The event on May 31 recognized newly selected participants as well as graduating high school seniors.
by: Shimene Shepard
Student Services and Mentor Coordinator, FUTURES Take Stock in Children
Take Stock in Children, a statewide scholarship and mentoring program facilitated locally through FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools, hosted its annual New Student Induction and Senior Recognition Ceremony on May 31 at the Brannon Center in New Smyrna Beach. The event recognized newly selected participants as well as graduating high school seniors.
As proud parents, mentors and sponsors watched, 28 new students were welcomed into the program in a ceremony conducted by Volusia TSIC Leadership Council Chairperson Christopher Cloudman and TSIC Student Services & Mentor Coordinator Shimene Shepard. Volusia County School Board Vice Chairwoman Jamie Haynes and Interim Superintendent Rachel Hazel provided their congratulations and best wishes to each of the incoming students and graduating seniors. Seventh Judicial Circuit County Judge and TSIC Mentor Bryan Feigenbaum performed the induction as students and parents attested to their commitment to abide by the program’s requirements. The students will have the benefit of volunteer mentors working with them throughout their high school years, as well as the support of Ms. Shepard and College Success Coaches Wendy Feigenbaum and Jim Neill, to ensure they successfully graduate from high school and are prepared for college.
The following students are Volusia TSIC incoming scholars for the 2022-23 school year:
- Princess Smith, Atlantic High School;
- Ava Cramer, Cole Gratton, Elijah Hudzik, Shyla Kopsa, Ronin LaCorte, and Riley Williams, DeLand High School;
- Ava Gocken and Nicholas Horvath, Deltona High School;
- Kamoni Day and Jermaine Jones, Mainland High School;
- Jasper Cook, Alexis Landreth, Kemayah Mclean, and Jack Vreoxie, New Smyrna Beach High School;
- Arianna Scott, Pine Ridge High School;
- Amira Ferguson and Gersanni Smith, Seabreeze High School;
- Skylah Charles, Carlyana Irons, Tony Kinsler, Maylee Mason, Brad Mason and Marie Pratt, Spruce Creek High School;
- Becky Galarza and Jimena Mancillas, T. DeWitt Taylor Middle-High School;
- and Jaslyn Emery and Yulexy Marzol, University High School.
Seventeen members of Volusia TSIC’s Class of 2022 who are graduating from Volusia County high schools also were recognized. The following 15 students will receive a Florida Prepaid four-year college tuition scholarship:
- Timmera Lewis and Brynn Wilkes-Jeffrey, DeLand High School;
- Joseph Johnson, Mainland High School;
- Sierra Blythe and Katelyn Thigpen, Pine Ridge High School;
- Hannah Blake and Nadine Elzeidy, Seabreeze High School;
- Nikole Bordones, Deairsee Irons, and Mya Pagan, Spruce Creek High School;
- Jaylin Gonzalez and Ubaldo Hernandez, T. DeWitt Taylor Middle-High School;
- Jacob Laakso and Ja’Quane Reaves, University High School;
- and Samantha Cox, Volusia Online Learning.
The following two students will receive Florida Prepaid two-year college tuition scholarships: Nabia Khan, Atlantic High School; and Olivia Bonjour, Spruce Creek High School.
The ceremony also included several special presentations including 2021 TSIC Mentor of the Year Michael Barrett providing insight as to his mentor experience and encouragement to other adults to join the program as mentors. Jaylin Gonzalez, a senior at T. Dewitt Taylor Middle-High School, was awarded a $1,000 Arlan James Clayton Scholarship. Nadine Elzeidy, a senior at Seabreeze High School, was recognized as the TSIC Outstanding Senior for her dedication to both academic success and community service. Miss Elzeidy will be receiving a $1,000 award from FUTURES Foundation for her achievements.
TSIC scholars are selected in eighth grade based upon financial need, academic achievement, good character, and community involvement. Scholarships are funded through community and individual donations as well as proceeds from fundraisers presented by FUTURES, such as the May 20th FUTURES Caribbean Party. FUTURES Foundation works directly with the Stanley Tate Project STARS (Scholarship Tuition For At-Risk Students) Scholarship Program, part of the Florida Prepaid College Foundation, which provides dollar-for-dollar matching funds for the purchase of scholarships. Since the Stanley Tate Project STARS Scholarship Program began, more than 15,000 scholarships have been awarded statewide to low-income students at risk of dropping out of school, and who otherwise might not have had the opportunity to attend college. Made possible through the Florida Legislature, this year Project STARS matched $239,471 locally for FUTURES’ purchase of scholarships.
Donations to purchase local TSIC scholarships are accepted throughout the year and mentors are being recruited for these new students. Anyone interested in donating towards a scholarship or volunteering as a mentor for 30 minutes each week may contact Ms. Shepard at [email protected] or 386-255-6475, ext. 50724, for additional information.