TSIC DeSoto Contract Signing 1000px

Six DeSoto County students received two-year tuition scholarships through Take Stock in Children on April 7 at the DeSoto County School Board. Pictured from left to right are: Katelyn Kersey, Michaelyn Grantham, Aaron Gamez, Jessica German, Rafael Villegas-Patino, Jose Ochoa, and Dr. Karyn Gary, superintendent.

AVON PARK, Fla.–April 8, 2015–South Florida State College’s Take Stock in Children program recently awarded six new scholarships to students in DeSoto County. 

Students who received scholarships were Aaron Gamez, eighth grade; Jessica German, tenth grade; Michaelyn Grantham, seventh grade; Katelyn Kersey, seventh grade; Jose Ochoa, seventh grade; and Rafael Villegas-Patino, eigth grade.

Take Stock in Children (TSIC) is a statewide program that provides at-risk children with a mentor and a college scholarship. In return, TSIC scholars 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.  “So many students 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 www.southflorida.edu/giving/take-stock-children.