Friday, September 28, 2012

TSIC Board Member Honored

Take Stock in Children Board Member and former Chairman Richard Berkowitz was recently honored by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce at its annual Salute to Miami’s Leaders program. 
One of nine honorees, Mr. Berkowitz is the founder and CEO of accounting firm Berkowitz Pollack Brant and was honored for his involvement with the Community Foundation of Broward and Take Stock in Children. 
Congratulations, Mr. Berkowitz and thank you for everything you have done for TSIC and the entire community!  Read the entire article here!

TSIC Student Receives Highest FCAT Scores in the Entire State!

A Take Stock in Children student, Marquez Brown, received the highest FCAT scores in the entire state! 
Marquez is a student in Washington County at Vernon Middle School, where he also maintains a position on the football and basketball teams, as well as being a member of the BETA club, Chipola Trio, and Algebra Honors. 
“I’m speechless,” said Marquez.  “I wasn’t expecting to have the highest score in my school let alone the entire state of Florida.  That’s just an unbelievable honor.”
An honor, indeed, and the Senate of Florida recognized Marquez for his great achievement.  We here at Take Stock in Children are so proud of Marquez and this wonderful accomplishment!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Freshman 101

Greeting All! 


The hustle and bustle of freshman life in college can be mind blowing.  Student advisors, professors, clubs, sports, relationships, room mates, budgeting money on your own, taking care of your own meals, YIKES! All of a sudden you are an adult with responsibilities that you may or may not be quite equipped for.  However, in all things a balance is key to having a successful college experience. 


With being a freshman, you may have extra amounts of questions and fears.  Don't worry these feeling are understandable and should be expected.  The best way to tackle your new experience is by embracing it wholeheartedly and getting the most out of all the resources available to you at your local campus.  Hopefully you have yourself in a routine that you do daily.  Routines give us a sense of familarity and aide us in coping through the pressure of the day.  However if our routines are issing key factors to keep us balanced burn out usually is sure to follow.  Burnout is what you don't want when you are trying to accomplish your goals.  A great tool in avoiding burnout is a schedule that incorporates all aspects f your life to give you that balance needed to keep you mentally, physically and emotionally sound. Here are a couple of websites to check out on survival tips and health and wellness tips.

How to Succeed In College Step By Step Instructions

101 Health and Wellness Tips for College Students

Until next time Peace and Blessings,

Nyame :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Getting Involved in College!

Though classes, papers, and exams are major components of the college experience, there is far more to college than the classroom!  Getting involved in college is a great way to enhance your experience, and hopefully your life as a young adult! 

Getting involved is great for a number of different reasons, including the following:*

1. It allows students to become connected to their school: Colleges are full of resources, but the responsibility is on the student to seek them out. Being involved can help you to do that!

2. It helps build community: Since students are sometimes leaving family and their friends behind, getting involved helps them discover new friends with similar interests and build a community.

3. It allows you to discover your passions and strengths: These will follow you all through life and helps you discover your likes and dislikes.

4. It's a résumé builder: Freshman year is not too soon to begin thinking about positioning yourself for future employment, and getting involved and gaining leadership are great ways to build up your experience!

5. Sometimes, busier kids do better in all areas: This will vary a lot by the student, of course, but more free time does not always equal better grades. Being involved will require some organization and time management on the part of the student—and that's a good thing J
I would urge you to get involved and do it often!  It expands your social, educational, and professional horizons.  You might meet your best friend, discover your new passion, or land your dream job through a connection or contact you made in a club, fraternity/sorority, or committee you joined.  Below are some different types of organizations that you may consider:

                                   ·        Student Government
                                   ·         Honor societies
                                   ·         Academic clubs
                                   ·         Religious clubs
                                   ·         Committees (Homecoming, Academic Planning)
                                   ·         Athletic clubs (competitive, intermural, club)
                                   ·         Greek life (fraternities, sororities)

No matter what you decide to do, have fun with it!  Try and expose yourself to something outside of your comfort zone, meet new people, and have a wonderful time!

*adapted from US News & World Report

Friday, September 21, 2012

Scholar Spotlight!

This week we will be beginning our series of "Scholar Spotlight!" Every few weeks, we will be featuring a different Take Stock in Children alumni, sharing their story and how TSIC has impacted their lives!

This week we are proud to feature Courtney Noelle Paige! Originally from the Santa Rosa County Take Stock in Children program, Noelle has been dancing for well over a decade, and after responding to a casting call, she was immediately hired to be the featured soloist in a music video for singer Kelsey’s song "10,000 Bombs" – check it out here!

"To be involved in something that huge was incredible," says Noelle. She continues, "After just one week on YouTube the video had over 25,000 views. In Pensacola, Florida I was always told that I was a big fish in a small pond. To be featured in a video that 25,000 people saw was definitely a fantastic moment!"

Santa Rose County Program Director Angi Brown writes of Noelle, "[She] is a shining star for our program.  She is beautiful and talented, as well as a great student." Indeed, Noelle’s story illustrates the qualities that are fundamental to the TSIC program – strong mentorship, support, and dedication. Noelle’s mentor Paula Lou Mapoles confirms this sentiment writing, "[Take Stock in Children is] an on-going journey that started with a 7th grade young lady who was wearing braces, to a now six-foot magnificent ballerina who touches the hearts and souls of so many through her world of dance… The TSIC mentoring program is a relationship that continues for a life time between a mentee and a mentor!"

Noelle’s story begins in Pace, Florida where she attended Pace High School and trained with Ballet Pensacola. After ten years of training, she was offered a contract and accepted a soloist position with the professional company. The deep relationship between mentor and mentee is illustrated in the fact that "after high school graduation, [my husband and I] sponsored scholarship for her to purchase ballet slippers, [for] her participation in Miss Teen Pageant, and after-show dinners at her favorite restaurant, Olive Garden," writes Noelle’s mentor, Paula.

After high school, Noelle received her A.A. in General Education from Pensacola State College where she worked as a Student Ambassador and was awarded Pensacola's Rising Star and Women in the Arts Award from the Milton Women's Club. Noelle then moved to Chicago to accept a soloist position with Elements Contemporary Ballet. She was then only one of 30 students accepted to University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs. Just this past summer, she was offered a fellowship with President Obama's re-election campaign, "Organizing for America," where she worked for 12 weeks to open a new campaign office in Deklab, Illinois and recruit full time volunteers and activists.

Noelle’s concentration is in Nonprofit Public Administration and she hopes to do something with education, similar to a program like Take Stock in Children, of which she says, "It's a fantastic organization that can help any student from any back ground. For me it was about supporting a dream that most people looked at me sideways for. I always wanted to live in a big city and do big things - so here I am!" She writes of the support her mentor offered, "[Paula] always came to my ballet shows in Pensacola and encouraged me to do whatever I needed to fulfill my dreams…. I never thought me, being from Pace, Florida, would be living this dream!" When asked how Paula felt in turn about mentoring Noelle, she wrote, "I could write a book about Noelle Paige and my relationship of a life time that started as a TSIC today, a young lady that will forever remain embedded in my heart!"

Noelle’s story is inspiring to all of us here at Take Stock in Children, and we are so proud of all of her hard work that has enabled her to be realizing her dream!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Help is on the way to writing a great essay!

Greetings and salutations all! 

My name is Nyame and I am also serving this year as an AmeriCorps member in the role of a Career Success Coach.  Today's blog entry is about Essay writing.  There are many styles of essay writing that you may have already encountered through your duration in school.  For instance in language arts or english composition perhaps your teacher as an assignment has required you to write an essay expounding on your thoughts about a book you have read in class.  Or maybe you have participated in an essay contest where you write about why cleaner neighborhoods make for a cleaner world.

Some essay writing requires you to compare and contrast ideas about a particular topic while others simply want to know your thoughts in an explanitory manner.  Whether the essay is for a classroom assignment, the FCAT, or in some cases scholarships or college exams, the ability to write an appealing essay is paramount. Writing isn't your best subject you say? No fret. Check out this cool article that I found doing a google search on essay writing : 


In the article could you find yourself relating to the young person with all the crumbled pieces of paper and yet another blank sheet in front of them?  Many a nights in college how I wished I had a majic wand to wave over my brain so that I could articulate myself in a manner that would be satisfying to my professor.  You see I didn't want to go through the steps of writing my thoughts out, then organizing my thoughts into outline form to actually have a chronological template to follow.  I just wanted to " wing it" and unfortunately caused myself a great amount of grief grade wise.

Trust me when I say, if you want to have a good trip, you have to plan accordingly.  The same analogy can be applied to any form of essay writing, if you want to stand out, get noticed, ace the essay exam or be the candidate that the scholarship board just can't refuse, plan your essays accordingly.

Until Next Time Peace and Blessings,

Nyame :)

Take Stock in Children in the News!

Take Stock in Children was recently featured in 
Tallahassee's Capital Outlook!

"The State of Florida recognizes Take Stock in Children is a strong partner in the solution for improving education. We must now keep the promise of providing a college education to these students by purchasing 1,800 scholarships and recruiting caring mentors for each of them."
- Emilio Alonso-Mendoza, Take Stock in Children President/CEO
Read more here!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Hi everyone!  I am Allie Whitcomb, and I will be one of your AmeriCorps College Success Coaches!  I am excited to serve as a resource for your questions regarding college admissions, scholarships, student leadership, and all that is in between!
I wanted to use this blog post to introduce my background and to talk about my own time in college.  I am originally from Miami, Florida and I recently received my Bachelor’s degree this past May in Liberal Arts with concentrations in Sociology and Gender Studies from New College of Florida in Sarasota, Florida.  New College is a small school with only 800 students, and is the public Honors College for the Florida University System.  It is a liberal arts college, meaning that as a student there, I studied everything from Metaphysics, Religion, Sociology, Media studies, and Statistics.  I am a big advocate of Liberal Arts educations because they offer students the opportunity to study broad subjects and become familiar with all different disciplines.  It was challenging to take courses that were outside of my major, but it was also very rewarding because I now have a strong background in a vast array of subjects.

I was also very involved in student government and student-led groups/clubs throughout my four years in undergrad.  Getting involved not only helped me meet new people, but it also made me feel a part of the college and like I was making a difference.  Part of feeling like I was a part of something was my experience working with the College Admissions office as a student tour guide and representative.  It was a great experience because I got to work with school administrators, such as the Dean of Admissions, and I got hands on experience with the inner workings of college admissions.

And finally, a huge part of my college experience was my professors and academic advisors.  I had the unique experience of writing an undergraduate thesis (often a requirement for most Honors colleges) and this meant that I worked very closely with professors doing my research.  Something we will be discussing throughout the coming months will be research and developing relationships with professors, and this was definitely something that made my college experience that much more significant to me.  As a prospective graduate student applying to Master’s programs, it is a wonderful asset to have developed close relationships with professors who can speak on behalf of my abilities in recommendation letters.

With a better understanding of my background, I hope my experiences will help you as you navigate your own college path.  Again, I look forward to serving as your College Success Coach and assisting you in any way I can!

Best wishes,
Allie Whitcomb J

Monday, September 10, 2012

Take Stock in Children is gearing up again this year to welcome ten new members from AmeriCorps. AmeriCorps offers people the opportunity to give a year of service while applying their skills and ideals toward helping others and meeting critical needs in the community.

This past year we had the opportunity to work with eight members who served over 200 mentors and 350 students, focused in three South Florida counties. This year we will have 10 members serving in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Immokalee.

Even more exciting will be that these ten new members will our voice and narrators of the Take Stock in Children stories. They will be sharing our student successes, mentor inspirations and sponsor partnerships. We look forward to introducing them to you next week on all of our social media accounts! Welcome Aboard AmeriCorps Members!