Fifteen Highlands County middle and high school students received two-year tuition scholarships through Take Stock in Children, a nonprofit organization that helps low-income children with mentoring and scholarships to a college or a vocational school, on April 26. Students who received scholarships were: Genesis Shannon, Rorie Bean, Dalila Eugenio-Badillo, Nyla Wrightsman, Jocelyn Hernandez, Sole Knorr-Lavatte, Colby Whit, Anthony Adhin, Donald Wylie, Aiden Beasley, Kevin Lopez, Brittany Castillo, Makenzie Thomas, Adrianne Silva, Gianna Saccente.

Fifteen Highlands County middle and high school students received two-year tuition scholarships through Take Stock in Children, a nonprofit organization that helps low-income children with mentoring and scholarships to a college or a vocational school, on April 26. Students who received scholarships were: Genesis Shannon, Rorie Bean, Dalila Eugenio-Badillo, Nyla Wrightsman, Jocelyn Hernandez, Sole Knorr-Lavatte, Colby Whitt, Anthony Adhin, Donald Wylie, Aiden Beasley, Kevin Lopez, Brittany Castillo, Makenzie Thomas, Adrianne Silva, Gianna Saccente.

South Florida State College’s (SFSC) Take Stock in Children (TSIC) program recently awarded 15 new scholarships to middle school and high school students in Highlands County at a contract signing on April 26 at the Hotel Jacaranda, Avon Park.

Students who received scholarships were: Genesis Shannon, Rorie Bean, Dalila Eugenio-Badillo, Nyla Wrightsman, Jocelyn Hernandez, Sole Knorr-Lavatte, Colby Whitt, Anthony Adhin, Donald Wylie, Aiden Beasley, Kevin Lopez, Brittany Castillo, Makenzie Thomas, Adrianne Silva, Gianna Saccente.

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 15 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.