Take Stock in Children and the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation Recognized with Statewide Award in Excellence

Successfully Providing Okaloosa County’s Youth with Scholarships, Mentors and Hope

The Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation, Inc. and Take Stock in Children (TSIC) were recognized earlier in the fall with a coveted Excellence Award for successfully providing at-risk youth with caring volunteer mentors, college readiness curriculum, and college scholarships.

The Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation’s signature program, Take Stock in Children, has shown great results with a high school graduation rate of 94% with 98% of those students entering college with the guidance of 86 mentors from the local community.  This is well above Florida’s average high school graduation rate of 57%for students living in poverty, with only 28% enrolling in college.

The Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation, currently serving 69 students, received the award in early fall at the Take Stock in Children’s College and Career Readiness Summit.  Attracting more than 250 participants from statewide programs, attendees learned from national leaders about the latest data on youth poverty, mentoring, college readiness skills, and career pipelines.

“This award is a source of great pride to the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation and highlights our dedication to changing the lives of our students through this program,” said Cindy Frazier, Take Stock in Children Program Coordinator.   “Our students are counting on us to make the difference in their lives to ensure they succeed academically and professionally.”

The Take Stock in Children mentors were also recognized recently at a luncheon held in their honor. 

“One of the key success factors in the Take Stock in Children program is our mentors,” said Debbie Buchanan, President of the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation Board.  “This group of committed individuals has a long lasting and profound impact not only on their student but in the community.  The Take Stock program simply could not be successful without them.”

Take Stock mentors learn the principles and guidelines of school-based, academic-focused mentoring and participate in an orientation session where they receive a manual that contains tools for addressing the general needs of their students: improving grades, preparing for college, career planning, and developing life skills. If you are interested in becoming a Take Stock in Children mentor, please contact Cindy Frazier at FrazierC@mail.okaloosa.k12.fl.us or (850) 833-5859. 

To see a photo gallery from the Take Stock in Children mentor luncheon, please visit the OCSD Facebook page.

About the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation

The Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation, Inc. (OPSF) is a not-for-profit community-based public schools foundation. It is a partnership between families, schools, community and business. The Foundation is dedicated to supporting and extending the educational opportunities of all individuals within Okaloosa County. Since its establishment in 1995, OPSF has funded educational enrichment programs including teacher grants for unique programs, student scholars in the Take Stock in Children Program, community educational initiatives, and student and teacher recognition awards. For more information on OPSF, click here.

About Take Stock in Children

Take Stock in Children, a Florida 501(c)3 non-profit organization, provides  mentors,  scholarships and hope for Florida’s low-income and deserving students. Incorporated in 1995 and maintaining a 96 percent high school graduation rate, TSIC is Florida’s flagship and most successful mentoring and scholarship program. In every Florida county, TSIC scholars in middle and high school pledge to meet regularly with their mentor, maintain academic standards, and remain drug and crime-free on the way to achieving a high school diploma. The reward for fulfilling these commitments is a scholarship to a Florida state college, university or vocational school. To donate, volunteer or learn more about Take Stock in Children, please contact Cindy Frazier at FrazierC@mail.okaloosa.k12.fl.us or (850) 833-5859.