About Take Stock in Children (TSIC)
Take Stock in Children was established in 1995 as a non-profit organization in Florida that provides a unique opportunity for low-income and at-risk students, many from minority families, to escape the cycle of poverty through education. We offer our students college scholarships, caring volunteer mentors, and hope for a better life.
Each student who enters our program signs a contract promising to remain crime and drug-free, maintain a 2.5 GPA and above, exhibit good behavior, and meet with their assigned mentor regularly through high school graduation. Upon graduation, students receive a 4-year college tuition scholarship. Take Stock in Children staff meet with students in the program each semester to ensure students have the resources they need to complete school. Student grades are tracked quarterly and immediate intervention is provided should students show signs of academic decline.
Our comprehensive services start in middle school, continue through high school and include their transition into college. This program is funded through a unique public-private fundraising model, and our mentors generously volunteer their services to our children. Take Stock graduates have a 97% high school completion rate compared to 71% that aren't in the program. Of that, 92% of TSIC graduates enrolled in college and 70% of those graduated college.
Take Stock in Children Surprise Days
Once a student has been selected as a new Take Stock in Children scholar, Foundation staff and school personnel have the opportunity to surprise the student in their classroom in front of their peers. These surprise days are also the first time these students are informed that they have been invited to join the 160 other School District of Lee County Public School students that are already active in our Take Stock in Children program.
Take Stock in Children New Scholar Luncheon
After receiving the news that they have been selected for the program, students will also receive an invitation to a luncheon in their honor. Alongside their parents, students pledge to complete the program requirements and sign a contract promising that they will do what is expected of them during their time in the program. Students also have the chance to hear from prominent community speakers on relevant topics such as determination, hard work, and perseverance. Following the ceremony, our newly inducted class of students have a chance to meet their new mentor and college success coach; both are two individuals who will provide the student with constant support and guidance until their high school graduation. This induction ceremony is just the first stop on these students' road to success!
Take Stock in Children Graduation
Each year, the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools hosts a graduation luncheon to honor and award that year's graduating class of Take Stock in Children seniors. In attendance are the students' families, mentors, counselors, administrators, as well as local community and business leaders. Each student is recognized and awarded for the dedication and commitment that they have shown throughout their time in the program. With over 630 students graduating with a Take Stock in Children scholarship from the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, this event is always a spectacular demonstration of our students' hard work and continued pursuit of excellence. For many students, the graduation luncheon is the culmination of up to six years of academic and personal development, and each graduate is celebrated for the personal milestones that they have achieved.
Take Stock in Children Strides for education 5k walk/run
The Annual Strides for Education 5k Run/Walk is a fundraiser that directly benefits Lee County's Take Stock in Children mentoring program by ensuring that each of our graduates receive 4-year college tuition scholarships. With support from our local community and business partners, the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools has awarded over $6.5 million in scholarships to our students, creating postsecondary opportunities for those students most in need of academic and financial support. Running in the race is not required; we welcome any sort of participation, including walking, volunteering, or even just being there to cheer on our students! This year's 13th Annual Take Stock in Children's Strides for Education 5k saw 1,200+ participants, whose support and commitment to our students allowed us to raise nearly $30,000 to directly benefit our Take Stock in Children program!
This year's mentor award winners are:
Mentor of the Year - Heather Carter
Most Dedicated - Bill Hewins
Most Sessions - Ziomara Lee
Thank you to these wonderful mentors, for everything you do to make the Take Stock in Children program a success!
Take Stock in Children Mentor Appreciation Event
The Take Stock in Children program is successful largely due to the hard work and dedication demonstrated by the volunteer mentors that selflessly give their time to help our students succeed. These mentors commit considerable time and energy to our students, making sure they are both academically and personally successful in their endeavors. To express our gratitude for all that they do, the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools hosts a mentor appreciation banquet where our mentors can be recognized and appreciated for their efforts. Alongside food and drink, our mentors have the opportunity to mix, mingle, and network as they connect with other mentors from around the community, Aside from thanking each and every mentor in the Lee County Take Stock in Children program, this event also allows us to recognize many of our mentors that go above and beyond for their students. These special awards are presented to our mentor of the year, our most dedicated mentor, and our mentor with the most sessions for the year.
Take Stock in Children Mentors
The Take Stock in Children mentoring program is a truly rewarding experience to take part in. The goal of these programs is to provide guidance, support, advice, real-world experience, motivation, and most importantly compassion to students in Lee County. Students are selected for these programs based on the presence of risk factors that may impede or prevent high school graduation and college enrollment. The students are chosen with the expectation and goal of academic and personal success while working to escape the cycle of poverty. Through trainings, constant communication, and just one hour a month of your time, our mentors make a positive impact in our students' lives forever.
If you are interested in enriching the lives of our local Lee County students, we welcome you to complete our mentor application! After becoming a mentor, you will join 136 other dedicated volunteers who have committed to supporting and guiding our students through middle and high school.
Take Stock in Children 2023-2024 Applications are now Closed. They will re-open in august of 2024.
Applications for the Take Stock in Children program open every August for 6th and 9th graders attending one of Lee County's middle or high schools. Applicants are asked to complete the online application and submit letters of recommendation, report cards, and financial information to the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools. Once applications close in October, each qualified application is reviewed and scored by a selection committee containing individuals from our academic and business community. Following review by the selection committee, students selected to continue in the selection process will have the chance to complete an interview with Foundation staff. These interviews provide the foundation staff the opportunity to learn more about the student, as well as afford the student a chance to ask questions and become more acquainted with the program.