Panhandle Job Fair Foundation Supports Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program

Prior to opening one of the largest job fairs in the Florida Panhandle, the Panhandle Job Fair Foundation presented to the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation a check in the amount of $8,500.  The contribution is dedicated to the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program and will be matched, dollar-for-dollar by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.  The presentation was made on behalf of the employers who participate in the Panhandle Job Fair and is the eighth scholarship funded by the Panhandle Job Fair Foundation since 2003.  In addition to funding scholarships, many of the Panhandle Job Fair Foundation members and participating employers serve as school-based mentors for Take Stock in Children Scholars.

In accepting the donation on behalf of the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation and Take Stock, Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson paid tribute to the Panhandle Job Fair Foundation and the participating businesses and organizations.  “On behalf of the students and families that are touched by the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program, thank you for your generosity and your vision for the future of our community.  Young people from Laurel Hill and Baker to Niceville and Fort Walton Beach will achieve their dreams of attending college through this program that provides scholarships, mentors and hope—enabling them to attend the post-secondary institutions of their choice.”

The Panhandle Job Fair began in the Spring of 1993 primarily to assist military service members seeking employment opportunities after completing their military careers.  It was later expanded to include military spouses and the general public.  The Panhandle Job Fair attracts companies nationwide who are seeking well-qualified, educated and experienced individuals for employment opportunities worldwide.  The Job Fair attracts over 100 companies and averages 1,000 jobseekers at each fair.

Pictured above from left to right: Panhandle Job Fair Foundation President Micelle Crocker, Micro Systems; Okaloosa County Superintendent of Schools Mary Beth Jackson; Panhandle Job Fair Foundation Education Chair Michele Burns, Kelly Services; Take Stock Scholar Kierra Moore; Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation President David Braithwaite, Charlton House Capital; Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation Board Member Linda Sumblin, Executive Director, CareerSource of Okaloosa and Walton Counties; Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation Executive Director Henry Kelley.

About the Take Stock in Children Program

One of the primary focuses of the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation is the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program. Take Stock is a unique and innovative program that provides four-year scholarships to deserving low-income youth who may not go on to college because of their families' financial situation. Eighth grade students with good grades, good attendance, and good discipline records who meet the income eligibility requirement are invited to apply for these scholarships. Each student who is selected signs a contract, along with his or her parent, promising to maintain a good school record, to remain drug and crime free and to meet weekly with a mentor.  Students who maintain the terms of their contracts are awarded tuition scholarships to the post-secondary institutions of their choice.

For more information on the Take Stock in Children Progam, click here.

PHOTOS

Pictured from left to right: David Braithwaite, President of the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation; Kierra Moore, Take Stock in Children Scholar from Choctaw; Cindy Frazier, Program Coordinator for Take Stock in Children/Okaloosa County; Henry Kelley, Executive Director of the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation.