Mentoring In The New Normal
Take Stock in Children provides direct program support services to 1,200 underprivileged, at-risk students throughout Palm Beach County while breaking the cycle of poverty with mentoring and education.
Our mission is to passionately promote self-worth, personal responsibility, and academic success for qualified, financially at-risk students by providing a unique set of resources that includes mentors, student advocates, and a guaranteed post-secondary scholarship.
With COVID-19 and the challenging transition to virtual learning, students need our support services now more than ever. Most students are starting the new school year already behind due to last year’s unprecedented disruption of classes and adapting to online learning. Many are still struggling with time management, adapting to a virtual learning schedule, internet issues, and logging into classes. There’s also the issue of students who have learning comprehension problems who are currently missing out on the “hands-on” assistance they require. When students eventually return to their brick and mortar classrooms, they will face the reality that everything has drastically changed.
The new “normal” and adjusting to virtual learning is challenging for all students, but especially those from low-income homes. This disruption will surely be a harsher blow for families who, before COVID-19, were already facing economic distress. 96% of students served are African-American and Hispanic students in Palm Beach County who live below the federal poverty guidelines. As we transition into the new normal, Take Stock in Children is committed to these students in ensuring they receive the resources they need to succeed in school, graduate from high school, enter college, and not get left behind. Our program addresses the disconnect between low-income families and the community resources available to them by aiding students with hands-on support with their education and mental health.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted every single family somehow, be it grief from the loss of a loved one, financial stress, disruption of education, or just the general fear of the unknown and strain on our mental health. The stress and uncertainty of COVID-19 have put a spotlight on the expanded need for mental health services. Our program expanded its service hours by engaging with students through texts, calls, and virtual platforms to help prevent what’s referred to as the “COVID Slide,” the impact on student academic achievement due to school closures. Take Stock in Children PBC is committed to expanding services to adapt to our student’s needs. When the School District of Palm Beach County closed all schools in March 2020, we partnered with our TSIC State Office and the Johnson Scholars Program to quickly integrate a virtual platform that fully services our students:
- College Readiness Coaching: Our new virtual platform enables us to continue afterschool club meetings and academic coaching with our students via Google Classrooms. College Readiness Coaches are working with students on their educational portfolios and provide academic resources via virtual meetings.
- Mentoring: Our Mentors continue to provide encouragement and emotional support via virtual meetings, text messaging, and phone calls. Our Take Stock in Children State Office created a proprietary mentoring app that allows mentors and mentees to continue their mentoring sessions via a safe and supervised environment.
- College Retention Services: We continue to service our college-going students via emails, phone calls, and virtual meetings coordinated by our College Retention Department.
Take Stock in Children’s program model has been proven effective in ensuring successful outcomes for youth:
- High School Graduation Rates: 100% of the Class of 2020 graduated, compared to 65% of their peer group.
- Post-Secondary Enrollment Rates: 96% of students enroll in a post-secondary program, compared to 32% of students in poverty.
- Post-Secondary Completion Rates: 74% of Take Stock in Children students obtained a post-secondary credential, compared to Florida’s average of 28% for students in poverty.
- Post-Secondary Scholarships: Over $17M in Florida Prepaid college scholarships granted to Palm Beach County students since 1995. The Take Stock in Children Palm Beach County program is the 5th largest purchaser of Florida Prepaid Scholarships in Florida, with our TSIC state office leading in 1st place. All scholarship funding is matched dollar-for-dollar, thus doubling scholarship contributions received while changing the lives of twice as many students in need.
For low-income and minority students, education is the key to success and upward mobility. Join us, “take stock in a child today” and help us ensure that all students, no matter their background, have equitable access to a quality education. As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”