Twelve Florida Students Chosen as Finalists for Inaugural Fellowship
Twelve student scholars in Florida have been selected as finalists for Take Stock in Children’s first-ever Leaders 4 Life Fellowship Program created in partnership with the Asofsky Family Foundation. Take Stock in Children, a statewide non-profit organization with a 15 year history of providing a post-secondary education for low-income and at-risk teenagers, will announce the final five recipients who will receive this innovative scholarship award during mid-January 2011.
The twelve highly motivated scholars, who are amongst several thousand high school students statewide benefiting from Take Stock in Children, were selected based on their demonstration of strong leadership skills, moral character and academic success. The finalists include Maria Rincon (Broward County), Angela Alford (Okaloosa County), Nathaniel Johnson (Bay County), Edwin Velazquez (Highlands County), Antoinette Hagins (Flagler County), Valiece Long (Pinellas County), Shelby McGuire (Lake/Sumter County), Ha Tran (Santa Rosa County), Michael Burris (Lee County), Jessica Amaya (Manatee County), Robert Williams (Pasco County) and Amber Tanguay (Citrus County).
These contenders have now been asked to submit a video essay, which will be used by a state selection committee to ultimately choose the five recipients who will be awarded the Leaders 4 Life Fellowship during Take Stock in Children’s annual state conference slated for February 15, 2011 in Tallahassee, Florida.
Take Stock in Children’s Leaders 4 Life Fellowship Program was created in partnership with the Asofsky Family Foundation to provide financial resources, services and support needed to ensure student success throughout college. The fellowship will provide funds for textbooks and supplies, housing, transportation, food and other college-related expenses. The mission of this program is to enable these students to excel in a university environment by giving them the resources that empower them to develop their full potential as “leaders for life.”
“These life-changing fellowships generously provided by the Asofsky Family Foundation represent a significant chapter in the history of Take Stock in Children and further exemplify our commitment to improve college enrollment and retention for our scholars,” said Richard Berkowitz, State Board Chair of Take Stock in Children. “By eliminating all financial concerns, these students will be able to focus solely on their education and embrace the college experience on the path to success.”
Students enrolled with Take Stock in Children are identified in middle and high school, and then sign a contract pledging to remain drug and crime free, as well as maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 or greater. All students that fulfill these obligations and successfully complete the Take Stock in Children program then receive full tuition scholarships to a state college or university upon graduation. The organization is the largest non-profit purchaser of Florida Prepaid Foundation Scholarships.
An emphasis on student accountability and specific measurable outcomes distinguishes Take Stock in Children from any other statewide mentoring program. Grade point averages increase with the length of time a student spends in the program, proving that Take Stock in Children’s method works.
Clearly addressing the high school drop-out crisis and college attainment, Take Stock in Children continues to report an unparalleled high school graduation rate of 92 percent, with 81 percent enrolling in college. Those numbers are significantly higher than the Florida state averages for at-risk students. Take Stock in Children currently serves nearly 8,000 low-income and minority students in grades 6-12 annually throughout 67 counties in Florida.
To learn more about benefiting from Take Stock in Children or becoming a valued mentor or supporter, please call 888-322-4673 or visit www.takestockinchildren.org.
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