Children College Scholarships

By: Stacy Andell

Take Stock in Children College Scholarships for Orlando Schools and Seminole County Public Schools

By Stacy Andell for www.schoolsk-12.com

An Overview of the Take Stock in Children College Scholarship Program

Take Stock in Children is a statewide scholarship program being implemented by Orlando Schools and the Seminole County Public School system. The program targets students with strong financial need as well as strong motivation to succeed in college. Beginning in eighth grade, students are invited to apply for the scholarships. These scholarships take the format of two years at a community college and then two years at a state university or college.

In order to be considered, both the student and the parents must sign a contract promising to follow the guidelines of Orlando Schools and Seminole County Public Schools. In addition, students must participate in a variety of Take Stock in Children activities throughout their high school years. Orlando and Seminole County Public School students must remain committed to graduating with their high school class and maintaining a drug and crime free student record.

The Take Stock in Children Program targets at – risk students in the Orlando and Seminole County Public Schools and helps them learn the skills they need to be successful in college. The motivating factor is that a successful Orlando and Seminole County Public School student becomes a successful adult able to give back to the Orlando and Seminole County Public Schools. The connection between the needs of the community and the needs of the student results in benefits for both.

Scholarships and Support

Since 1996, one hundred and seventeen students have been awarded the Take Stock in Children scholarship in the Orlando and Seminole County Public School area. The program has 69 high school students participating in Orlando and Seminole County Public Schools. 101 students have graduated and received their scholarships. The first student to graduate from college because of the program received a Bachelors of Science from the University of Central Florida.

The scholarship fund has purchased over $300,000 worth of Florida Prepaid College Scholarships for students in the state of Florida. These scholarships are waiting for the students currently participating in the middle and high school levels of the program. Orlando and Seminole County students active in the program have additional opportunities to attend workshops and seminars to help them prepare for college and build their individual skills throughout the school year.

Mentors

Each Orlando and Seminole County Public School student is paired with a community volunteer mentor who helps motivate and guide the student throughout high school. Mentors do not give a lot of time but they do provide a lot of support for students working towards the scholarship. Usually mentors meet with Orlando and Seminole County Public School students for thirty minutes once a week on the student’s high school campus. Mentors also participate in the Take Stock in Children workshops and activities. Mentors come from a range of backgrounds and are united by an interested in helping the youth of Orlando and Seminole County Public Schools achieve their dreams of a college education. In addition to the mentor role, there are often opportunities to sponsor a scholarship for an Orlando and Seminole County Public School student. Every donation is matched by the state of Florida, allowing more and more students to participate in the program.

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