Local News

Take Stock in Children honors mentors, seniors

— The South Florida State College Foundation’s Take Stock in Children class of 2014 was honored June 3 at a Mentor Appreciation and Senior Night Recognition Banquet at the Hotel Jacaranda.

The program honored TSIC mentors who have given their time, encouragement and support to students in the program. Mentors from Avon Park, Lake Placid and Sebring included Elizabeth Andrews, William Beck, Erik Castanon, Irene Castanon, Felecia Dozier, Bettye Hart, Barbara Turner, Amy Williams, Robert Barger, Jessie Causey, Janice Del Sesto, Jon Draper, Paul Frazier, Sarah McKee, Ann Pollard, Mike Rider, Kris Rider, Richard Rucker, Carolyn Sellers, Jeff Senn, Arlene Tuck, Ohn Varady, Theodore Boehme, Shannon Kelly, Cynthia Kinser, Thomas Nunnallee, Olivia Scott, Kristie Sottile, Jon Spencer, Loretta Thompson and Angel Wiggins.

In attendance was Wally Cox, Superintendent of Highlands County Schools, to thank the mentors and to congratulate the class of 2014.

With 45 graduates, it is the largest class to graduate from the program that serves students in DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands counties.

TSIC graduates from Avon Park High School included Tamia Caldwell, Mariah Claitt, Ruben Coronado, Jovani Hernandez, Jennifer Patino Castro, Taylor Ritchie, Erica Mari Rodriguez and Darlin Romero.

TSIC graduates from Lake Placid High School included Ashton Abela, Royce Abela, Jose Becerra, Stephanie Bennett, Callie Bobo, Ebony Davis, Daisy Mares, Cristian Resendiz, Felix Salazar, Joanna Sanchez, Lexi Siegle, Jarrod Thorpe and Lucero Torres.

TSIC graduates from Sebring High School included Marissa Andujar, Mariana Becker, Carlton Borecky, Ferdinand Cortez, Elton Gargano, Emily Gilbert, Jazmin Gomez, Yamilex Mejia and Ieshia Spencer.

Through this program, students received a total of 658 college credits. These seniors have already been accepted and will attend colleges and universities throughout Florida.

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, avoid behavior that would get them into trouble with law enforcement, attend school regularly and earn satisfactory grades. The students’ parents also sign the contracts and agree to provide home environments conducive to education and to participate in.

The SFSC Foundation is the lead agency for TSIC within the college’s service district of DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands counties.

For information about Take Stock in Children, call Irene Castanon, program coordinator, at 453-3133 or visit www.southflorida.edu/foundation/takestock/.