Student Success Stories


  • Melkevia Morris
    Melkevia Ivey Melkevia Ivey was the youngest and the first in her family to go to college. Melkevia’s life changed when she became a Take Stock in Children scholar in the Duval County program. With a mentor and the promise of a scholarship, Melkevia became confident in school and soon discovered her love for numbers and accounting. After she graduated high school, she pursued an accounting degree at Florida A&M University. Melkevia didn’t stop there. ...Read More
  • Jared-Torres-Jacobsons
    Jared Torres In the 6th grade, Jared Torres participated in the Annual Rally in Tally, an annual student event in Tallahassee. Traveling with other students from Broward County, Jared toured the State Capitol and met with Government leaders. ...Read More
  • student-chris-perez
    Chris Perez When Christopher first moved to Fernandina Beach from Miami in 1996, he was the only Hispanic student in his 5th grade class. Even though this transition was difficult, Christopher managed to overcome the cultural barriers... ...Read More
  • Jonathan
    Jonathan Montes de Oca My life changed when I was called up to the principal's office in eighth grade to learn I had been accepted into the Take Stock program and was going to have an opportunity to go to college. ...Read More
  • Gideon
    Wilnic Gideon Wilnic Gideon had to make a defining choice in his life. Follow the crowd that wasn’t doing well in high school or forge his own path to make sure he graduated. Wilnic choose transforming his life through the Take Stock in Children Palm Beach program. ...Read More
  • Jean 2
    Jean Monecla High School Senior Jean Monecla, a scholar with Take Stock in Children’s Palm Beach program was determined not to be a statistic. Growing up without a father and raised by a teenage mother, Jean knew his road to success would not be without its obstacles and challenges. ...Read More
  • kelly-turner-photo-5 -resized
    Kelly Turner With big dreams of graduating college and becoming a politician so he can be an agent of change in his community, country and world, Kelly Turner, a Take Stock in Children scholar with the Lee County program, is on track as a highs school graduate bound for college. But, his pathway to success wasn’t always certain. ...Read More
  • Felicia teaching
    Felicia Blocker Felicia Blocker, a Take Stock in Children 2006 alumna from Alachua County, remembers having to juggle a lot in high school. She studied long hours to get good grades, was involved with extracurricular activities and worked part-time to pay her expenses. ...Read More
  • changing lives polaroid
    Amalio Montez In his high school years, Amalio Montez faced two major obstacles to achieving his college dreams – a lack of educational role models and limited knowledge on postsecondary education. After he became a Take Stock in Children scholar with the Immokalee Foundation, Amalio said his attitude about his future changed. “Growing up, I felt that I wanted to go to college, but I also felt that there was no chance that I would go and the reason would be finances.” ...Read More
  • Sara-Gaver-800x600
    Sara Gaver Sara Gaver, a TSIC alumna of the Volusia Program, was recently named Ms. Wheelchair Florida 2015. Born with a physical disability called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita which results in joint contractures and muscle weakness, Sara operates a power wheelchair with her head. Throughout her early years of life, Sara's parents had always been her advocates. "They don't see my disability as a disability; they see me for all of my abilities." ...Read More
  • Me speaking at TSIC luncheon
    Courtney Santanna Courtney Santanna Hayward always underestimated herself. She had dreams to be successful and go to college, but wasn't sure how she was going to do it. Until one day, Courtney wrote an essay that changed her life. Her words told her story. Her mother had passed away right before she started high school and her father just wasn't around. She was going to have to find a way to make it on her own. ...Read More
  • Janet Pineda
    Janet Pineda As a child of a single, migrant parent, Janet had aspirations to go to college but had no idea how she could afford it. No one in her family had traveled that path. Originally from a small town in western Mexico, Janet’s mother moved her and her four siblings to the United States in search of a better life. ...Read More
  • Carolina Garcia
    Carolina Garcia Following the hope of the American Dream, Carolina Garcia, a Take Stock in Children Clay Program alumna, remembers when her family moved from Columbia to Florida, settling in Jacksonville. Starting over, her father, a civil engineer in his home country, worked construction jobs to pay the bills and feed his family. Carolina and her brother struggled to adapt to the new country, new language, new school, and new friends. ...Read More
  • Desta Photo cropped
    Desta Meghoo-Tonge A 2003 alumna of the Take Stock in Children program in Marion county, Desta Meghoo-Tonge credits Wendy Welch, her Take Stock in Children mentor, for teaching her the most important life lesson - believing in yourself. As a Take Stock scholar, Desta met with Wendy every week. She thought these meetings would be focused on her academics. They were much more. Wendy shared with Desta advice that would help shape and mold Desta's future. ...Read More
  • Terrance revised
    Terrance Gilliam Take Stock in Children is proud to recognize Terrance Gilliam as this year's recipient of our 2016 Alumni of the Year Award. A graduate of Sarasota High School, he went on to study at Florida A&M University, where he earned a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing in 2011. ...Read More
  • Andrea Lee Head Shot
    Andrea Lee Andrea Lee, an academic advisor at the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. says her life’s journey has brought her full circle. Not so long ago, she was in her student’s shoes – struggling to find the path that would lead to her academic and professional goals. ...Read More
  • Meher cropped
    Meher Farooq An aspiring and ambitious student, Meher Farooq had grown up dreaming of becoming a doctor. As a kid, she researched health issues for her parents to help them with their medical treatments. Full of curiosity, Meher spent countless hours studying the world of medicine. She felt like a pioneer in her studies because no one in her family had ever pursued medicine. ...Read More
  • Anthony Ritter
    Anthony Ritter Our 2017 Alumnus of the Year Anthony Ritter is a shining example of the transformative power of the Take Stock in Children program. Inspired by how our program changed his own life, Anthony is now changing the lives of countless other students as a teacher and robotics coach at Eustis Heights Elementary. ...Read More

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