Picture of the TSIC Graduating Seniors

Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation Honors Take Stock in Children Scholars

On April 25, 2018, the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation honored 16 Take Stock in Children graduates and 12 newly-selected scholars in a ceremony at the Niceville Community Center.

A primary focus of the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation, the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program is a unique and innovative program that provides post-secondary scholarships to deserving youth who may not go on to college because of their families' financial situation. 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 by the Foundation 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 community-based mentor. Students who maintain the terms of their contracts are awarded tuition scholarships to the post-secondary institutions of their choice.

Welcomed by Foundation President Bob Bennett, guests included the families and mentors of Take Stock Scholars as were scholarship and program contributors and school principals and counselors. Take Stock in Children alumna Jala Lee spoke of her journey with Take Stock—from her selection as a Take Stock in Children Scholar to her recent acceptance into the Doctorate Program for Physical Therapy at Hampton University. She credited the program for starting her on that journey.

New Scholars and Graduates were recognized and awarded their certificates and medallions by Okaloosa County Assistant Superintendent Steve Horton.

Take Stock in Children Scholarship Donors and Contributors

Four Year College Tuition Scholarships

  • Gulf Power Foundation
  • Morgan Invitational Golf Tournament
  • Panhandle Job Fair Foundation

Two Year College Tuition Scholarships

  • Family of Ken Baltes
  • Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CHELCO)
  • Mid-Bay Rotary Club

Scholarship and Program Contributors

  • Bank of America
  • Susan and Wayne Campbell
  • Cindy and Roy Frazier
  • Greater FWB Chamber of Commerce
  • Diane and Don Meredith
  • Kathy and Nancy Munter
  • City of Niceville
  • Niceville Hearing Center, Inc.
  • Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department
  • Vickie and Randy Perry
  • Publix Supermarkets
  • Judith Siettmann
  • Wells Fargo

Picture of the new TSIC ScholarsTake Stock in Children New Scholars

  • Noelle Brock, Liza Jackson Preparatory School - Panhandle Job Fair Foundation Scholar
  • Jacob Dirks, Pryor Middle School
  • Arleigh Foster, Destin Middle School
  • Nyla Griffin, Davidson Middle School
  • Jonathan Hands, Laurel Hill School - Gulf Power Foundation Scholar
  • Samuel Harkins, Okaloosa STEMM Academy - Ken Baltes Memorial Scholar
  • Shayana Lopez, Bruner Middle School
  • Rhyann Martin, Baker School - Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative (CHELCO) Scholar
  • Harvey Martinez, Lewis School - Mid-Bay Rotary Scholar
  • Jayden McQueen, Shoal River Middle School
  • Ingrid Mueller, Ruckel Middle School - Meagan Campbell and Christian Thomhave Memorial Scholar
  • Edriel Valencia, Meigs Middle School

Picture of the TSIC Graduating ScholarsTake Stock in Children Graduating Scholars

  • Riley Baker, Crestview HS
  • Parker Chojnowski, Niceville HS
  • Darby Edge, Laurel Hill School
  • Evelyn Farrior, Fort Walton Beach HS
  • Shelby Fugate, Laurel Hill School
  • Haley Gatlin, Niceville HS
  • Nigeria George, Collegiate HS
  • Garrett Gibson, Niceville HS
  • Aaron Jagielski, Crestview HS
  • Destinie McCarra, Crestview HS
  • Lily Peterson, Niceville HS
  • Kyrsten Schneider, Niceville HS
  • Aron Scott, Choctawhatchee HS
  • Juanyeh Thomas, Niceville HS
  • Sierra Woerner, Choctawhatchee HS
  • Justice Woods, Niceville HS

Congratulations!  Today, we celebrate your accomplishments and look forward to your continued future success. We are grateful for the commitment of your family members, teachers, school administrators, mentors, and scholarship donors who have invested in your future and provided support for the attainment of your educational goals. 

TSIC Mentors to the Class of 2018

  • Linda Bedsole                                     
  • Bob Bennett                                       
  • Tim Bryant                                         
  • Linda Castleman                                
  • Sheri Easom                                       
  • Angela Fugate                                    
  • Rick Hernandez                                  
  • Steve Horton                                      
  • Harold Judson
  • D’Arcie Lennard
  • Carol Mullins-Hernandez
  • Tami Rhodes
  • Adron Robinson
  • Cheryl Ross
  • Robert Rule
  • Jonathan Tallman
  • Maggie Tomecek

Thank you for your commitment and support!

View the Take Stock in Children presentation here to learn more about the TSIC graduates.

About the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation (OPSF)

The 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 about Take Stock in Children and the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation, visit www.OkaloosaSchools.com/OPSF.