Take Stock In Children

Providing scholarships, mentors and hope to deserving low-income students

Take Stock in Children has a Charity Navigator 4-Star Rating (www.charitynavigator.org)

2002–Winner of the Excellence in Mentoring Award for Program Leadership given by the National Mentoring Organization

2010–Awarded U.S. Department of Education Innovation Grant for College Access

2011—OPPAGA* Mentoring Study results:  Take Stock in Children students outperform their peers  [*Florida Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability]

For more information, visit takestockinchildren.org.

What is Take Stock in Children?

Take Stock in Children is a statewide, not-for-profit program administered locally since 1996 by the Escambia County Public Schools Foundation. Take Stock provides an educational pathway for deserving, low-income students.  We have a proven 23-year history of helping at-risk children stay in school, graduate from high school, complete college and become productive citizens.   This success is achieved through an innovative multi-year program model of mentorship, a college success coach, accountability, college readiness skills training and scholarship.  Over 96% of our students graduate from high school, 96% go on to pursue a post-secondary education, and 67% attain a college degree– all well above the national average.

How are students selected and monitored?

Each spring, financially eligible sixth-grade students can apply for this program at their public school and are chosen through a competitive selection process. Selected students will receive a scholarship for postsecondary education in the state of Florida. Mentors are recruited for each student to provide encouragement, support and friendship. The number of scholarships given each year is totally dependent on the amount of donations received from individuals, foundations, organizations, and businesses in our community.

Students and parents sign an agreement that the student will maintain good grades, exhibit good behavior and attendance, remain drug and crime free, and meet with a volunteer mentor at school. When students abide by this agreement, they will receive a 4-year state college tuition & fees scholarship upon graduation from high school. Funds can also be used toward university tuition or for vocational/technical training.

The Take Stock in Children College Success Coach checks grades, attendance and citizenship and visits each of our students at least four times yearly to monitor progress. Most students do well in school and just need encouragement. In the few cases where a student’s grades drop, the GPA falls below a 2.5, or there are attendance or behavior problems, a student can be placed on probation and an improvement plan is put in place.  With the assistance of the school, parent/guardian, college success coach, and mentor, hopefully the situation can be remedied within one year to get the student back on track.

How can you participate in this program?

Become a mentor

Any responsible, caring adult willing to share time on a consistent basis can be a Take Stock in Children mentor. Mentors become a friend and a role model to the students who benefit from the guidance of an additional adult in their life. A mentor shows the student that someone else cares and wants them to succeed. The mentor’s commitment is to meet with the student once a week for 30-60 minutes. Meetings take place at school during the school day. The mentors’ motivation, support and direction help promote the success of the students in this program. Mentors undergo a background screening, fingerprinting and receive training and material before beginning. For information about becoming a mentor, call Student Services Coordinator Sally Lee at (850) 469-5458 or email her at  slee@escambia.k12.fl.us


Become a scholarship donor

As a donor, your contribution receives a dollar-for-dollar match when scholarships are purchased from Florida Prepaid College Foundation.  Donations provide a child with hope for the future through education. Tax-deductible donations are made to the Escambia County Public Schools Foundation, earmarked for Take Stock in Children.  Our current cost for a 4-year state college tuition & fees scholarship is $9,000; however, donations of any amount are welcomed and appreciated, and smaller donations are combined for a shared or group donor scholarship.

Take Stock oversees the selection process, ensures the student has a mentor every year, provides a College Success Coach who monitors student progress, and works to ensure college readiness. Donors receive updates and thank you notes from their students annually. Scholarship usage is monitored and college students continue to report to us each semester.  Any unused hours are retained by the program and will be reassigned.

Through Take Stock in Children, you can make a life-changing difference. Whether it is donating money towards a scholarship or volunteering your time as a mentor, you are giving the greatest gift of all — an EDUCATION.

For additional information on becoming a mentor or a donor, contact:

Sally Lee, Student Services Coordinator, (850) 469-5458, slee@escambia.k12.fl.us

Jeanne Kimberl, College Success Coach, (850) 292-8279, jkimberl@escambia.k12.fl.us

Penny Jenkins, Mentor Coordinator, (850) 469-5458

Make checks payable to Escambia County Public Schools Foundation (earmarked for Take Stock in Children), and mail to 30 E. Texar Drive, Pensacola, FL 32503. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. Credit card donations can be made by calling the Foundation at (850) 469-5354.  The Foundation is also set up to accept stock donations.

Take Stock in Children Leadership Council Members

  • Bob Hoyt, MD, Leadership Council Chair
    Infomatics Education
  • Laverne Baker
    President, Laverne Baker & Associates
  • William R. Crawley, Ph. D.
    Dean, College of Education and Professional Studies
    University of West Florida
  • Susan Davis, RN, Ed. D.
    Community Volunteer
  • Kathy Dutremble
    Dean of Students
    Pensacola State College
  • Julie Dyson
    Senior Vice President, Private Wealth Management, Synovus Bank
  • Thomas Greek
    VIce President, Learning & Development, Navy Federal Credit Union
  • Patty Hightower
    Escambia County School Board
  • Keith Hoskins
    Western District General Manager, Gulf Power Company
  • David Lister
    Shareholder, Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund
  • Chuntell Patterson, M.P.A.
    Take Stock in Children Graduate
  • Michelle Salzman
    Owner, Salz Studios
  • Stephanie White 
    Attorney – Adoptions
  • Ann Yoshihashi, MD
    Community Volunteer

Thanks to Our Partners