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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

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

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.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a mentor for Take Stock in Children for 3 years. I feel I have really influenced a student to stick to her goals of going to college dispite a really hard homelife and peer presures in high school to go astray. She is a senior and without Take Stock involvement in her life she would not want to achieve what she is so capable of doing. Santa Rosa Take Stock really does not give up on anyone that what wants to achieve.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For four years I have been a "Mentor" for a young man who is a candidate for a Take Stock In Children (TSIC) scholarship in Santa Rosa County, Florida. In the abstract I cannot imagine a better program than TSIC--finding and providing college scholarships to bright kids, who might not otherwise be able to attend college because of financial or other issues at home. In the case of my particular mentee, this program is of critical importance. It has provided the centering point for the "village of support" required to keep him on track in school and in his life outside of school. I was a church "caregiver" to my mentee's Dad and got well acquainted with the young man and the issues he faced at home long before I learned about TSIC. Then at a critical point when I was faced with possibility of having to call in Children's Services to ensure the son's welfare, TSIC provided the solution. Through a series of "coincidences" (miracles?) a member of Santa Rosa County's TSIC Board, Vaughn Nichols, happened to know about Hunter and his family situation. Vaughn nominated Hunter for the TSIC scholarship program and asked me to be his Mentor. I accepted and thus was able to personally look out for Hunter's academic performance while closely monitoring the situation at home (until his Dad's untimely death early this year). Hunter is a fun, nice, very intelligent high school junior who has been largely on his own for several years, responsible for making most of his own decisions. He is a strong, and VERY independent young man as a result. Some of his "decisions"--mainly with respect to amount of effort--have led to grade problems. But in each case Hunter's TSIC-centered "village" has stepped in to help him get his grades back where they belong. This "village" includes me and Santa Rosa County Director Angi Brown from TSIC, Football Coach Chris Nemith and other teachers/counselors at Gulf Breeze High School, and Kara/Kent McConaghy who have opened up their home to Hunter. Members of the "village" have also become quite adept at identifying potential problems outside of school and "pointing them out" to Hunter. As a Mentor I meet with Hunter one hour per week at school...but I meet with other "villagers" by email and phone often on a daily basis. To me, TSIC is the perfect confluence of charity, volunteerism, and government. Folks from the community put up the funds...but when I need help as a volunteer, Santa Rosa County's Angi Brown will join me for a meeting at Gulf Breeze High School in a heartbeat, and it's a 45 minute trip for her. [If any reader of this letter is looking for someone deserving of an individual award, I nominate Angi.] My wife and I have twice attended the TSIC "Rally in Tally" on the steps of the state capitol along with Hunter. You can "feel the excellence" at this event with a thousand mentors and scholarship candidates, bands, Outback steaks, numerous dignitaries, and Governor Krist with his biggest smile of the year. I was shocked to learn that as of last year, no other state had this program. It should be in all 50 states! John Cooper Gulf Breeze, Florida Mentor, Take Stock in Children

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my third year being a mentor with Take Stock in Children and it has truly been a blessing to me. This program allows you to bond with students and give them an adult’s view on the world that is not their parents. To often kids roll their eyes at their parents/relatives when they are given advice, but when you establish a friendship and a mentorship with one of these amazing children they truly listen and learn. They realize that you don't HAVE to be there. They realize you are doing this to help them and when that light goes on you get to see these kids go from children to aspiring young adults. When we meet once a week we talk about school, politics, sports, girlfriends, kids and many other interesting topics. To see a child wanting to learn more about the world and not just "school" is amazing. Then to see them want more out of life because of the things you spoke about is even more amazing. This is truly a mutually gratifying experience and I challenge more people to get involved and help mentor one of these amazing children today.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The students I have mentored were excellent students, but they needed someone to listen to them. Their home life was not nurturing. They needed some advise on social matters rather than academics. I think the program is well worthwhile.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wonderful, Wonderful! That has been my experience with the Take Stock in Children program. This is my eighth year in the program and my third TSIC student. One of my most memorable experiences is when my last mentee graduated high school. You see, she was failing most of her classes when I met her because of her low self esteem and personal issues at home. She had convinced herself that she couldn't do the work and that no one cared about her. I saw differently! Together, meeting weekly, we were able to bring her grades up and gradually her self esteem increased too. Once my mentee knew that I would be there for her every week she actually was excited for us to meet and do her work together. Honestly, you may not think that spending just one hour a week with a student is effective, but to some of these TSIC students it is like winning the lottery! Eventually, when I saw that she was going to be able to graduate I spoke to her about college. I let her know of all the scholarship opportunities that were available to her through this program. Needless, to say my mentee not only graduated high school with an average grade, but she went on to our local college to study to be an artist. Oh, how she loved to draw! Quite good at it too might I add! This program not only changes lives of students, but it changes our lives as well!! I am so thankful for the Take Stock in Children program!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a mentor to the same Take Stock in Children student for three years, I have connected with the increasing struggles facing low-income families and their children today. Even so, my student gave $20 of her first meager paycheck to a homeless person outside WalMart. Our Take Stock student advocate paves the way at school arranging meeting places and keeping me up to date on opportunities available to my student and me to explore resources and participate in activities that will help me provide support to her as she moves from high school and hopefully on to college.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my first year working with Take Stock in Children. I have really enjoyed getting to know the student I am mentoring and also knowing that I have helped her in many ways. I meet with my student, at least, once a week and discuss her future goals and how she is doing now. She was unaware of all of the scholarship opportunities out there that she can take advantage of. She is a junior and a very intelligent young lady. It has truly been a please meeting with her and letting her bounce ideas off me. Just last week she brought in some pictures that she had taken for her photography class, I could tell that she was hesitant to show them off because she didn't know how I would react. Her pictures were awesome and I could tell how happy it made her to have an adult’s approval of her work.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I mentor a young lady named Sarah. Sarah comes from a single parent home with that parent being disabled. I have watched Sarah flourish through the years. She is an excellent student and does much of the care-taking of her mother. She is an honor student and has dreams--the scholarship will provide the opportunity for this student to rise a level above her parents and family situation. The talks that we share have built a relationship in which she can share concerns and I can provide guidance and encouragement.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my first experience with Take Stock in Children. I have really enjoyed meeting with my student, and was thrilled to find out how excited she was to meet with me and be a part of this program!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Take Stock in Children (Santa Rosa County, Florida) is beneficial in so many ways. This organization provides scholarships to financially needy children. Their accompanying mentor program gives one-on-one time to these worthy students, giving support and guidance as they go through the critical teen years. I feel privileged to be a part of this process. This is my 3rd year to mentor a high school student who is eligible for a paid-in-full college scholarship if she maintains her grade point average. She is now a junior and we started our relationship her freshman year. During this time, we have become very close. I am so proud of my mentee and tell her so frequently. If it weren't for this program, this bright sweet girl would never have a chance to go to college due to her family's financial circumstances. I look forward to attending her college graduation and see her become a contributing member to society.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a mentor for Take Stock in Children. I've been mentoring the same young lady for a little over two years now. I've had the pleasure of helping her set goals and strive to reach those goals. This program will allow students from economically disadvantaged families have the opportunity to attend college. I wish this program had been around when I was in high school. It's a positive approach to reaching the students that hope to achieve success after high school.