Take Stock Means a Chance at College

Take Stock in Children of Orange County held a ceremony today to recognize and celebrate its new and returning student participants, as well as their parents, mentors and community and corporate sponsors.

During the ceremony, which took place in the Special Events Center on Valencia’s West Campus, 24 seventh-grade students from local middle schools were welcomed into the program, bringing the total number of participating students to 108.

Take Stock in Children is a statewide initiative that helps underserved children succeed, starting at age 12, by providing college scholarships, volunteer mentors, early intervention and long-term support. High standards, parental involvement and community support are crucial to the program’s success.

“The generous support of Take Stock in Children by founding partner Florida Citrus Sports Foundation and Mears Transportation has enabled us to scale the program up at a time when others are cutting back,” said Valencia President Sandy Shugart. “This will have a huge impact on our community.”

On January 19, the Orlando Magic Youth Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund, awarded a grant of $100,000 to the Valencia Foundation in support of Take Stock in Children.

Attending today’s ceremony were:  Commissioner Daisy Lynum, City of Orlando; Bill Sublette, Joie Cadle and Nancy Robbinson, Orange County School Board; Commissioner Lui Damiani, Orange County Government; Ron Blocker, superintendent, Orange County Public Schools; John Newstreet, regional director, office of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio; Bill Dymond, president, Florida Citrus Sports Foundation; Steve Hogan, CEO, Florida Citrus Sports; Linda Landman Gonzalez, Orlando Magic and Valencia Foundation chair; Betsey Bell, executive director, Orlando Magic Youth Foundation; T. Picton Warlow IV, Martin Andersen-Gracia Andersen Foundation; and guest speakers Adonal Foyle, former Magic player and director of player development for the Orlando Magic, and Tom Stroup, SWAT commander and host of the NBC reality series “School Pride,” which tells the stories of communities coming together to renovate their aging and broken public schools.

This year’s inductees include students from Howard Middle School (Selena Acevedo, Brook Bonner, Jacob Davis, Mahagony Davis, Daylees Guzman, Quiniya Howard, Destiny Lane, Jacob Mclemore, Mallorie Paulk, Natalie Raphael, Irene Rodriguez, Trinh Tran, Asia Watson, Devon Watson and Tia Williams); Lee Middle School (Umesha Beckwith, Taymel Christian, Jacob Henderson, Briana Murphy and Alaysia Sims); and Lockhart Middle School (Briana Campbell, Kevin Diaz, Robert Massaline and Anthony Swingle).

Valencia Community College brought Take Stock in Children to Orange County in 2008. The first class of student participants is now in the tenth grade and will graduate from high school in 2013.

Since 1995, Take Stock in Children has impacted the lives of more than 17,600 deserving students in the state of Florida, providing more than 9,000 high school graduates with full college scholarships.

To volunteer as a mentor, provide a tax-deductible contribution or to obtain more information about Take Stock in Children of Orange County, please contact 407-582-3336 or takestockinchildren@valenciacc.edu.

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