For some children who live in poverty, the dream of a college education may seem to be nothing more than a “dream” to them. It is often the children from low income families who fall through the cracks of our education system. If these kids cannot recognize that there is hope for a future in the classroom, they will often turn away from school. Some drop out of school so they can start earning an income as soon as possible and others may turn to a more unsavory lifestyle. It is these kids that need some one to take stock in them.
“Take Stock in Children” is a mentoring program in Florida that gives these children the real opportunity of making that dream come true. They focus on students from low income families who have a sincere desire to some day go to college. They offer a scholarship to high school children (starting in the 8th grade) who agree to live up to the standards set by the program. Students have to actually sign a contract agreeing that they will stay in school, maintain good grades, exhibit good behavior, remain crime and drug free, and meet with their mentors once a week.
It is difficult for many of us to really understand the state of mind of a young high school student that comes from a low income background. The peer pressure from their friends to go in the wrong direction is often enormous and difficult to turn away from. Students from this demographic, who prefer to stay home and study, are the ones that we simply cannot let get away. We need to give them the opportunity of a lifetime, the opportunity of a college scholarship, and we need to support them throughout their entire high school experience.
This program is funded through individual donations, corporate sponsors and fundraiser events. Many of the largest corporations in Florida participate in the funding of his program. For those who cannot afford to give anything more than time, there is the opportunity to become a mentor. A mentor will meet with a student once a week from junior high school to graduation day. This is one of the most rewarding methods of giving, and I don’t think there could possibly be a better feeling than watching your student pack up and actually go off to college. It is not a dream anymore.
Take Stock in Children has had over 16,000 students sign up for their program since 1995.