Our mission as the Alumni Alliance is to implement the goals and objectives of Take Stock in Children by breaking the cycle of poverty, raising awareness and providing opportunities to reinvest in our communities and our Take Stock in Children family.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Social Media March 2015 by Daniella Bernasconi
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest,
blogs and more, have become a popular tool to link with new and old
connections. However, more often today, recruiters are screening potential
employees through this means throughout the hiring process because of the high
level of competition. This doesn’t mean you cannot be on social media, it just
means you have to be more conscious about the content you wish to share through
these platforms and what level of privacy you are choosing for them.
For example, you can decide to keep Facebook for personal
means and LinkedIn to build a professional background. Nonetheless, you have to
realize that no matter how private the settings are inappropriate content may
still be visible to potential employers. LinkedIn has grown to be an excellent
resource for networking and being able to show recruiters the experience that
you have. In addition, LinkedIn allows you to join groups of other like-minded
individuals. By connecting with others, you may find people in your desired
field and they can even help you land a job! Social Media can be a positive
influence in your career, you just have to make sure you are sharing the right
content on the right platform.
Searching For A Job January 2015 By Daniella Bernasconi
Searching for a
job can often feel like an aggravating task; however, there are many sites that
have outstanding resources to help you score a job. The trick is to start
early, make a plan, and work on your interview skills.
Before you start, do as much research as you possibly can. Look for as many
online resources to search for jobs and do not restrict your search to your
hometown, an out of state job can give you the experience and learning
components you might just be looking for. You may find helpful resources in the Take Stock In Children main website. An additional resource is Career Fairs. Most universities hold annual Career
Fairs at their respective schools. They are a great way to get ahead and
connect with employers. You get first hand exposure to many networking and job
opportunities and if you are well-prepared, Career Fairs can be a successful
part of your job search.
Problem, Action, Result (PAR) statements in your resume can help employers
recognize your achievements. To land an interview, make sure you are maximizing
the impact of the skills you have acquired as experience. It is also important that you develop and
continuously update your LinkedIn with a professional photo, and start volunteering
for a cause you are passionate about. Companies today are beginning to realize
the importance of giving back through community service and volunteering and
are looking for employees who are well-rounded and committed to service.
Interviewing can often be nerve-racking but good preparation will help you
control the nervousness and present yourself with confidence. Make sure you do
prior research on the company but do not limit your search to
company-controlled information. Find out the companies mission statement,
long-term goals, and skills and characteristics they value most in their
employees. This will help you build confidence prior to your interview date. Searching for a
job doesn't need to be a difficult, dreadful task. All it takes is for one
person to do the right research and have the right preparation. Just remember,
you can never be too prepared for an interview so never stop doing research and
learning about the job opportunities that are waiting for you!
Before, I was just a boy with a dream. Now, I am a man with
a plan. My dream in life was to build a snowboarding shop in Alaska to let all
of my friends snowboard for free. Now I am a well-educated University of Florida
graduate pursuing a career in biomedical engineering. It was my mentor, Sheldon
Friedman, who helped make my way of thinking – my way of living – more
realistic. Over our eleven year adventure through life together, it has been
such a unique journey for the both of us. I have matured well beyond my years
because of his guidance and wisdom, and still for some reason he claims to have
gained just as much from me as I have from him. As Shelson always says, “It’s not WHAT you know – it’s WHO you know.”
My parents divorced when I was six and I stayed with my
mother – a wonderful and loving woman. She always made sure that the bills were
paid and that my two younger brothers and I were well fed. At the age of eleven, I was enrolled in
Take Stock in Children and assigned a mentor Sheldon. When Sheldon’s wife read
the letter that Sheldon would be mentoring Jake Rosenzweig, her heart dropped a
few feet – her maiden name was also Rosenzweig (spelled exactly the same way
too!). We were off to a good start! I would meet Sheldon once a week at school,
where he brought me lunch. Oh, how I savored those Subway subs and chocolate
milk! It was during these meetings that he would ask about my life. It is with my infinite gratitude
that he has shared his experiences with me as well. What I liked most about our
meetings is that he never tried to make me into something I didn’t want to be.
He knew I wanted to be a scientist. As he always says, “Youth mustn’t be
molded, but unfolded.”
Sheldon has given me a significant portion of the momentum
needed to achieve my academic goals. I dual enrolled at Florida State College
at Jacksonville while attending my senior year of high school and earned my
Associate’s soon thereafter. I transferred to the University of Florida and
graduated cum laude with my B.S. in chemistry, with minors in education and
A few months after I graduated my mother became very sick
with brain cancer. She passed away earlier this year and in the slowest and
most deteriorating way imaginable. Sheldon and his wife visited me and my
mother in hospice during the roughest of times, but they made all the
difference. My mentor gave me the confidence I needed to tie up all unfinished
legal business: guardianship of my brother who has cerebral palsy, refinancing
the mortgage, managing hospital bills, child support, SSI, utility bills, etc.
Despite the recent changes in life, Sheldon helped me cope with my situation.
He made me realize that not just anyone has the strength or optimism to carry
on, but I made him realize that he has instilled those qualities in me. As he
always says, “If not you, then who? If not now, then when?”
Jake Rosenzweig agreed to meet the requirements for
a Take Stock in Children Scholarship in 6th
grade, graduated from Duncan U. Fletcher High
School and graduated fromFlorida State College at Jacksonville with an Associate’s
Degree and from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry.
He works as a full-time tutor in math and chemistry and is planning to return
to earn an advanced degree in research and neurobiology
When I was in the 8th grade at Forest Grove
Middle School, I kept telling myself: “If you really want to have a professional career you must
first set goals.” I knew I needed
to finish high school and graduate from college to follow my dreams. I was well
aware that life is not easy, and that I must do everything I could to continue
A wonderful opportunity came my way when I received the
offer of a college scholarship through the Indian River State College
Foundation and signed an agreement with Take Stock in Children. Take Stock in Children is a state-wide
non-profit organization that provides scholarship support, mentors and hope for
low-income young people. To
receive a Take Stock in Children college scholarship, I had to promise to earn
good grades, meet with my mentor, remain drug and crime free, and graduate from
high school. I wholeheartedly agreed.
I graduated from Westwood High School in Fort Pierce with
high honors and enrolled at Indian River State College. What
a journey IRSC has been for me! My parents are agricultural workers and I am a first
generation in college student and the first in my family to graduate with a
Bachelor’s Degree. It has been a challenge, but with the support of my
instructors, advisors, mentors and parents, I have been able to fulfill my
dreams of attaining higher education.
I earned two
business certificates, an Associate in Arts degree, an Associate in Science
degree in Business Administration, and most recently was awarded a Bachelor in
Applied Science degree in Organizational Management. The professors at IRSC emphasized
the importance of effective management at all levels. We were encouraged to
share experiences and practices to develop a more profound understanding of
organizational management and the ability to apply what we have learned on the
worked. I was promoted to the Value Adjustment Board Finance Department with
the Clerk of the Circuit Court in St. Lucie County. At 22, I am pursuing an MBA
at Nova Southeastern University. I could not have done this without the skills
I learned at IRSC, and I am very grateful for the support I received from the IRSC
Foundation, Farm Workers Program and Take Stock in Children.
Take Stock in Children has opened doors to a brighter future
for me and thousands of others. With
the support and coordination of the IRSC Foundation and area school districts,
over 300 local Take Stock in Children recipients have continued to college and
256 are currently enrolled in the program while in high school. Take Stock in Children recipients have attained
a high school graduation rate of 92%, which is significantly higher than
Florida’s average high school graduation rate.
Community contributions help support Take Stock in Children
and volunteer mentors help each awardee stay on track. Each of us has a unique story, but there
is a common thread - how Take
Stock in Children provided us with an incentive to study hard and stay out of
trouble, how we are graduating from college, launching successful careers and
supporting our families.
Lucero Carillo-Moctezuma agreed to meet the requirements for a Take
Stock in Children Scholarship in 8th grade, graduated from Westwood
H.S and graduated from IRSC in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational
Management. She is employed with the Value Adjustment Board of the St. Lucie
County Clerk’s Office and pursing an MBA.
Dear Anne Everly, Steve
Primus, TSIC Foundation, and affiliates
It’s almost funny how children think about the
world. They look at the world as a place of possibility, wonder, and
excitement. It is not to say that their lives are without strife, but to them,
the future is in the palm of their hand. Ironically, a child that puts an
adequate amount of thought into their future is seldom found. They do not worry
about finances, about job applications, about grade point averages. This
ideology seems to be carried on for much of their teenage years, until these
dilemmas are knocking on their door.
This is how many of my peers and I felt
about the future until we had reached our junior or senior years. For me, it
had been apparent for much of my life, that my family was not a family of privilege,
wealth, or social connections. I had been without a father for much of my
childhood, and my mother worked low paying jobs just to keep a roof over our
heads and the bills paid. I had never felt unlucky however. My mother had
raised me the best she could, and had always shown me that she loved me more
than any parent could.
cannot pay college tuition.
That is where TSIC came in. In the 9th
grade I wrote an essay, as did hundreds of other students, to apply for the TSIC
scholarship. As a 14 year old, I didn’t observe much of what was going on, and
didn’t give much heed to the ensuing events that came after I submitted my
essay. Sometime after, my family was invited to a ceremony at the Viera
Stadium. As my mother read the invitation, her face lit up with joy, and I
could have sworn I saw the beginning of tears well in her eyes. She turned to
me, a grin spreading across her face. She explained the best she could the
amazing opportunity I just received, but of course, being a child I merely thought,
“That’s cool”. Over the ensuing years however, it became abundantly clear what
a blessing that the TSIC scholarship truly was.
I was introduced to mentors and coaches, and compassionate people that
empathized with what I was going through, before I even knew myself.
This letter is to those people like Anne Everly, Steve Primus, and the kind of
people that looked at poverty level kids that had no chance of a real future
and said “No, everyone deserves a chance.”
You were there for me
when I stumbled; you guided me when I didn’t know where to go. You gave me the
sort of advantage that helped me overcome the adversity that I was gifted with
I will be frank with
you, in high school I had become a mediocre student, but you wouldn’t have any
of that! My grades, my study habits, and my over support improved. My GPA rose
from 2.5 to 2.7 to 2.9 until I graduated in 2011 with a GPA of 3.1. It was at
that moment I really began to gain some retrospect. As I clasped my hand around
that diploma, giving Principal Cool a firm handshake with the other, I looked
back at the road I was headed down, and the future that would have been in
store for me if I had not received this scholarship.
I became truly
determined to reach the peak of potential that I had after receiving this
scholarship. As of today, 10/2/2012, I am majoring in Computer Science as a
full-time student at Brevard Community College, maintaining a GPA of 3.5+, and
have made the Dean’s List every semester. I work part-time at a call center,
while simultaneously taking care of my aging grandmother and mother. To this
day I continue to work harder to raise my GPA, to achieve within my job, and to
reach the level of responsibility that signifies true adulthood.
While my achievements
may not equate to moving mountains, I feel that the difference between what I
have achieved, and what I would have achieved is enormous. I can do nothing but
sincerely thank those that work at the TSIC foundation. You have given me the
means to go to college, to get an education, and truly make something of
So those who doubt
the effectiveness of this program, or the impact on the community; I implore
you to take a step back for a moment, and just observe the impact on an
This foundation is
one of the few that I have seen whose objective is truly altruistic. To educate
children so that they may improve not only their lives, but the lives of those
around them. With more education, communities will improve, counties, states
and so on. As I finish up my education, and receive employment in my field, be
assured I will never forget how TSIC, its scholarships, and more importantly how
its volunteers have changed my life. Furthermore, you can bet I will be back
soon enough, to become one of those volunteers, or those donors; ready to help
a child such as myself one day, because I truly know what a difference it has
With tears in my eyes, I can only say again; thank you. Thank you with all of
my heart, for not only giving me a future, but restoring part of the child-like
outlook, because I have learned now what many adults have lost as they grow
older; The future is a place of possibility, wonder, and excitement. You just
have to go out there, and make it happen.
As one of the inaugural Take Stock In Children Leaders 4 Life Fellows, Ha Tran is currently attending Duke University, where she is pursuing a Neuroscience major and a Global Health minor. With her passion for international health care, Ha hopes to serve the global community as a medical physician in the future. As a proud 2011 graduate of Pace High School, Ha reflects back on her Take Stock In Children experience and attributes much of her success to her mentors and her TSIC family.
When Ha was 3 years old, her family immigrated to the United States from Vietnam when her father was awarded the prestigious Fulbright scholarship. Through the journey, Ha discovered that education has the power to change lives. She witnessed her parents work 18-hour days to be able to stay in this country, where they knew Ha and her older sister would be able to get a quality education. For Ha's family, education was the key to a better life and the opportunity to get an education was one to be treasured.
At Duke, Ha is kept busy with classes and her independent research project on the effects of stress on hippocampal and hypothalamic neurogenesis. She also works as a Vietnamese translator, volunteers at the Duke Hospital, and serves as editor for an undergraduate research journal. In her spare time, Ha enjoys having late-night conversations with her friends as they try to navigate their early 20's together and find answers to life's greatest questions. Ha's experiences outside the classroom have shown her that education is not only limited to a textbook, but rather the opportunity to learn is in every country, every experience, and every new conversation.
Mentor Spotlight: Zabrina PentonZabrina Penton is a wife, mother, career woman, and mentor. She chose to become a Take Stock in Children mentor for the Volusia County program because she felt that it was a great way of helping students stay focused in school and succeed in a career. She also found it to be a great way of giving back to the community. Zabrina and her family say it is very important to be involved in the community by making a positive impact on childrens’ lives. One of the main things that attracted Zabrina to mentoring for Take Stock in Children was that she knew firsthand the importance of going to college and earning a degree. Click here to read the full story. As a mentor, Zabrina says, not only is she able to develop a great relationship with her mentee, Tomaree, but she earns a valuable life experience through helping her mentee get one step closer to achieving her academic goals. As a TSIC scholar, Tomaree will have the opportunity to get a scholarship that will help pay for college as well as the fact that it will open doors for her future personally and professionally. As someone who was once a student herself, Zabrina can relate to her mentee. She knows how overwhelming the process of choosing the right college and career can be. Zabrina remembers when she was in high school and wanted to be a doctor or an architect. But in the end, she graduated with a degree in civil engineering. Zabrina had a high school teacher who was like a mentor, not only for her, but for numerous students. This teacher helped with the process of applying for college and learning about different career opportunities, also making them aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Zabrina will never forget how helpful it was to have somebody available and able to answer all the questions.
Zabrina and her husband, Demian, have resided in Deland, FL for the last seven years. Zabrina and her husband have two children: Marco (5) and Victoria (10 months). Marco is in kindergarten and practices martial arts. Victoria is a very happy and active baby. Her husband works as an independent Financial Adviser, and Zabrina works for The State of Florida’s Department of Transportation as a Traffic Professional Engineer. They enjoy going camping, bike riding, running, walking, and traveling as a family.