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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Take Stock in Children

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Human Services, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid

Mission: Take Stock in Children aims to passionately promote personal growth, self responsibility and academic success for deserving low-income students by providing a unique set of resources including mentors, scholarships, long term support, student advocacy and a guaranteed educational opportunity. Our purpose is to prepare and develop our students to be successful people, focused on being their best and contributing members of society. Our goal is to develop confidence, competence, pride, a sense of belonging and hope in each student. Achieving this goal will result in an improved quality of life for all of our stakeholders. We believe that a willing child can succeed with the help of passionate and caring people, encouragement and challenge, hard work and accountability.

Geographic areas served: Florida

Programs: Take stock in children uses a sustainable public-private model that enables 96% of our students to graduate from high school and 96% enroll into post-secondary education with a full tuition scholarship. This program has served more than 30,000 of florida's children and provided more than $200 million in college scholarships to deserving low-income children whose household income falls below 185% of the federal poverty guidelines.

Community Stories

77 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I am Kayla & I would like tone volunteer in order to serve this country. As I had an experience as a volunteer in Canada, this is my honor to join your organization. Please feel free to contact me : lokayla@hotmail.com

Donor

Rating: 1

TSIC is a Florida Scholarship Program in numerous counties throughout the State to financially assist students in achieving their goals in education. The Yulee/Fernandina Beach organization lacks leadership, the Executive Director does not have a clue how to run the program and lacks empathy to the very cause and purpose of helping students; her focus is to self promote herself. I have withdrawn my financial support to this organization in Yulee/Fernandina Beach, FL.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is the cure to our current education demise in Florida and possibly the entire country; Take Stock in Children involves all entities.
Take Stock in Children engages the public sector through the legislature, volunteers and community involvement.
The private sector involves their workforce to mentor, their funds purchase tuition scholarships and support to nurture and guide the needy at risk student population.
The students and parents sign contracts to do the right thing and ensure their children reach their brightest potential in school and community.
In the 16 years of service there have been 17,000 students given the great opportunity to achieve post secondary education and to enter the workforce as viable citizens who volunteer and give back.
These students produce positive results as young adults and do not become a burden to society.
This is what we all hope and wish for out next generation regardless of background...it's all about opportunity!

6

Former staff

Rating: 5

Take Stock in Children is the largest advocate in the state of Florida for providing a sustainable solution to the dropout crisis facing many students today. They have a 14 year history of engaging local communities throughout the state in their efforts to breakthrough the perpetual cycle of poverty and elevate their communities to a higher socio-economic strata through educational attainment. Their program should serve as a national model that works!

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Take Stock in Children of Palm Beach County has failed to comply with the Florida Solicitation of Contributions Act. That law regulates solicitation of public contributions and requires full disclosure of certain information from organizations soliciting contributions in Florida. Take Stock in Children of Palm Beach County -- legally known as COLLEGE FOR KIDS INC. -- has violated the Florida Solicitation of Contributions Act by allowing Registration Number CH24332 to expire 11/20/2009 and by failing to disclose information as required by that act. Take Stock in Children of Palm Beach County has a history of serious problems. You should carefully watch Take Stock in Children of Palm Beach County.

Comments ( 1 )

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Take Stock in Children 12/28/2009

Dear Philanthropy, Please be advised that effective December 22, 2009, College for Kids dba/ Take Stock in Children of Palm Beach County is compliant with Florida's "Solicitation of Contributions Act". Their registration number CH24332 will expire on November 20, 2010.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Take Stock in Children is a very compassionate and caring organization. Their goal is to definitely give deserving students a chance to grow personally and academically. With their help and support throughout these past years, TSIC has helped me reach my goal of going to college and continuing my education after high school. I received a scholarship in middle school and since then I have been involved in various functions they have had. From meeting my mentor once a week to partaking in luncheons, this program has helped me with both my social skills and gave me the strength I needed to get involved with my community and finish school. I am very grateful that TSIC chose me as one of its recipients. It changed my life forever and I have definitely made a lifetime friendship!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I became a mentor in Take Stock in Children three years ago. I was looking for an opportunity to give back to the community and since I was a retired school teacher the TSIC program seemed like a logical fit. This program has a very strong impact in the lives of the youth it serves. Although the program does provide scholarship monies to those that successfully fulfill their contracts, this is secondary to the mentorship provided. The bond that develops between the mentors and the students is often one of the strongest of all the mentee's relationships. They know that regardless of what else is happening they have someone who is there to encourage, consul, listen to and empathize with them. Often their mentor is the one constant in their lives. Having someone to help them face and over come the challenges that life deals them can mean the difference between failure and success. I am proud to be a mentor in this much needed and successful program.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Almost since it's inception I have been involved with TAke Stock in Children(TSIC). First as a reviewer of the hundreds of kids from South Florida WAGES who applied to the scholarship, as an advocate, as a presenter and finally as a liaison between TSIC and Miami Dade County Public Schools resources. Take Stock to me is the most holistic program in existance at this moment. The program’s advocates arduously work with the students from the moment the join the program until they graduate. Each child has a mentor that is in regularly in contact with the advocates , teacher and student. This alone is of significant importance in the lives of our students that lack role models and for the most part come from single households. Take Stock in Children has given Dade County hundred of thousands of dollars in scholarships for minority kids in Dade County. I do not know of any other program that takes on the role of mother, father, teacher, family with our kids and teachers them character education along the way. I am proud of having being a mentor and a volunteer as well in this program; it truly changes one life at a time. Thank you Take Stock and Thank you to you, all the organizations that contribute to the greatness of this program.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved as a board member and donor. It has been gratifying to see the impact that Take Stock in Children has on the lives of students and their families. It is an awesome program.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Retiring to an over 55 community was great, but I soon discovered something was missing. There wasn't enough contact with the younger generation and their world. Since my husband had been affiliated with Take Stock in Children in another county, I decided this might be the answer. Since the start I mentored a yound lady through middle and high school. One parent was disabled and one frequently filled two low paying jobs to make ends meet. It was difficult for them to give her much time and college wasn't a priority for them. She and I met at school amost once a week. Some days we did a little needlework together, or we followed the guidelines furnished by TSIC, and we learned good ways to take tests, organize time, and set goals. Usually, though, I was there to listen and encourage her to continue doing well in school, stay off drugs and those things that can side track a young person. It was a proud day when she was accepted into a Florida college and was able to attend thanks in large part to the tuition scholarship from TSIC. Take Stock in Children matched me with another student last year who has dreams of being a doctor but recognizes that's a long haul so is shooting for a nursing career. In a single parent household where college hasn't been part of the family goals, she has many strikes against her. Again, meeting with her nearly every week, keeping the lines of communication open, and gladly accepting phone calls from her if she has a question, hopefully she's on the same track as my first student. Certainly without the financial help of TSIC, college probably wouldn't be possible. That's just two students...two more kids who have a little encouragement and support to better their situation through education...through education made possible by the non profit, non government funded program offered by Take Stock in Children. It reminds me of the story....how do you eat an elephant? The answer is one bite at a time. How do you better our society? One student at a time!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One year ago I saw an ad in the local newspaper for an organization called Take Stock In Children asking for interested persons to come to an informational meeting. I responded to the ad and after hearing the testimonies of various persons who had mentored students, and the satisfaction each one felt having been a part in helping these under-privileged children, I knew I needed to be involved. Within a very short time I was assigned a student at Merritt Island High School where we met each week. We seemed to hit it off from the first introduction and she soon knew I would be there for her to help guide and encourage her. I kept a check on her grades and we would discuss her options for what colleges she could attend, what scholarships were available and how things were going in general. She graduated in May and I was honored to be asked to attend with her family and friends. We have since stayed in touch through email and at her work, and look forward to our having a "catch up" lunch very soon. She would not have had the financial means to go to college if not for TSIC. Thank you — not only for giving her this opportunity to further her education and dreams, but for letting me be a part. I am now mentoring two sophomores at Space Coast High School. I got to meet with them at the very end of last school year and we have been meeting each week since the end of September. It has been a challenge to have these students feel comfortable to share what goes on in their lives and school. I am able to encourage them in their studies and all that this program has to offer. I look forward to watching these young people grow in maturity in the next three years with definite goals and ambitions. It is a wonderful opportunity for each one and I am blessed to once again be a part in this process.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first learned about the program Take Stock in Children when there would be an occasional article in the local paper. I had been wanting to keep active in the school setting since I am a retired teacher so chose this program. I liked the idea of having the opportunity to work with the same student all the way through high school. I started seeing my student, Jose Vanegas, last year at Oak Park Middle School in Leesburg. The first thing that impressed me about Jose were his good manners. I was so surprised when he opened the door for me the first time we walked into the library together. We decided to work on his writing skills which worked out very nicely. I learned so much about him through his writing. I guess I would have to say that one of the highlights of last year was when Jose had to choose several books to read followed by passing a test. He immediately told me that he always chooses a book with the fewest pages plus he usually didn't read the whole book. I had to laugh at that one! The first book he chose was actually a classic. I told him that I was going to read it too so be ready to discuss it the following session. The first thing Jose did was pull a paper out of his binder and hand it to me. He had already taken the test and got an A. It was exciting to see him so proud because as a rule Jose doesn't show much emotion. I'm happy to say that Jose wanted to continue being my student at Leesburg High School so I am in the process of becoming familiar with the school just like Jose. I feel like the program is very beneficial and I am pleased to be a part of it. Joan Kulikovskis

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Take Stock in Children Mentor program is a wonderful program and i am very happy i was apart of it even though i went through two mentors they were both great mentors who taught me a lot. They gave me all the wisdom they have and i sucked in all of it.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started mentoring Sierra Robinson in 2004 when she was in 7th grade. I bring lunch and we visit on a weekly basis. I have watched her grow and become a responsible adult. She shares her experiences at school and home and sometimes, I am able to help her with decisions. This is a great program for both the student and the mentor. The Take Stock adminsitration provides support and information. They helped Sierra find an individual in her chosen field that she could shadow. This experience helped Sierra make a definite decision on her future career path. I would recommend this program to anyone.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 4

The Krewe of the Silver Slipper is an all female Mardi Gras Krewe. In 2007 and 2008 Take Stock In Children was our Charity. We bought two scholarships and I have the priviledge to mentor our first student, a 7th grader. I will stay with Courtney until she graduates High School and I hope she will continue to send me updates with how she does in college. I enjoy taking part in this young ladies life; weekly I am struck with how many aspects of her life she has going against her. Without Take Stock there is no way she would go to college. The scholarship is giving her great incentive to keep her grades to A's and B's and most importantly keep her from getting into trouble. Given her home environment, Take Stock is her life line to a better future.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a mentor for the past seven years and have observed the success of the program with one of my own students, and the success of several other young people who were mentored by others I have met since joining the program. None of the students I have worked with would have enjoyed the succcess they have achieved to date without the support of the Take Stock In Children Program and the direction it provided.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am in my third year as a volunteer mentor with Take Stock in Children in Brevard County Florida and have had the privilege of working with two great high school students. It was a recruitment newspaper article which attracted me to this volunteer opportunity and it was the nature of the program plus the professionalism and sincerity of the TSIC staff which convinced me to commit my volunteer time to this program. From a mentor's perspective I especially find the frequent one-on-one contact I have with my TSIC students to be the backbone of our relationship. The TSIC staff has always been available and responsive to the needs of my students and myself. The supportive foundation and the HOPE which TSIC provides are things which money alone cannot buy. The program strives to identify target students even before they themselves fully realize their own potential and takes a lovely journey with them as they grow and develop knowing that the challenge and burden of post-graduate tuition is theirs to be had. Armed with this knowledge and fortified by their contract committments with TSIC they truly can begin to take charge of their lives.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started mentoring a young man a few years ago because I was pursuing a teaching career and thought it would be a good idea. I have since decided to pursue Nursing, but have developed such a relationship with the student that I wouldn't dream of walking out on what I started with him. I feel like I probably get as much out of our time together each week as he does. I know that he appreciates what I do, because he's told me so; and I feel like I'm doing something to make a difference in someone'e life which makes me feel good. It's a wonderful program and I feel great knowing that I will have played a part in helping my student get a head start on his post-high school education.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Take Stock in Children for many years, and have enjoyed that time thoroughly. Not only have I been given the opportunity to spend time with a wonderful young lady and watch her grow into the marvelous young woman that she will be, but I get to help make a difference in her life by helping to ensure that she will attend college and follow her dreams. Thank you!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Take Stock has been an amazing organizatiion for me. Because of Take Stock, I am guaranteed to have part of my college paid for. This lifts a large burden off f my shoulders because I know that my future will be brighter and unscarred by finincaial debt. Take Stock has also helped me look for a college that fits my social and academic needs. It gave me tours of colleges in Florida that I would have not been able to go on otherwise. Take Stock has also given me a mentor, and she is a great person that I can count of for guidance and support. Through Take Stock I have learned of other charaties that help me with school funds and make my life easier. I would like to thank Take Stock for everything that they have done and will do for me. Ericka Kirkpatrick, NSBHS Junior HOSA President

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

Take Stock in Children has been the best experienced that has crossed my path. I thank Take Stock with all of my heart for paying for my school and keeping me on track with my mentor Connie Crocker. Thank you Connie for your support. Take Stock in Children is helping me on my journey to a successful future as a Science Teacher! Thank You!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I attended a local chamber function 9 years ago and listened to a representative from Take Stock in Children speak, I knew I had to become involved in the non-profit organization that offered a college scholarship to low-income, at-risk children. I was a CFO for a community bank and a single mother of twins. My issues of balancing work with family were minor compared to the testimonials from students that benefited from the program. When I think of Take Stock in Children, I think of two faces, Jackie and Heather. I volunteered to be Jackie’s mentor in 2000 when she was in sixth grade. Jackie qualified for free lunch, made good grades and had a guidance counselor that had hopes of Jackie being the first to graduate from high school in her family. I met Jackie at the school with lunch in hand once a week. It became obvious to me that Jackie was very smart and loved the attention. I discovered she had never read a book and we began reading Harry Potter together. In fact, we read three Harry Potter books together. I continued to meet with Jackie once a week through high school. She lived out of her suitcase during a brief period of high school and constantly struggled to stay away from the wrong crowd. Jackie and I were excited and proud when she graduated from high school. She continued her education by attending nursing school. She is now working as an LPN. At her LPN graduation ceremony, she introduced me to the audience as her best friend and had made a special button with her picture on it for me to wear. Jackie would not be where she is without having someone outside of her family show an interest in her and without having financial aid from TSIC. I would not be as empathic and loving without having Jackie in my life. In 2007, I volunteered to be Heather’s mentor. She is now in 11th grade and I have no doubt that she will graduate. She too has been a rewarding experience. I see the hope in her eyes and surprise in her eyes when she sees me show up every week with lunch in my hands. TSIC is not a hand-out. Students and parents must sign a contract to work hard together toward a goal that will enable the student to be self supportive and a good citizen upon reaching adulthood. It works because passionate people want to instill hope in children to succeed. The passionate people are state representatives that are proponents for this government funding, mentors that volunteer their time, student advocates that work full-time for TSIC and track grades and attendance, and people in the community that donate money. Over 9,000 students have graduated from High School since its inception in 1999. I encourage individuals and businesses to become involved in Take Stock In Children by either becoming a mentor or a sponsor. Please visit takestockinchildren.com for more information.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience with the Take Stock in Children scholarship program has been a tremendously positive one. The TSIC program has definitely given my family and me the tools we needed to help me further my education, as well as my sister's and brother's by awarding them academic scholarships as well. Even during a particularly rough time, after a horrible car accident, for which I had an extended hospital stay, TSIC was there for me, and worked with my teachers and deans to make sure that my GPA didn't suffer, and that tutoring and assistance was there for me if I needed it. I am so grateful to all of the opportunities TSIC has blessed me with, and I know that without them, making it through college would have been so much harder. They also provided me with a wonderful mentor, Julie Ryan, who was there with me all through my school years and took an active interest in my personal life as well as education, and was a genuine, sincere, and open person. Julie was the perfect mentor, and really made me feel comfortable and like I could do anything. Her words of encouragement always inspired me, and I am grateful to TSIC and Julie Ryan for giving me the best high school years I could ask for!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience as a Take Stock and Children Scholar has been amazing. TSIC allowed me to go to college without the stresses of attaining thousands of dollars that my family and I did not have. More importantly, they provided me with a mentor that would encourage me in my efforts to succeed in life and to become an attorney. I'm glad to say that I still communicate with my mentor 10 years later (after receiving the scholarship). TSIC has also been there to help me network and find places to work in furtherance of my career goals. Without TSIC's assistance I would not currently be attending law school. I am so thankful for organizations like TSIC and not only the opportunities they have afforded me with, but also the lives of the individuals that they will continue to affect in an extremely positive way.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Though I am a brand new volunteer mentor with this program in Escambia County, Florida, I have already come to have a high regard for the program. The process of becoming involved and oriented was extremely well organized and informative. The seventh-grade student with whom I am working lives with a guardian who is not related to her and has much sadness in her life. But she sees this program as a path to a far better life and future than that of her absent family. This past week, in just our third weekly session together, she said that she would have stayed home from school that day (she had a cold) but for the fact that it was her mentor day.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a mentor with Take Stock in Children in Santa Rosa County Florida for 3 years. I have the priviledge of mentoring an swesome young lady and feel my relationship with her has encoursged her as she strives to do her best in school and to stay out of trouble. This program gives these students the added emotional support to succeed in school and later in their lives.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 4

This is an excellent organization that really impacts lives and changes not only the student accepted into the program, but the whole family. This is a program that does break that cycle of poverty and help each student be able to realize the "American Dream."

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Take Stock for 7 years - raising money for scholarships, reviewing applications from the schools and meeting with Take Stock students. This program provides comprehensive support in addition to providing the scholarship venue. The combination is a winner. The students "earn" th their scholarship and become better citizens not only through education but through life lessons learned through interaction with their mentors.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a mentor for three different students. This has been a very meaningful experience using the knowledge and skills I have to be fully "present" for my TSIC student. I have seen all three students grow their potential over time. TSIC staff have been quick to respond to any concerns I expressed and follow-up often. They make my job SO easy. This is a wonderful program, and I know we are changing lives as a result.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with Nonprofit Organizations for the last fourteen years. By far, Take Stock in Children is the best. When I moved to Florida in 2006, I was looking for volunteer work with a nonprofit. When I discovered that Take Stock in Children helped children attain college scholarships, I had found what I was looking for. This was reinforced when I met the staff and attended the training class. Both exceeded my expectations. This is my third year as a mentor and what a rewarding experience it is. I know that many children who would financially not be able to attend college will be able to do so because of this program. Bravo to the staff, directors and all who are involved.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

Take Stock In Children provides high achieving, low income high school students an excellent opportunity to receive a scholarship for college tuition. The program's dynamics and parameters assist keeping the students on track throughout high school with weekly meetings with mentor and regular review of their grades & attendance. The program offers an additional support system for these students to rely upon.

3

Client Served

Rating: 4

My Daughter meets a mentor every week that helps her focus her energy and attention to more academic resources. I believe that having an adult outside the family to talk to on a regular basis is very healthy for a teenager going through High School peer pressure and everything else in between.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I applied for this scholarship in 7th grade, and received it in the 8th grade. I am currently a junior at Melbourne High School, and Judy Robson is my mentor. At the beginning I didn't have a mentor, after that I had a hard time keeping one due to distance and other issues, but I got Mrs. Robson as my mentor in my sophomore year, and I adore her. She helps me with understanding what I should do to stay on track, and gives me that extra push I need just when I'm starting to get discouraged. I am very grateful for this program, and for my mentor as well.

9

Board Member

Rating: 5

Take stock in Children is making a difference. Where else can a student be afforded the opportunity to attend college with the support to achieve that goal? Each child is paired with a mentor who provides the leadership and mentoring for the child to succeed.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Have had a great time mentoring my student. Have met several students that have completed the program and graduated from college. They all had good morals and were hard workers. I will continue to volunteer as long as I am able.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Program dedicated to the children of the community. When so many kids are being left behind they take up the slack and reach out to those who would probably be out in the streets. The program is a positive move in the right direction. We should all care so much.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Take stock in children is a wonderful program, I am blessed to have been given this scholarship. The staff is kind and helps with any problems we have. They also give some wonderful mentors to the students!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Take Stock in Children for over 8 years. this was the same program but in Pasco County Fl. Now I live in the Villages and I have a young lady that I see once a week. I have found the program to be beneficial to the young ladies I have mentored and equally beneficial to me. this, to me, is a superlative program and deserves praise and continuting support from all. I have followed two of my charges thru college and the experience for both of us was more like mother and daughter and we still keep in touch but now we are friends. Bettina Van Buren

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's been a real pleasure to meet with my student every week. I've watch him grow to be a great young man. I still have 2 years of meeting with him, then he goes off to college. This is by far the best program for the children of Florida.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been in the program for two years and believe the program definetly makes a difference in the lives of the children we are mentoring. I have seen an improvement in the attitude and academics of my mentee in the two years I have been with him. Just recently his grades have improved dramatically over the prior year. The support we receive from the administrators of the progam has been extremely helpful. I think the program is well run is making a difference in the lifes of the children involved.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am writing on behalf of my daughter. My daughter received a Take Stock in Children scholarship this year. I am first of all very thankful there is an orginzation that supports the type of scholarship my daughter has received. I am very grateful to the family that has donated the proceeds for my daughter's scholarship. I think that the Take Stock in Children is a wonderful way to offer students a opportunity to have a future in college. It teaches them that they are responsible for their future and what great opportunities lay ahead if they stick to their goals and the requirements of the program.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a fantastic scholarship and drop out prevention program. It encourages at-risk young people to excel by providing them trained mentors from the local community who care about them and their success. It incentivizes young people to not only do well in school and be drug, alcohol and trouble free, but it gives them a wonderful goal - a free four year college education - that they can achieve with their own efforts.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my third year as a mentor for Take Stock in Children. During my three years, I have had the opportunity to work with three exceptional youth from varying backgrounds all striving to become better citizens in our community. The experience I want to share involves one of the two students I currently mentor. My student and I have totally different backgrounds - my parents stayed together while they raised my siblings and I, we knew a stable family life and were awarded many opportunities. My student is being raised in a single parent household and spends much of her time in and out of shelters. During the last school year, she did not spend more than two weeks at any one address. During that time, her father was released from prison and came back into her life. It was a very confusing time for her. By spending additional time with her in person and on the phone, she was able to open up and share with me things that had happened to her as a child that were resurfacing now that her father had returned. She was afraid to share these feelings with the school and with her mother. The Take Stock Program opened the door for her to have a trusted adult she could turn to and share her feelings with and know she would be safe. Without this program, my student would not have known how to get the help she desperately needed. I was able to get her into some youth support groups over the summer and into counseling. This year, her grades are improving and she seems much more relaxed and happier. Her mother is still moving her around, but she can now speak with her father and that relationship is on the mend. The Take Stock Program goes so much farther than just giving a child the tools for an education, it builds the foundation of trust that may never have been known to a child.

13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my fourth year serving as a mentor for a local high school student, Angela. I have grown to love volunteering for my community and enjoy spending time each week with my student. I've watched her grow into a bright young woman and helped her prepare for her next milestone, college. Take Stock in Children helps underprivelged children pair up with a mentor to encourage responsibility and academic excellence in preparation for college. Without Take Stock, Angela would not have the means or motivation to go to college after high school. I'm proud to be a part of such a wonderful organization like Take Stock in Children.

11

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have had one of the best experiences with Take Stock. I have had it for a little over 4 years and I am now currently in my first year of college. I was blessed with one of the best mentors. I didn't have a mentor for 2 years and in the beginning of my sophomore year I was assigned a mentor by the name of Jill. Jill and I met during my lunch and we just have grown so close. I talk to her everyday now and we have gotten to be best friends. I am so thankful for all the blessings Take Stock has given me.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working as a volunteer mentor with the Take Stock In Children program for about a month now. I find the people and program to be excellet in its focus on helping students excell at personally and achedemically. I meet once a week at the school media center where we go over the studen't career goals, achedemic performance, and personal growth needs. I believe that the two students are getting an additional adult input in helping them with there growth needs.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the opportunity to be involved with the adolescent population for many years. I grew up in a loving home, but one where out of necessity my parents worked 24/7. In elementary school one of my teachers extended herself, and took an interest in me because I was very quiet. Today, that teacher would be considered a "mentor" and this bond lasted for 35 years. Through this program I am able to pass on what it meant to have a special person take an interest in me and I in turn can help others that are in the program. This program really does work!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have mentored 3 students for Take Stock. The organization is attentive to my needs as a working adult trying to volunteer my time, without taking advantage or asking too much. The organization listens to my requests (ie, matching me with like-minded students). My desire to work with teens has been fulfilled and I have been so rewarded! One of my students is now in college and we communicate almost daily. I know that we will have a life-long friendship. This work makes me feel like I am making a difference in someone's life.

12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Through Take Stock in Children, I have had the honor of working with a young woman for the last four years. We meet regularly through this mentoring program, and it has been as good an experience for me as it has been for her. When we first started to see each other, as the student entered 9th grade, we talked about many things. I picked up a box of crayons and some drawing paper and many an hour went by quickly as we drew pictures and chatted. I noticed at first, she would draw what I was drawing. If I drew flowers, she'd draw flowers. I'm not sure when the change happened, but I noticed that now when we color, she has her own original ideas. When I realized that one day, I realized that she was really becoming an adult. I guess that sums up how I feel about mentoring. A safe place to share and try out new ideas. Through our time together, we've both grown. I am honored to be part of this program.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I meet a female student once at week at her school. We meet for one hour. During this hour we discuss what's happening in her life, school activities, goals, grades, etc. My student had a rough year and failed most of her classes. I encouraged her to take a summer class to make up one of the required classes. We met with the counselor the first week of school (2009) and signed the student up for adult education classes to complete two more required subjects. It was rewarding to see my student do a complete turn around this year. She made all A's and B's on her mid term report card. She has completed 2 required classes through adult education by going to class 2 days a week after school. My student, like many other students from lower income families, would not be able to attend college if she did not get this full tuition scholarship. She is willing to make the required gpa to remain in this program. We look forward to working together to research colleges, fill out applications, research other scholarships, study for required college testing, etc. This program definitely helps a working single mom. As a mentor, we help keep the student on track and encourage her. I cannot say enough good about this program.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I think this is a wonderful, worthwhile program that is very beneficial to its recipients. I think it not only helps the students involved, but also provides true satisfaction for the mentor as well.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my first year as a mentor and I feel like this organization is making a huge difference in the lives of the children. My student is motivated and thrilled that she has a nonprofit such as Take Stock In Children to stand behind her goals. What a wonderful program!

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first got involved with Take Stock about 6 years ago as a mentor. The Program Director, H. Marlene O'Toole was a friend with whom I had worked on the Lake Sumter United Way prior to accepting her position as the Exec. of Take Stock. She said she had a young man, 7th grade, who was an at risk student academically, from a single parent househol;d (mother)with four siblings at home. I went through the training and screening program, provided by TSIC staff, was fingerprinted, and went to the "Contract" signing ceremony in which the student is provided with a 2 year community college and a two year + 2 years at a year college if the student maintained an adequate gpa, positive disciplinary reports, was alochol, drug and tobacco free through high school graduation. My student did graduate from HS, but, unfortunately through the last two year of school did only just enough to "get by". He and I stay in touch today, he is working in an unskilled position at a local restaurant. I could never find anything that would keep him motivated, but got much support and suggestion (which we tried) from the TSIC staff. I found that the staff took great interest in each child in the program and did everything they could to provide support for mentors like myself. I truly believe that, had the program not provided my student with a mentor, he would have dropped out of school as soon as he legally could. He got very little long term support at home (unless his mother really got angry) but his change of behavior or performance lasted a very short while. Despite the fact that he had been diagnosed as ADHD adnd while I/he did not achieve the goals that we set, initially, we did get him a diploma dn he is working. I now have a new stuent that I serve as mentor and feel that he is goal oriented and a hard worker. He too is from a single parent household with a divided family some here, some in Georgia. I believe that he will continue and do well in the program.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have loved getting to know the student that i mentor in Take Stock in children..Students such as these need extra guidance and passion from someone that is outside looking in..

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had a wonderful experience with the organization. I have mentored three students who have completed high school and are in college and I have high school senior this year. The program has also accepted my best friends daughter into the program and I am so happy to see someone in my personal life be able to go to college and benefit from such a wonderful program.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked as a mentor volunteer for one student for more than four years. She is about to graduate from high school this year. When I say "worked," that is a misnomer; every cliche you can think of related to volunteering comes to play. What I had envisioned initially as an effort became a weekly joy and my contact with the student has greatly enriched my life. Frankly, most of what I do is just listen and laugh. I discovered that she loves to tell stories and give detailed descriptions--all of which help her in her own speaking and writing courses. She also helps her own thinking by summarizing for me her course work every week and answering any clarifying questions. I am so interested in what she says that the time flies and we're always in the middle of something unfinished before the bell rings. Take Stock in Children is a highly organized and purposeful organization that focuses on an investment for a lifetime, not just for the student but for the entire family. It guarantees a low-income student two or four years of college scholarship if grade requirements, weekly meetings with the mentor and behaviors are met during high school. This "gift" is founded on relationships and uplifts the entire family and community. It is one that keeps on giving in ever widening circles--even building our nation's citizenry.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started my work as a mentor 7 years ago because I wanted to do something positive for young people. I consider going to college to be the key turning point in my life and I wanted to be a part of helping others reach that goal as well. I grew up in a family that experienced much financial hardship and because of the education I obtained I have been able to provide a much more secure life for my children. Through this program I am now passing that on to the students I mentor. It is a great feeling! My first mentee went to Florida State University last year (that was my school too) and I could not be more proud! The program really does work!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's easy for politicians, preachers and even pop singers to encourage us to focus on children through such catchy sayings as "the children are our future." Having said such, most go about their busy lives commuting, working, shopping,and parenting. If we truly believe the children are our future, our chlidren deserve more, and we owe them more. The TAKE STOCK IN CHILDREN is a direct infusion into at risk childrens' lives. I volunteer at a food pantry, and cut checks for charities each year hoping that there is something good as a result. But this program works. TAKE STOCK children, through no fault of their own, have the cards stacked against them. They have to swallow their pride at food banks and social service agencies -- often queuing up for hours to see the only doctor willing to take them. Unlike charity, TAKE STOCK gives the students a sense of pride. I have seen it work first hand. I've had the luxury of time, and the educational ability, to mentor a young woman since 9th grade. I've seen her grow from a scared, silent, young girl living on the fringes and being on the fringes of cliques and circles at high school, to a strong, 12th grade student leader. I've been told by school officials how she appears to look forward to our weekly visit. Our visits are HER time. I am there just for her and that matters. I tutor her in her subjects, but I also offer consistency, some personal and scholastic advice, but most of all, an ear plugged in to just her for that hour. The TAKE STOCK IN CHILDREN program offers these at-risk youth a certain amount of "cover" as well. At our school I have heard students proudly announce when queried by others why they were with their adult mentor, "that was my mentor because I am in a scholarship program." This is not charity work. It also offers a certain amount of "cover" for students when posed with drug and alcohol choices as they can state, "I can't because I'd be kicked out of my scholarship program." I think the program is not only encouraging children to have college aspirations, but perhaps is saving lives as well. I've told other adults about the program, and several have followed up. I met with my mentee this morning and shared with her these thoughts about her achievements and personal growth. She beamed! That's what the program is all about. PLEASE SUPPORT this program to the fullest. IT WORKS.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my third year as a mentor TSIC.THis is an incredible program tha works to help kids one at a time. My experience has been very positive. My student has gone through some trials during my time with her and right now we are figuring out ways for her o raduate early with enough scholarship to pay for her college as well as living expenses! Her parents just are not there for her and when I went to the program to ask for help they stepped up and made sure that she was fulfilling all the reuqirements to stay on track. This is a truly inspired program.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

it has been so rewarding working one on one with very bright teens as they wind their way throught the ups and downs of being a teenager. They are active, interesting and understand the commitment they have to make to earn their college scholarship. It has been very motivating to me as a mentor. We meet weekly, review grades, discuss goals and aspirations and talk about career choices.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a wonderful experience with Take Stock In Children. They supplied me with a loving, caring mentor. They have frequent checks with me. Asking about my grades and if there is anything they could do to help. I have toured UCF because of Take Stock In Children. They have aso given me numerous back-to-school supplies so I have all I need to succeed.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a mentor with the Take Stock program, and highly recommend it to both mentors and students. My student is excelling in her Junior Year and is showing enthusiasm at the prospect of attending college. I can honestly say that I have learned as much from as she from me.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a 3rd year volunteer with Take Stock in Children. I am happy to report that the young lady I meet with is bright, happy and BUSY. She is a go getter and talks about going to school for business and planning on becoming a small business owner. During our time together I have watched her run for student government, get a job, begin dual enrollment, volunteer at the local hospital and at the school. She would make any parent proud. She didn't need me for any of this. What she does need me for is to continuously challege her. "Is this activity necessary? what will you learn from this? Will you be able to keep all your commitments? When I began mentoring I expected to be encouraging a young person to grow into new experiences and to stretch. Mentoring is about encouraging and helping a mentee self-evaluate. That happens in a variety of ways--and it's different every week. We are both growing through this relationship.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a mentor for a student for 4 years now. I started with her when she was in the 9th grade and she will graduate this year. The last four years of her life have been difficult but she has hung in there and stayed in school. It took some time for us to be comfortable together. The first year, I just asked alot of questions trying to get her to open up and trust me. For a long time I was not even sure she liked me. I was unsure as to how I could really help her, and I thought about giving it up a couple of times. But here we are 4 years later and not only do I still visit her once a week, but she calls me at home when she needs to talk or has exciting news or needs a shoulder to cry on. After she graduates, I assume they will assign another 9th grade girl to me, but I will be there for Heather as long as she needs or wants me in her life.