October 2018
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Welcome New TSIC Students!
New TSIC Scholars take the pledge after signing their scholarship contracts.

On September 26th, 79 new Take Stock in Children scholars attended their New Student Orientation and were officially enrolled in the program! Students and families learned more about the TSIC program expectations and were able to meet their assigned College Success Coaches. Students and parents signed their scholarship contracts, and then the students took the pledge - promising to maintain academic excellence and to pursue their goals. 

We are so excited to work with these deserving and inspiring young people! 

The Take Stock in Children Pledge
I understand that
I have been given an opportunity
of a scholarship to further my education after high school.
I am responsible for my own success.
I am responsible for making my dreams comes true.
I recognize that
I have academic strengths and
will work to overcome my weaknesses.
I pledge that
I am committed to my education.
I will work hard to maintain good grades.
I will respect others and conduct myself
in a manner which earns respect in return.
I will remember that I have people in my life that care about me
at home, school, and with Hillsborough Education Foundation.
I pledge to strive for excellence in my academics and as a person.


October Mentor of the Month
Ann Sheppard

1. How did you become involved with mentoring through the Hillsborough Education Foundation? 
Through an enthusiastic friend who was doing it and Rachel who used to work here.

2. What has been the most rewarding part of mentoring?
I adore my mentee! Getting to know her and see her mature for the last three years has been the best part.  She's such a bright girl, it will be fun to see how far she goes

3. What do you believe is the key to being a quality mentor?
I think listening and guiding gently are very important qualities for a mentor. Also, being consistent and reliable.  We want to set a good example.

4. When you are not working with students, how do you prefer to spend your free time?
I love my job at Tampa General Medical Group as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I also like to read, exercise, travel, hang out with my husband and friends  and hope to get back to playing pickleball soon.  I am taking a fusion glass class at the Jewish Community Center that is fun!

5. What do you hope your mentee will learn from you?
Maybe persistence, patience and not to take things too seriously.  What you practice you will get good at, whether it's anger or joy.  "Wag more, Bark less."

Mentor Resources
October: Mental Health Resources for Students

October is Depression Awareness Month, so we would like to take this opportunity to talk about the mental health of our mentees as well as to provide you with some resources. 

Our students are  undoubtedly going through a lot emotionally and psychologically during their middle and high school years - all the stresses and pressure of school, family and/or personal issues, peer pressure, and so much more. Needless to say, being a teenager is hard! Unfortunately, mental health issues can be common in teens and young adults. Mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder affect thousands of teens across the country every year.
As a mentor, you are in a unique position to help your mentee and be on the lookout for troubling behavior. One of the best things you can do for your mentee is to listen to them - give them the opportunity to talk about their struggles in a safe, judgement-free zone.
There are also some concerning behaviors to look out for which can include:
  • Significant, sudden decrease in school performance
  • Big changes in energy levels, eating or sleeping patterns
  • Feelings of hopelessness, sadness, anxiety, etc.
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Loss of interest in things they used to care about 
If you do witness troubling behavior with your mentee, feel free to express your concern with them by:
  • Explain why you are concerned (be specific; "You have been missing a lot of classes; you look sad all the time; you're always falling asleep...")
  • Show compassion ("I am worried about you")
  • Listen without the expectation of solving the student's problem 
  • Know your limits. If it is requiring more on your part than you feel qualified to handle, you probably need to get others involved. Please reach out to your College Success Coach, parents, school counselor/social worker, and/or a qualified mentor health profession.
Mental Health Resources:

  • The JED Foundation - The Jed Foundation (JED) empowers teens and young adults with the skills and support to grow into healthy, thriving adults.
  • Set to Go - This site provides tools and resources for high school students, parents, and educators, for students as they transition to college, focusing mostly on emotional health and life skills necessary in adulthood.
  • ULifeline - Online resource for young adult mental health issues. Information about mental health issues, facts, wellness tips, information on how to get help, and a self-evaluator tool.  
  • Half of Us - Features various mental health issues commonly experienced by teens and young adults and strategies on how to cope. 

And remember - we are here to support you as a mentor! If you have concerns about your mentee's mentor health or any other issues, please contact your College Success Coach so we can best advice you or direct the student to the appropriate person or services.

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

        Wildens Cajuste           Melanie Jimenez
Mark Your Calendar!

October 15
Beginning of the 2nd Quarter
All Students

November 12
Veteran's Day (Observed)
Non-Student Day - All Students
November 19-23
Fall Break
All Students
November 20
Metropolitan Ministries Community Service Event - Holiday Tent
All Students & Mentors are invited! RSVP required.

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: