March 2019
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Professionalism & Networking


An education prepares students to be successful in their lives and careers. However, the knowledge gained in the classroom may not be enough to prepare a student for the expectations they may face at the workplace.  Many people take for granted teaching students about professionalism and networking. While some students may gain these skills naturally through their experiences and surroundings, there are others that need more guidance in such topics.
Professional skills are an important part of soft skills. These include professional dress, interview skills, e-mail etiquette, and much more. Talking to your student about ways to prepare for an interview and writing sample thank you e-mails to employers can be of great value for their future opportunities. 
Networking can also be difficult for underrepresented students. Low-income, minority students may be disadvantaged from their peers because they may not have been exposed to it.  However, it can make the difference between receiving more scholarship money and finding an internship. It is very valuable to touch on this topic during your mentoring sessions. Here are some ways you can incorporate these topics in your mentoring sessions:

  • Help your mentee come up with an elevator speech for them to use at a career fair or other networking environments. 
  • Brainstorm ways for your mentee to network in high school and college for potential references. 
  • Work with your mentee on e-mail etiquette - practice writing professional emails to potential employers, professors, etc. 
  • Conduct a mock interview with your mentee.
  • Help your mentee develop a resume.
 Check out the Mentor Resources below for more ideas!

Student Spotlight

TSIC Student is Awarded a $20,000 Scholarship!

Yeny, a senior from Strawberry Crest High School, has been selected from a large pool of students nationwide to receive the Dell Scholarship! This scholarship is awarded to low-income seniors that are looking to complete a bachelor's degree. The scholarship is for a total of $20,000 and includes a laptop, textbook credits, and access to academic and professional coaching to aid the student on the path to success. Yeny plans to attend Florida Gulf Coast University to study Elementary Education. This scholarship will help Yeny fulfill her post-secondary goals! We are so proud of all that she has accomplished! Congratulations, Yeny! 



Free Workshops Available for TSIC Students

The Hillsborough Education Foundation has several FREE workshops coming up for our TSIC students.  Please promote these events to your mentee! Mentors are also welcome to attend these events. Students that are interested in attending must RSVP. 

(Please contact Anna Laird at 813-463-4283 for more information)


Citi Career Day


This is a wonderful opportunity for TSIC students of all ages to visit the Citi Tampa office and explore different career opportunities. During the event, students will listen to multiple Citi employees from different job fields talk about their responsibilities and day-to-day tasks. Students will tour the different departments and learn about their current projects. 
Please keep in mind that students will be in Spring break that week, so it will not affect their school attendance. 

Location:  3800 Citigroup Center Drive, Tampa, FL 33610  

Date: Wednesday, March 20th 

Time: 8:30AM-3:00PM 

Exploring Trade Careers Fair & Workshop


The Hillsborough Education Foundation has joined together with Erwin Technical College, to bring you the Exploring Trade Careers Fair/Workshop! This is a wonderful opportunity for TSIC students to see the vast amount of career opportunities that are available at Erwin Technical College. During the event, students will tour Erwin's open house to learn more about career and technical programs, conduct a skills assessment, learn about in-demand careers in Tampa Bay, tour the campus, and gain professional development skills.  Upon arrival students will need to go to Room 129 to get checked in.  

Location: Erwin Technical College - 2010 E. Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, FL, 33610

Date: Saturday, April 6th

Time: 12:00PM-2:30PM


Preparing for Your Summer Internship Workshop
Professional Skills and Financial Literacy Workshop


In partnership with Dress For Success and a local financial expert, the Hillsborough Education Foundation is proud to provide students the opportunity for a paid summer internship at various non-profits throughout the Tampa Bay area. At the Preparing for Your Summer Internship Workshop, TSIC students that are 
interested in will learn about the internships offered through the Hillsborough Education Foundation, financial literacy, professionalism and resume writing skills in order to prepare for a summer internship. If your mentee is interested in an internship, they are required to attend this workshop. 

Location: Hillsborough Education Foundation 2306 N Howard Ave Tampa, FL 33607

Date & Time: Saturday, April 13th (9:30AM-1:00PM) or Friday, April 19th (1:00PM- 3:30PM)

Mentor Appreciation Party 

We are very excited to celebrate our annual Mentor Appreciation Party on Thursday, April 25th!  This year the event is being sponsored and held at Citi Bank (3800 Citi Drive Tampa, FL 33610) from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM. Please join us in celebration of all of our TSIC Mentors' hard work. This will be a great opportunity for you to spend time with your mentee in a fun event with raffles, giveaways, and food. You are welcome to bring a guest. Students are also welcome to bring their family.

To confirm your attendance, please fill out the RSVP below. If you have any questions about the event, please contact 
Anna Laird at 813-463-4283.

Location:  Citi Center -3800 Citi Drive Tampa, FL 33610

Date: T hursday, April 25th

Time:  6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Mentor of the Month
Laura Grucza

Q: How did you become involved with mentoring through the Hillsborough Education Foundation? 
A: I work at the Hillsborough Education Foundation and was asked if I wanted to be a mentor.   I thought it was a great program and a great way to help a student.

Q: What has been the most rewarding part of mentoring?
A: Seeing the mentee light up when they see they can achieve an academic goal.  They see their goals just as dreams first, but when you can show them how to make it a real goal to achieve it's a great feeling to watch.  At first they can't believe it, but then they do and the confidence in themselves gets stronger.

Q: What do you believe is the key to being a quality mentor?
Listening to the student, asking questions about their goals.  Sharing with them how to make it happen and if you don't know, ask one of HEF's College Success Coaches to share back with the student what you found. 

Q: When you are not working with students, how do you prefer to spend your free time?
A: I enjoy exercising, watching sports and spending time with my family. 

Q: What do you hope your mentee will learn from you?
A: That nothing is impossible.  When you have a goal, figure out a plan to get there, you can achieve anything you want. 

Mentor Resources  


Here are just a few ideas and resources you can utilize in your mentoring sessions:


Scholarship Opportunity for SENIORS

Community Action Board Scholarship
Up to $5,000 

Applications are due March 29th!
  • Minimum 2.5 Cumulative GPA
  • 125% at or below the Federal Poverty Guideline level
  • Resident of the Hillsborough County
  • Planning to attend college
  • Legal U.S. Resident


Scholarship Opportunity for SENIORS

The Knights of Peter Claver
Ladies Auxiliary- Mother
Henriette Delille
Applications are due April 1st!

The College Success Team
(Click each name to email)
            Anna Laird                   Mari Velaz

   Wildens Cajuste               Melanie Jimenez                Joe Addison
Mark Your Calendar!

March 15th
End of 3rd Quarter
All Students

March 18th - 25th
(return to school on 26th) 

Spring Break
All Students
March 20th 
Citi Career Day - Career Exploration Workshop
All Students
April 6th  
Career and Technical Workshop
High School Students Only
April 13th and 19th
Professional Development and Financial Literacy Workshop
Students that are 16 years or older
April 25th
Mentor Appreciation Party
All students and Mentors

For more information, contact Anna Laird via  email.

If you know someone who is interested in mentoring, 
have them visit our website for more information: