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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.