228 high school seniors are graduating this year from the Take Stock in Children program and awarded Florida Prepaid scholarships valued at over $4.1 million in college scholarships.
Take Stock in Children, a program of the Pinellas Education Foundation, is a comprehensive program that offers Pinellas County students hope for a better life through college scholarships, college readiness coaching, and the guidance of caring volunteer mentors. These services start in middle school, continue through high school, and include their transition to college. Since the early ’90’s more than 6,000 students have participated in the program in Pinellas County, with over 39,000 students participating statewide.
This year, we have 228 seniors graduating from Take Stock in Children and moving on to attend college. To commemorate this momentous occasion, we host our annual Take Stock in Children Senior Celebration as an opportunity to honor all our graduating scholars, recognize their accomplishments, and celebrate the endless possibilities of what lies ahead.
Keynote speakers included:
- Johnny Boykins, Take Stock in Children Committee Chair and alumnus, Board of Directors member with the Pinellas Education Foundation
- Mike Delisle, Mentor of the Year at Osceola Fundamental High School
- Kevin Hendrick, Pinellas County Schools Superintendent
- Bobby Coston, Take Stock in Children alumnus and Pinellas County Schools Teacher
During the event, each graduating senior approached the microphone to share their name and the college they are planning to attend. Friends, families, and guests cheered for each student while they walked across the stage to receive their official Take Stock in Children Class of 2023 medallion and a special teal cord to wear at their high school graduation, to denote they are a Take Stock in Children Scholar.
Mike Delisle offered encouragement to the graduates, “go out and create a life to be proud of and know that we are always proud of you and your achievements and that we are here for you.” And Bobby Coston urged graduates to consider serving as a mentor in the future by telling them about the incredible experience he had by saying, “I credit a lot of my success to my mentors… Dr. Solomon Lowery is still my mentor now. It’s important, even at my age of 31 years old, that I still stay connected to somebody that is going to keep me on that right path.”
Thank you to all the scholarship sponsors who made the dream of college a reality for our scholars. We are so proud of each graduate and know they have endless possibilities in their next chapter of life. Let’s hear it for the Take Stock in Children Graduating Class of 2023!