Estella Mims Pyfrom — Bringing Digital Learning to South Florida and Beyond
Estella Pyfrom is a 79-year-old retired veteran of 50 years at Florida's Palm Beach County School District. Estella was not trained in technology, but she recognized a technology problem and decided to do something about it. Students in Estella's district lacked the resources and digital know-how to meet the demands of today's 21st century workforce and entrepreneurial opportunities.
Estella dreamed of delivering technology to her students. After she retired, she pursued that dream and made it a reality. In 2009, Estella dipped heavily into her pension fund and started a non-profit, state-of-the-art mobile technology and learning center, and "Estella’s Brilliant Bus" was born.
Estella grew up in an underprivileged household and has a passion to help underprivileged families improve their standard of living. Her vision is that parents will be empowered with better skills and get more involved with their children’s education and lives, thus improving the quality of life for the family.
The Brilliant Bus project networks with schools, businesses and community agencies to provide experiences that will enable families to become more productive. Estella is currently serving as a Regional Director for one of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Providers.
Estella believes that by forming alliances with agencies in communities who have similar missions and who have been awarded grants, have grant funds to provide services and join partnerships to serve hard to reach individuals will be beneficial. The learning center will travel to communities where service is needed.
During the past three years, Estella has organized and operated a food pantry and is now a partner with Feeding South Florida, which is a regional branch of Feeding America distributing food to approx. 3,000 individuals each month.
Estella also piloted a tutoring program for children of homeless families, sponsored by the Palm Beach County School District. Estella provided tutoring for the children but also extended her time to include service to college students so they could work on assignments and to adults who needed to search for jobs and housing. Estella’s Brilliant Bus pledge is to continue to extend her services to those families as they venture out into communities throughout Palm Beach County.
Accolades for Estella and Her Work
Estella Pyfrom has been very celebrated since the creation of Estella’s Brilliant Bus. Awards and Acknowledgements include:
• FEATURED: NBC News Network… Prime Time with Brian Williams and other associated networks
• All Local TV and Radio Stations
• Jet Magazine
• 5000 Points of Light–Ranked – 4998 around the world- Hosted by President ans First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House
• CNN Hero- 2013– Top 10 around the world –Ordinary People doing extraordinary things around the world
• Woman of Worth — Top 10 around the world–L’O Real of Paris
• Who’s Who Global–Directory – dedication , hard work an for making a difference
• ESSENCE Magazine – 2014
• MV Magazine
• Success Magazine
• HerHife Magazine
• O-Oprah Magazine- This I know for Sure —Special Column
• Oprah-The Life You Want Tour- Toyota Standing Ovation- Florida VIP
• Wells Fargo Community Award
• Florida A & M Alumni Association -PBC-
• Community Service- From Local to National
• Legacy Award — by Dexter Bridgeman–Legacy Palm Beach Magazine
• Living Legacy Award- Human Symphony – National
• Community Service Award – Alpha Kappa Alpha
• Community Service Award – Alpha Phi Alpha
• Community Service – Citizenship Awards – Zeta Phi Beta
• Community Partners Award – Delta Delta Lambda Chapter – Alpha Phi Alpha Chapter
• Woman Of Excellence – Delta Sigma Theta
• Spirit Award–Delta Sigma Theta
• NBA – Proplayer Philanthropy Award
• African American Achiever Award
• National Education Award
• Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award – Palm Beach State College-2014
• Microsoft Youth Spark Award – Grant
• Microsoft – National-Global – Super Bowl Commercial and Award
• Office Depot Adopt-A-Teacher
• Comcast-Comcast Community Service Award Grant
• Dr. Oz Show
• Woman of Excellence – Humanitarian Award
• John Maxwell Leadership Award
• Diamond Award for Community Service – National Coalition of 100 Black Women
• Citizenship Award – Omega Psi Phi Fraternity
• FEA -Martin Luther king Jr Award- Outstanding Leadership Award
• Professional-Influential Business Professional
• OCR REAP Grant
Estella has invested a large sum of her pension money into the project in order to make the vision become a reality and is confident that the project is helping to improve the quality of life for children and families. Estella will be seeking financial and moral support from friends, businesses and community agencies, (foundations) as financial support is essential in order to continue service and to ensure success in the future.