November 2019
T.S.I.CC O L L E G E   T O U R
On Monday, October 21st the Take Stock team took 25 students- freshmen, sophomores and juniors- to tour two Florida colleges. First, the students toured the University of South Florida's (USF) Tampa campus. The students visited some of the most popular spots on campus, including the Marshall Center, Juniper Poplar Dorms and they even got to eat at USF's newest dinning hall, The Hub. 

After spending two hours at USF, the students hopped back on the bus and traveled an hour to St.Pete College's Gibbs campus. Some of the places the students toured included the school's library, their planetarium and the music industry recording arts building. Students also learned about the different degree types and majors the school offers. 

Exploring USF and St. Pete College, two very different institutions, encouraged students to think about the type of college that is right for them. This experience  helped students understand that there are many different types of colleges and universities, and they should pick the one that best meet their needs. 

Hear about Lizvette's experience on the college tour:

"I had a great time touring USF and SPC. This was my first time going in a college dorm, and I loved it! 
I also liked exploring SPC for the first time. 
I liked learning about all of the programs and majors they offered. "

Annual Metropolitan Ministries  Volunteer Event
All Mentees and Mentors Welcome

Are you and your mentee passionate about giving back to your community? If so, you should join the Take Stock In Children Team at the Annual Metropolitan Ministries Volunteer Event
Participants will get a chance to give back to their community by working in Metropolitan
Ministries' Holiday Tent. Participants will be assigned various roles, including: loading cars, sorting through food, organizing clothes and assisting families. 

The volunteer event will take place Tuesday, November 26th from 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM at the Metropolitan Ministries Volunteer Engagement Center (120 E. Ross Ave., Tampa, FL 33602). 

Please keep in mind that space is limited  If you are interested in volunteering you must pre-register for the event . Please RSVP below!

*Preference will be given to mentor/mentee pairs.
If you have any questions, please contact Melanie Jimenez via phone at 813-574-0269 or via email at
Got Gratitude?

According to an article in Harvard Health Publishing, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships. T o read the article in its entirety, click here!  

With this in mind, take a minute to read a few activities you can do with your mentee that highlight the importance of gratitude. 

 1. Say Thank You:  Watch the video Science  of Happiness with your mentee. Talk 
about what stood out from the video and what you both learned . Next, both you and your mentee should reflect about people in your life that you are grateful for, but whom you do not tell thank you enough. Jot down the name of that person, and the things you would like to thank them for. Finally, take some time call, write, text or email a well thought out thank-you message.  To watch the video, click here!

2.  Gratitude JarIt is very easy to get bogged down with the negative voices in our world-  through the news, social media, and even people in our lives. That is you and your mentee should create a gratitude jar. The mentor is encouraged to buy 2 mason jars (or any type of jar) and colorful pieces of paper. The student and mentor will then cut up the paper into small slips and  write down all of the things- big or small- they are thankful for on those slips. They will then place the slips into their jar. Depending on the mentee, they might enjoy decorating the jar as well! After the jars are complete, whenever the student or mentor are feeling down, they can pull a note from the jar, read it and be reminded of the good in their lives. You could also start every mentoring session by adding one slip to the jar or taking one out and reading it together. 

3. A Token of Appreciation: A valuable lesson a mentor could teach
their mentee is the importance of genuinely thanking people. In this activity, students will take the time to thank the teachers and school staff for the work they do. I suggest that the mentor  buys a handful of fake flowers from the dollar store, some yarn, small, decorative pieces of paper and a whole puncher. Students are encouraged to write heartfelt notes to several teacher and faculty members on various slips of paper. They will then whole punch the top of the note, string the yarn through the whole, and then tie the note to the stem of a flower. The student can then drop the flower off on a teachers desk, give it to the person making their lunch or surprise their college and career counselor.

There is no better time to talk about community service than the month of November. In the spirit of giving back, we are going to take some time to explain why community service is so important. First and foremost, participating in community service helps  develop certain intrinsic values by  teaching people to find compassion within themselves. In the famous words of Gandhi, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." 

In addition to Community Service being good for individuals, communities and society overall, volunteering can also benefit our students in various academic areas.

ght Futures & Other Scholarships:
Many scholarships require students to be involved in their communities. There are many places students can volunteer, to get some ideas click here
 Click here to get more information on Bright Futures!
One of the most well-known scholarships that has a community service requirement is Bright Futures. To get the best and most competitive Bright Futures award, students must complete at least 100 hours of community service (in addition to several other requirements). Students are strongly encouraged to start volunteering their freshmen year; if they wait until their Senior year to start volunteering their last year in high school will be more stressful than necessary. 

Career Exploration: Another reason that students should volunteer is because community service gives them a chance to explore potential career interests. For example, a student that is interested in becoming a nurse should consider volunteering in a Hospital because it exposes them to the type of environment they want to work in. 


Furthermore, volunteering gives students a chance to build skills they will need in the workforce.

This will be helpful because if your mentee decides to get a job in the future, and their employer asks what experience they have, they will be able to talk about the experience they have volunteering, which many times includes team-work, leadership skills, customer service abilities and more!


Lastly, I know students that have been hired by the organizations that they volunteered at because they have done such an outstanding job. Your mentee could be strategic and choose to volunteer with an organization that would potentially offer them a job in the long run. Keep in mind, once a student is paid, their work will no longer be counted as community service!


College Applications: Lastly, many Universities want to make sure the students they accept are well rounded. One of the ways they make sure their applicants are more than just their GPA and SAT scores is by asking the ways they are are involved in their communities, and more specifically, the way students are leaders in their communities. If students begin volunteering freshman year and continue to volunteer at the same site through out their high school career, they will likely have opportunists to take on positions of leadership within their volunteer role. This is something that will help them stand out among their peers when applying to college, increasing their chances of being accepted.

In order to make sure your mentee's community service hours are logged correctly and counted towards the Bright Futures scholarship, make sure they do the following: 
  1.  Get hours pre-approved by a school counselor
  2. Log hours in the appropriate document
  3. Turn hours in to the school counselor. 

ACT to Change How Students Retake Exam, Add 'Superscore'

Starting next fall, some students who take the ACT will have a new option as they try to improve their scores. They will be allowed to retake individual sections of the college-entrance exam, instead of having to sit for the entire test again. The new option, which ACT Inc. announced Tuesday,  will only be available to students who take the test in national testing centers onSaturdays, starting in September 2020. ACT administers 62 percent of its exams this way. Students or their families pay for the exam. The ACT, which costs $52, has four required sections: English, math, reading, and science. Students may also opt for a fifth section, in writing, for an additional $16. Pricing for individual section retakes hasn't been set yet.
The ACT announced other changes for next fall as well. One will expand computer-based ACT exams, which are already an option used by a small slice of school-day sites, to some Saturday testing centers. At a yet-to-be-decided roster of centers, students will be able to choose between digital or paper-and-pencil versions of the ACT. The online version provides results in a couple of days, compared to at least two weeks for the paper-and-pencil version, ACT officials said. Also next fall, students who take the ACT more than once will be able to send colleges a "superscore" in their score reports. Some colleges already do this on their own. When students send scores from two or more test sittings, some colleges calculate a score that shows a student's best scores for each subject, across all dates. ACT will now do those calculations automatically and include them in students' score reports. To read more, click here .
Source: Education Week
Mentor of the Month
J a k e   Z y d e k 
How did you become involved with mentoring through the Hillsborough Education Foundation ?  
I work at USF as a teaching assistant, and heard about the Hillsborough Education Foundation through some colleagues who were also mentors.

What has been the most rewarding part of mentoring? 
Witnessing the success of my mentee is a pretty awesome feeling in and of itself, and I am thankful for the opportunity to give back to the community in some way! I've also become a big fan of the staff at Blake High School!

What do you believe is the key to being a quality mentor?
I think the key to becoming a good mentor is finding the right balance between taking a formal and casual approach with your mentee. In practice, I think this helps with keeping sessions fresh for the mentee, while also giving them the confidence to value your input.

When you are not working with students, how do you prefer to spend your free time? 
In my free time, I really enjoy rock climbing (mostly indoor bouldering,) playing Irish (uilleann) bagpipes, and volunteering with other local organizations. I'm also a really big fan of paddling at the nearby rivers, springs and estuaries, and going for day hikes in the winter.
What do you hope your mentee will learn from you? 
Overall, I want my mentee to have the confidence to break through any self-imposed limitations he may see in himself so he can express himself as fully as possible in all aspects of life.

Why Is College So Expensive?

As portrayed on the left axis, median income has hovered around $33,000 since 1988. Meanwhile, college tuition and fees -- portrayed on the right axis -- have more than doubled.

According to an article on U.S. News, the two main drivers of the rising cost of tuition are reduced state funding and the incentive for tuition raises as an unrestricted revenue to benefit colleges. This means that colleges can choose to spend tuition money however they wish. State and local communities are spending less per student and someone has to take on that cost, and unfortunately it's been the student. 

Source: U.S. News

The College Success Team 
Click the name of your assigned College Success Coach to email them.

Mark Your Calendar

Nov. 21st
Great American Teach-In
Nov. 25th-29th
Fall Break/Non-Student Days
Nov. 26th
Fall Break Volunteer Event
Mentors & Students
Dec.  5th Magnet School Exploration Night
@ Jefferson H.S. from 5:30-7:30 PM

For more detailed information about the events occurring in Hillsborough County Public Schools, click the link below:

For the 2019-2020 TSIC Calendar, click the link below: 
For more information, contact Anna Corman via  email