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Monthly Archives: November 2014

Jack Willis named Semi-finalist



Fellowship to Fund All College-Related Expenses

Including Supplies, Housing and Transportation

MIAMI, FL – Fourteen high school scholars in Florida have been selected as finalists for Take Stock in Children’s Fifth Annual Leaders 4 Life Fellowship Program created in partnership with the Asofsky Family Foundation. Take Stock in Children, a statewide non-profit organization with a 20-year history of providing a pathway to post-secondary education for low-income, at-risk youth, will announce the final 6 recipients who will receive this innovative non-tuition scholarship award mid-January 2015.


The fourteen highly motivated scholars, who are amongst several thousand high school students statewide benefiting from Take Stock in Children, were selected based on their demonstrated strong leadership skills, moral character and academic success. The finalists include Kelly Turner (Lee County), Keilly Pulgar (Hillsborough County), Naomi Cruz (Miami Dade County), Jessie King (Bay County), Alexis Smith (Sarasota County), Jack Willis (Monroe County), Paul Muo (Broward County), Gabriela Cruz (Marion County), Christian Vallejo (Collier County), Kelly Caputo (Polk County), Kaylin Colvin-Reece (Santa Rosa County), Rachel Gaidos (DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands Counties), Dori Davies (Brevard County) and Ashley Williams (Baker, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Union Counties).


These semifinalists must submit a video essay, which will be used by a state selection committee to ultimately choose the 6 recipients who will be awarded the Leaders 4 Life Fellowship during Take Stock in Children’s annual Leadership Summit slated for February 10, 2015 in Tallahassee, Florida.


Take Stock in Children’s Leaders 4 Life Fellowship Program was created in partnership with the Asofsky Family Foundation to provide financial resources, services and support needed to ensure student success throughout college. The fellowship provides funds for textbooks and supplies, housing, transportation, food and other college-related expenses. The mission of this program is to enable these students to excel in a university environment by giving them the resources that empower them to develop their full potential as “leaders for life.”


“This prestigious Fellowship empowers our scholars and fuels their aspirations,” said Madeline Pumariega, President and CEO of Take Stock in Children. “Through the vision and generosity of the Asofsky Family Foundation, our Leaders 4 Life receive the financial support and the resources to excel as leaders in college and beyond and are recognized for their persistence and commitment to excellence as leaders in their schools and communities.


Students enrolled with Take Stock in Children are identified in middle and high school, they are then paired with a mentor and then sign a contract pledging to remain drug and crime free, as well as maintain high grades. All students that fulfill these obligations and successfully complete the Take Stock in Children program then receive full tuition scholarships to a state college or university upon graduation. The organization is the largest non-profit purchaser of Florida Prepaid Foundation Scholarships.


An emphasis on student accountability and specific measurable outcomes distinguishes Take Stock in Children from any other statewide mentoring program. Grade point averages increase with the length of time a student spends in the program, proving that Take Stock in Children’s method works.


Clearly addressing the high school drop-out crisis and college attainment, Take Stock in Children continues to report an unparalleled high school graduation rate of 96 percent, with 87 percent enrolling in college. Those numbers are significantly higher than the Florida state averages for at-risk students. Take Stock in Children currently serves nearly 8,200 low-income and minority students in grades 6-12 annually throughout 67 counties in Florida.


To learn more about benefiting from Take Stock in Children or becoming a valued mentor or supporter, please call Chuck Licis, Monroe County Program Coordinator at 305-293-1546 or visit www.monroecountyedfound.com.


Study Abroad Opportunities for Monroe County Students






KEY WEST, FL, November 12, 2014 – The Monroe County Education Foundation and The Experiment in International Living invite parents and students to attend a one-hour information session this Monday, November 17th at 10:15 AM in the Key West High School auditorium.


The Experiment offers unique 3-, 4-, and 5- week theme-based educational summer travel opportunities for high school students in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. “The Experiment provides a transformational experience. We are cultivating the next generation of global citizens that are prepared to engage in a rapidly changing world,” said Experiment Executive Director, Dr. Aaron Morehouse


Morehouse confirmed that Monroe County sends more participants every summer to The Experiment than any other school district in America outside of New York City. Key West High senior Leda Morales was one of the twenty-one Monroe students who traveled with The Experiment last summer. “The Experiment in International Living changed the way I look at communications globally. It changed my outlook on the world we live in and how experiencing a culture first-hand is the best education you can ever get.” said Morales.


Join Heather Beard, the Executive Director of Admissions, Monday morning at Key West High to learn more about The Experiment. Additional student/parent assemblies are scheduled for Tuesday, November 18th at 10:15 AM in the Coral Shores High School performing arts center at Coral Shores High School and 1:30 PM in the Marathon High School auditorium.


To learn more how your high school student can participate in an Experiment trip next summer, contact Chuck Licis at 305-293-1546 or at Chuck.Licis@KeysSchools.com.


About The Experiment in International Living


The Experiment in International Living provides summer abroad programs for high school students who want to connect deeply and engage meaningfully with the richness and complexities of another country.

Students explore the host country through hands-on experiences in local communities and through the lens of a specific theme. Programs are designed to equip students not only with essential cultural and, in many cases, language skills, but also with a deeper awareness of and sensitivity to global issues shaping the diverse communities and regions we visit.

Each year, hundreds of Experimenters come away from their summer abroad with invaluable new skills, connections, awareness, and knowledge that helps them to thrive—and lead—in diverse, intercultural environments.

The Experiment in International Living has been offering immersive experiential learning programs abroad since 1932. Today, The Experiment offers summer programs for high school students in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia and the Pacific.

For more information about or to apply for The Experiment in International Living visit:

www.experimentinternational.org or call (800)345-2929.