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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

Community Stories

55 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

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.

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.

2

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!

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.

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

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.

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.