November 2017
Visit us online Donate
November's Mentor of the Month
Bridget Islas
1. How did you become involved in mentoring through the Hillsborough Education Foundation?
My involvement with Hillsborough Education Foundation has spanned over seven years. I am actually a past Take stock In Children scholarship recipient and current alumni. I received two scholarships, a tuition and a dorm scholarship, by the time I graduated in 2015 from Sickles High school. This past December, I saw a flyer on the HEF Facebook page asking for new volunteers to mentor students from schools in the Citrus Park Area, which is where I attended school. I thought "I have to do this!" I had a great experience with my own mentor throughout my years as a TSIC scholar and I wanted to experience the program on the other side of the mentor-mentee relationship. I believe this opportunity is completely meant to be and the perfect way to give back to an organization that has done so much for my education. In January, I began to mentor Aliyah Aviles and starting this school year I will also be mentoring her twin sister Alexis Aviles alongside fellow mentor Kelly Machonis. Both sisters attend my alma mater, Sickles High school.

2. What  has been the most rewarding part of mentoring?
The most rewarding part of being a mentor is getting to encourage my mentees to pursue their goals and ambitions, whether it be in their academics, extracurricular activities, clubs and organizations, volunteering, or personal life. Since I have recently finished my high school years and am currently half way through my college undergraduate experience, I feel that my mentees can relate to me and my experiences as a student. I enjoy the moments where my knowledge and wisdom can help my mentees reach their full potential, especially when they asks me for advice or guidance in relating to their academic journey. 

3. What do you believe is the key to being a quality mentor?
I believe the key to being a quality mentor is passion and commitment. I take pride in being a mentor, especially for two bright students who are capable of so much, and I think all mentors should, as we are helping to motivate and encourage students to believe in themselves and believe that they can make a difference in the world. My mentees have just started their junior year and I fully intend to mentor them until they graduate in 2019. I am very excited to help them with the upcoming struggles of the next two years, including the SATs/ACTs, AP classes, and the application and admissions process. I cannot wait to see what they accomplish in the next two years and beyond as they attend college.
4.When you are not working with students, how do you prefer to spend your free time?
When I am not mentoring, I am a full time student in my junior year at the University of South Florida. I am majoring in Psychology and minoring in Educational Foundations and Research. Through volunteering for organizations like HEF and TSIC, I have come to find that I really enjoy working with students. As a result, I wish to work in the field of education. I hope to inspire and encourage the younger generation to follow their dreams and to reach for their academic and personal goals. I plan to attend graduate school at USF and earn a master's degree in College Student Affairs in order to work as an academic advisor at the college level.
5. What do you hope your mentee will learn from you?
I hope my mentees will learn that when it comes to their education, their dream and aspirations, or their career, anything is possible, and that hard work will eventually lead to success. I also hope they learn that it is completely normal to change majors and/or career paths, as long as it is what they truly feel passionate about and makes them happy. Lastly, I hope they learn to not be afraid to be themselves because in the end it is what makes them unique and special. 

Skills For Life Report:

Ways to Engage your Mentee

If you are looking for ways to improve or change up your Mentor meeting routine, we strongly encourage you to utilize our Skills for Life  Toolkit. 

This resource provides activities you can use to engage and help develop your mentee. The activities focus on developing a mentee's professional and personal skills, often refe rred to as "Soft Skills" in a fun and entertaining way. 

If you have not taken advantage of this toolkit, we recommend contacting William Dailey ( to request a hard copy. Otherwise, please refer to our digital download option list below. If you decide to use it or are currently doing so, please provide us your feedback as we want to perfect this recipe of knowledge to improve user experience. 

Mentor Resource Alert is a free interactive website that helps students determine their ideal majors and jobs based on programs at public institutions and training programs in Florida, and help close Florida's talent and skills gap. It highlights in-demand jobs and desirable skills within the state's job market, and the return on investment (ROI) students can expect based on the major and Florida higher education certificate program they choose.

The online tool is a starting place for conversations that can help current and prospective students cut through the confusion and make more informed decisions about the training and skills that can lead to well-paying jobs and a good life now and for future career goals. helps students:
  • Identify hot jobs in demand across the state and in particular regions, as well as the degree or certificate programs that will prepare students for those roles
  • Compare projected future earnings to the investment required to graduate from a particular school and program
  • Analyze the earnings potential of many career options
  • Understand the personal and professional satisfaction that accompanies different careers and courses of study
Other features of the tool include a lifestyle goal calculator, showing the number of years it will take for the salary from a particular occupation to meet a user's lifestyle goals, and a break-even calculator, which shows the number of years it will take after completing a particular degree program for earnings to exceed the total net price of the program.
Mark Your Calendar!

Take Stock College Tour November 20-21 HEF
TSIC Volunteer Day November 21 HEF
TSIC Volunteer Day
December 16
Last Day of Fall Semester December 22 HCPS

Don't forget to keep in touch with your scholar over winter break!
The College Success Team
William Dailey      Julia Carter      Jocelin Tapia      Anna Laird   
                        Email                       Email                         Email                         Email
If you know someone who is interested in mentoring, 
have them visit our website for more information: