Take Stock in Children honors grads, welcomes new participants

SPECIAL TO THE DAYTONA TIMES

Take Stock in Children, a statewide scholarship and mentoring program facilitated locally through FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools, held its annual New Student Induction and Senior Recognition Ceremony on May 14 at the Daytona International Speedway. Newly selected participants as well as graduating high school seniors were recognized at this celebration.

The incoming scholars are, left to right, front row: Alexander Montero, Emily Perreault, Allison Tiano, Andrew Thomas, Kayla Pinard and Natasha Garcia. Back row, left to right: Michael Troy Mitchum, Amina Jones, Sarah Johnson, Julie DeRienzo, Symara Moore and Justin Oddo.
The incoming scholars are, left to right, front row: Alexander Montero, Emily Perreault, Allison Tiano, Andrew Thomas, Kayla Pinard and Natasha Garcia. Back row, left to right: Michael Troy Mitchum, Amina Jones, Sarah Johnson, Julie DeRienzo, Symara Moore and Justin Oddo.

As proud parents, mentors and sponsors looked on, 18 new students were welcomed into the program in a ceremony officiated in part by County Judge Dawn P. Fields, a Volusia County school graduate.

Freshmen and juniors
The following 12 new Take Stock in Children students will be high school freshmen in the 2015 – 2016 school year:  Symara Moore, Atlantic High School; Amina Jones and Kayla Pinard, DeLand High School; Andrew Thomas, Mainland High School; Michael Troy Mitchum, New Smyrna Beach High School; Natasha Garcia, Pine Ridge High School; Julie DeRienzo, Justin “Jackson’’ Oddo and Allison Tiano, Seabreeze High School; Sarah Johnson and Alex Montero, T. DeWitt Taylor Middle-High School; and Juliana Gouveia, University High School.

150521_dt_front04bSix of the incoming students will be juniors: Samantha Garcia, Deltona High School; Emily Perrault, Seabreeze High School; Mya Cooks and Jonathan Gagalis, Spruce Creek High School; and Jamie Cooper and Ju’Yea Evans, Pine Ridge High School.

They will have the benefit of mentors working with them throughout their high school years as well as the support of Take Stock Program coordinator and student advocates/college success coaches, to ensure they successfully graduate from high school and are prepared for college.

17 graduates recognized
Also recognized at the event were Take Stock’s class of 2015 high school graduates.

Each of these 17 students has earned a four-year college tuition scholarship, and all have been accepted at colleges and universities. They are: Daezya Birch and William Woulard, DeLand High School; Christopher Arce, Deltona High School; Bri’Anca Dandridge, Shawnetta Duffus, Patricia Quickery and Kaeli Raspotnik, Mainland High School; Tomaree Parker and Paige Settle, Pine Ridge High School; Kourtney Hadley and Joseph Peluso, Seabreeze High School; Jeffrey Garcia and Jordan Stathakis, Spruce Creek High School; Ilse Velazquez, T. DeWitt Taylor Middle-High School; Kaya Schultz and Isabel Valencia, University High School; and Matthew Good, Calvary Christian, a transfer student from the Flagler County program.

Mentors needed
The scholars are selected based upon financial need, academic achievement, good character and community involvement. Scholarships are funded through community and individual donations as well as proceeds from an annual Strides for Education 5K Run/Walk, which is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 14 at Creekside Middle School in Port Orange.

Mentors are being recruited for these new students and anyone interested in volunteering 30 minutes each week on school campus should contact Take Stock in Children Program Coordinator Sheila Rees at srees@volusia.k12.fl.us or 386-255-6475, ext. 50724.

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