Monday, November 18, 2013

TSIC Alumni Lucero Carillo-Moctezuma's Success Story

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 my studies.

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 job.  
That philosophy 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. 

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