Take Stock in Children is Calling for Volunteers to Help Mentor Low-Income Students throughout Miami Dade County Public Schools
Mentor Doug Brown congratulated mentee Luco Pierre upon receiving his scholarship.
Miami, July 23, 2009 - It was nearly seven years ago, when at five feet tall, new Miami Dade College (MDC) student, Luco Pierre lifted his gaze and outstretched his arm to shake the hand of the six foot man who would help him reach his dream of attending college. The pair was teamed up through Take Stock in Children (TSIC), a renowned mentoring program housed at MDC’s Wolfson Campus. Today, TSIC is making an appeal for new mentors to join the team providing hope and guidance to students throughout Miami Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS).
TSIC, a partnership between MDC and MDCPS, is a comprehensive program helping low-income children succeed by providing college and vocational scholarships, volunteer mentors and more. With more than 450 students currently enrolled in the program, the outcome has shown that mentored students are 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs, 52% less likely to skip school and 35% less likely to skip classes.
“It is actually proven that Take Stock in Children or any mentoring program decreases the rate of kids becoming involved in crime, drugs or alcohol. We have a policy that none of our students are allowed to be involved in those things,” said Carin West, TSIC Mentorship and Development Specialist.
Students working toward obtaining a four-year tuition scholarship to college from TSIC must sign a performance contract, maintain good grades and strive at living an honorable life.
“Joining Take Stock in Children gave me a whole lot of encouragement to do better in school. I was always a good student, but knowing that now I have something to live up to, that’s something many people don’t have,” said Luco Pierre, TSIC mentee.
The program has graduated and provided scholarships to 532 students of which 93% have enrolled in college. Overall, Take Stock in Children has impacted the lives of nearly 17,600 students throughout Florida.
TSIC students are matched with an adult mentor who meets with the student at his or her school for one hour per week. Mentoring sessions range from 30- 45 minutes and occur at a school near the mentor’s home or workplace, during school hours. The day and time of mentoring sessions is arranged between the mentor and mentee depending on their individual schedules and classes. All TSIC mentors learn the principles and guidelines of school-based, academic focused mentoring at an initial orientation session and receive a manual that contains tools for addressing the general needs of their students.
“The biggest thing is that you make a difference. The graduation rate in Florida for high school kids is terrible. I believe the graduation rate of our program is over 95% or 98% so you see hands on that you can make a difference, you can help,” added Doug Brown, TSIC mentor.
For more information on becoming a Take Stock in Children mentor, please contact Carin West at 305-237-7571 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, email@example.com, MDC communications director
Cindy J. Irizarry, 305-237-3920, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, email@example.com, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359, email@example.com, media specialist