High School.

Lead Battery Recycler Believes Extra Guidance Can Foster Students’ Postsecondary Success

A confluence of crises have made the last few years rough for students. That’s especially true for older teens contemplating a postsecondary future. Sensing the need, lead battery recycler Gopher Resource, Tampa, has stepped up to help local students develop post-graduation plans and achieve success.

The company is the major sponsor behind an initiative by the Hillsborough Education Foundation (HEF) to open its first Student Center of Postsecondary Exploration (SCOPE) at C. Leon King High School in Tampa. A ribbon-cutting was held Tuesday, November 1, at the grades 9–12 public school, which serves over 1,600 students. Funding was also provided by the United Way Suncoast and Consortium of Florida Education Foundations.

Gopher Resource SCOPE ribbon cutting ceremony
The ribbon cutting ceremony included King High School Principal, Arlene Castell; HEF CEO, Kim Jowell; Gopher Resource President/CEO, Brian Leen; United Way Suncoast Vice President, Josh Dunn, and HEF board members Drew Marshall, Chris Taylor and Jackie Gilbert, along with several employees and staff from Gopher Resource, King High School and HEF.

Gopher Resource: Committed to Community

Brian Leen is president and CEO of Gopher Resource, a national environmental solutions provider and Battery Council International (BCI) member company. He described the catalyst behind the company approaching HEF about assisting area youth and their families.

“We were very impressed by what HEF was doing for students to prepare them for life after high school,” Leen said. “Investing in education is a meaningful way for Gopher Resource to make a significant impact in our community and develop future talent.”

In addition to financial support, the company will periodically provide employee volunteers who will be trained to assist at SCOPE. Gopher Resource employs over 250 people at its Tampa campus. Leen expects its employee volunteer commitment to grow along with the Center.

“We want to help students discover the opportunities and potential paths that are available and encourage them to develop a plan for their future. I envision our employee volunteers giving career presentations and mentoring students on a range of careers, including potential employment options at Gopher Resource.”

Partnership Exemplifies Power of Private-Public Partnerships

Gopher Resource’s two-year sponsorship allowed for the hiring of a SCOPE coordinator at King High School. She will provide one-on-one support to students, whether they’re interested in directly entering college, earning a certification or learning a skill. Hillsborough Education Foundation CEO Kim Jowell expressed her gratitude for the funding.

“The financial resources and engagement of Gopher Resource in SCOPE is an example of how private and public partnerships can create a brighter future for students and develop a diverse and skilled talent pipeline in Tampa Bay.”

SCOPE staff and volunteers will assist students
SCOPE will offer one-on-one coaching and support for career exploration and planning.

Aiming to Reach Over 300 Students

Research shows that students develop a career plan as early as ninth grade, but many lack a supportive adult to provide guidance. Plus, many high school counselors already have heavy caseloads.


In the first year, SCOPE hopes to:

• Impact 300-plus students

• Increase financial aid completion at the school by more than 5%

• Help 85% of students demonstrate progress in career readiness and planning

Gopher Resource help launch SCOPE Career Center

Supporting Our Communities for Good

We thank Gopher Resource for helping to make SCOPE a reality. The lead battery recycling company exemplifies the commitment BCI member companies are making to strengthen their local communities by stepping up where help – and hope – is needed!

NOTE: Watch this inspiring interview with HEF’s Mindy Taylor on launching the first SCOPE at King High School in Tampa.


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Steve Binks of the International Lead Association

...[this] is the start of a journey that will raise global standards and help ensure that lead batteries continue to be a key enabling technology for the transition to a low carbon future.

Dr. Steve Binks, Regulatory Affairs Director, International Lead Association