FULFILLING COLLEGE HOPES FOR LOW INCOME AND AT-RISK STUDENTS IN BREVARD COUNTY
Take Stock in Children offers to eligible students: college scholarships, caring volunteer mentors and hope for a better life. Established in Brevard County in 1996, Take Stock in Children is a state-wide initiative which gives low-income and a-risk students the opportunity to escape the cycle of poverty through education.
Low-income and at-risk children face
insurmountable obstacles that make finishing high school difficult and going to
college almost impossible. Right now, almost 60% of Florida children are living
in poverty and the numbers are increasing every year. Often times children are
overlooked and underserved. Most of these students face a bleak future as they
do not have the resources offered to their peers from higher socio-economic
levels to complete their education.
We know, economically, higher education will be critical for individual economic success. College graduates in comparison to those with only a high school diploma:
Take Stock in Children’s comprehensive services start in middle school, continue through high school and include the transition to college or vocational school. Given extensive support and motivation, children will work hard to graduate from high school and attain a college degree.
Today, the demand remains strong for the type of intervention that Take Stock in Children provides. If anything, demographic changes during the past 20 years have increased the sense of urgency. Growing wealth disparity means that many would-be students are being priced out of the post-secondary market as the cost of attending college rises faster than family incomes. For millions of Americans, incomes are stagnant or in decline. Research shows that this, among other factors, lessen the chances that academically qualified students will attend college and earn a meaningful credential. Never has there been a worse time to be educationally underqualified. Our program helps to ensure that students graduate from high school with the knowledge and skills they need to complete their postsecondary education and to successfully enter the work force.
We are unique among college readiness programs in the US. We don’t rely on mentoring alone. Every student is assigned a professional College Success Coach who provides:
Our model also includes a Florida Prepaid Scholarship. The scholarship provides an incentive to students who invest their “sweat equity” in improving grades and investing the time needed to be fully prepared for college. It also ensures our students complete college with minimum debt loads.