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Take Stock in Children of Lake & Sumter logo

The Education Foundation of Lake County is proud to announce that Take Stock in Children (TSIC) of Lake and Sumter has received the Luminary Award from the TSIC state office by earning a Gold rating and meeting or exceeding 100% of key performance indicator goals.

Take Stock in Children (TSIC) is a scholarship and mentoring program designed to break the cycle of poverty for low income, academically qualified students by providing opportunities for a post-secondary education. Students who begin the program in the 10th grade, are provided caring volunteer mentors, college and career readiness resources and, upon graduation from high school, a scholarship which can be used toward any Florida public college or university, or to a vocational/trade school.

Each year, TSIC programs in all 67 Florida counties are graded on how well they fulfill the requirements of the program which includes ensuring mentors meet with students, helping students prepare for college, and managing data.

This is the third year in a row that the Lake and Sumter program received a Gold scorecard, and the first year achieving the Luminary Award for a perfect score. “This has been a challenging year mainly because of virtual mentor sessions and the team’s efforts to make sure students and mentors were able to meet,” said Carman Cullen, Executive Director of the Education Foundation of Lake County which oversees the local TSIC program. “Despite these challenges, we are excited that 42 TSIC scholars were among the class of 2021 graduates and they are now on their way to pursuing their college and career dreams

The Lake and Sumter affiliate recently inducted 37 new students into the program and will serve a total of 138 students in public high schools throughout the two counties in the 2021-2022 school year. 

Each student in the program is matched with a volunteer adult mentor, and Take Stock is currently recruiting mentors for the upcoming year.  Traditionally, mentors meet with their student mentees at least three times per month on the school campus for at least 30 minutes per session. 

“Mentoring looked a little different this year, and we expect to continue with a blend of virtual and in-person mentoring for the upcoming year,” said Connie Kolisnyk, program manager.