Feb 03, 2011

FCSports Foundation Makes $200K Contribution To Take Stock In Children

Take Stock in Children of Orange County held its annual ceremony today, recognizing incoming and returning students at Valencia Community College�s West Campus on Thursday, February 3. The program celebrated the addition of 24 new seventh graders looking to make the most of the opportunity to advance their education. The Florida Citrus Sports Foundation � the TSIC program�s founding partner in Orange County � has made a $200,000 contribution for 2011.

Take Stock in Children of Orange County held its annual ceremony today, recognizing incoming and returning students at Valencia Community College�s West Campus on Thursday, February 3. The program celebrated the addition of 24 new seventh graders looking to make the most of the opportunity to advance their education. The Florida Citrus Sports Foundation � the TSIC program�s founding partner in Orange County � has made a $200,000 contribution for 2011.  The Foundation�s commitment to TSIC � which now totals $600,000 in three years — allows it to help area children in need take another step forward from the annual FCSports Summer Camp. Eligible students can now get help from age 10 all the way through to a college degree.

�Addressing the needs of disadvantaged children in our community has been, and continues to be, the mission of our membership for over 60 years,� said FCSports Foundation Director Jill Mickle.  �When you look into the eyes of these 110 kids involved in the Take Stock in Children program and see their potential, it makes you want to work even harder to help them realize their dreams.  The education of a young person has always been an investment in their future and the future of our community.� 

Now entering just its fourth year in Orange County, the total number of participating TSIC students is up to 106.  Add this to the over 200+ at-risk children already participating in FCSports Summer Camp and the thousands who participate in bowl season�s Dream Ticket Clearinghouse, and the list of Florida Citrus Sports Foundation �MVPs� continues to grow.

Take Stock in Children is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing scholarships and mentors to qualifying low-income, at-risk youth in Florida.  Since its inception in 1995, it has served more than 17,600 students through use of the Florida pre-paid college fund.  Prior to the collaborative effort of VCC and FCSports, Orange County was the lone county in the state without the widely-successful program.

�In my thirty years in educational leadership, I�ve never seen a more effective program for reaching out to at-risk youth than Take Stock in Children,� said Valencia president Dr. Sandy Shugart.  �We were very fortunate as we moved toward launching this program to find a founding partner that already had a long history of extraordinary support for at-risk youth.  The Florida Citrus Sports Foundation�s generous support of Valencia and Take Stock has enabled us to scale the program up at a time when others are cutting back.  This will have a huge impact on our community.�

Students participating in the program are selected in the seventh grade and agree to maintain a minimum 2.5 grade point average and meet with their assigned mentor weekly. Once they graduate high school, they will have the opportunity to attend a two-year community college and then complete their education at a state college or university.

Florida Citrus Sports Foundation�s donation to the Take Stock in Children program is one of many programs the FCSports Foundation employs to serve at-risk children in Central Florida. The children are the organization�s �MVPs� and the Foundation is committed to helping them improve their lives and attain their goals.

The program is continually looking for mentors.  For more information on how to serve as a TSIC mentor, contact Valencia Community College/TSIC Executive Director Elisha Gonzalez-Bonnewitz (takestockinchildren@valenciacc.edu) or the Florida Citrus Sports Foundation (jmickle@fcsports.com). For more information via phone, call 407-582-3120.
 

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