2015 Hardee Contract Signing

Pictured front row (left to right): Lucia Galvez; Rosa Guerrero; and Jonathan Orta. Second row: Irene Castanon, TSIC Program Coordinator; Priscilla Villazana; Luis Martinez; Adriana Perez; and Sandra Contreras-Ramirez. Third row: David D. Durastanti, Hardee County Schools Superintendent; Dr. Michele Polk, Principal of Hardee Senior High; Doug Herron, Principal of Hardee Junior High; and Thomas Trevino, Chairman of the Hardee County School Board.

South Florida State College’s (SFSC) Take Stock in Children (TSIC) program recently awarded seven new scholarships to middle school and high school students in Hardee County at a contract signing on April 9 at the Hardee County School Board meeting.

Students who received scholarships were Lucia Galvez, Rosa Guerrero, Jonathan Orta, Priscilla Villazana, Luis Martinez, Adriana Perez, and Sandra Contreras-Ramirez.

Take Stock in Children (TSIC) is a statewide program that provides at-risk children with a mentor and a college scholarship. In return, TSIC scholar’s sign contracts in which they promise to remain drug-free, to avoid behavior that would get them into trouble with law enforcement, to attend school regularly, and to earn satisfactory grades. The students’ parents also sign the contracts and agree to provide home environments conducive to education and to participate in.

“When we awarded these 43 scholarships throughout DeSoto, Hardee, and Highlands school districts, it was phenomenal,” said Irene Castanon, TSIC program coordinator. “There were so many students, who were really nervous and excited at this year’s contract signings. More importantly, their hope of going to college has now become a reality.”

The SFSC Foundation, Inc. is the lead agency for TSIC within the college’s service district of DeSoto, Hardee, and Highlands counties. The program has been in place for 20 years and has awarded scholarships to over 500 local students.

For information about Take Stock in Children, call Irene Castanon, program coordinator, at 863-453-3133 or visit http://www.southflorida.edu/giving/take-stock-children.