September 2018
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Not Goodbye - but "See You Soon!"

Farewell Friends:

After almost 7 years of working at the Hillsborough Education Foundation (HEF) and Take Stock in Children (TSIC), I am announcing my resignation as Program Manager. While I am sadden to leave HEF/TSIC (and all of you), I am excited to start a new adventure. 

The TSIC program is like no other education program in the country. It's defined mission and the opportunities it provides are life changing for thousands of families. It was easy to get up in the morning and come to work. While I served as a resource for many, you all were secretly my resource for inspiration and sense of community. To me, our mission to help young people make the best of their opportunities is more fun than it is work, and more challenging than I ever imagined.

I originally started at HEF as the Mentor Coordinator in 2011. This was my first full-time job out of college. I wasn't quite sure what I had signed up for at the time but I quickly learned to love this job. I'm proud of the accomplishments our program has made since then - being awarded a Silver Award this past year is one of them.

I am so thankful for the opportunities and the memories from my time here. I will truly cherish them. One of my hands-down favorite moments was learning that one of our students, Keilly Pulgar, was awarded the Leaders 4 Life fellowship. ( Read Keilly's Story Here). To this day I still get goosebumps thinking about it. Being asked to emcee the  Volunteer Service Awards for the first time in 2016 was another favorite moment. That was special. The silliest memory that stands out was driving around with the Tampa Bay Rays mascot Raymond. His head was sticking out of the window and people wear honking - hilarious!

I want to thank all of the students, volunteers and community partners for giving me their time, attention and respect. I learned pretty quickly that no one person does it all and your willingness to engage me and trust in our initiatives was why we had more successes than we had disappointments.

Of course I can't forget all of the great people I've worked with at HEF and TSIC throughout the years. I've learned a little something from everyone and those lessons will stay with me for my entire life. Thank you for laughing with me and occasionally crying. Thank you for believing in me and for choosing me to lead special projects. I will miss walking into this old, historic brick building. I will miss our potlucks and annual conferences where I can see my colleagues across the state. Most of all, I'll miss our mission and being your teammate.

In light of my departure, one of our very own, Anna Laird, has been promoted to Program Manager. Anna has been with program for a year and a half and I'm confident she will do an excellent job. Please contact her with any future questions or concerns. 

William Dailey

September Mentor of the Month
Alex Rodriguez

1. How did you become involved with mentoring through the Hillsborough Education Foundation? 
I was introduced to the TSIC Mentoring Program the old-fashioned and most effective way - by three experienced mentor friends who could not stop talking about how meaningful the mentoring experiences were to them. After a while, I finally caught on to their many hints that I should apply as a mentor. Fortunately for me, HEF accepted my application in December 2014. 

2. What has been the most rewarding part of mentoring?
Aside from the psychological, social, and intellectual aspects of mentoring and other interpersonal relationships, I believe there is often a spiritual dimension. As humans learn to experience the deeper rewards of altruism - to society and the self - we often come to feel greater peace and purpose in our lives. Mentoring has given me the opportunity to both teach and learn from a young man who is simultaneously hungry for adult assistance with his life skills development and mature beyond his years. This week-to-week give-and-take has truly enriched both of our lives. 

3. What do you believe is the key to being a quality mentor?
I believe the key attributes of effective mentoring are much the same as those for effective leadership, parenting, and teaching - competence, compassion, conscientiousness, clarity of communications, continuity, and coordination, or "the 6 C's." Other mentors would insightfully add other attributes, but ultimately each mentor must reliably be "there" for her or his mentee, be ready to mentor each session, and convey true caring so that the lessons can be emotionally and spiritually understood and then consistently developed into mature adult behaviors. All mentees and the communities in which they'll reside, work, and volunteer depend upon us to reliably lead in our mentoring relationships. 

4. When you are not working with students, how do you prefer to spend your free time?
My wife, Pam - a committed TSIC mentor - and I are blessed to be able to both volunteer in our community and to have some extra time to enjoy local entertainments (e.g. museums, movies, theaters, baseball games), as well as to visit our 4 children and 8 grandchildren who are dispersed across four states (CT, NC, TX, CA). And sometimes, - after all the part-time jobs, chores, errands, communications, and volunteering are completed for the day - we enjoy simply reading, walking, and otherwise acting like the senior citizens we realize we now have become. 

5. What do you hope your mentee will learn from you?
My mentee, who is an exceptionally talented and hard-working young man, has had to learn to balance a substantial weight of "you should's" and "you shouldn't's" from a host of parents, teachers, school administrators, coaches, clergy, employers, and others, including me. This has not always been a fluid integration but, over time, he has come to value that I am the one invested adult in his life who has no vested agenda, other than helping him find some peace of mind by learning to cope more effectively with all of life's demands and demanding people. In our mentoring experience, I truly hope he will have begun to learn how to be a mentor himself and, over the course of his life, "pay it forward," just as I learned from wise others how to become a mentor to those who need my help in life. 

Rays Up Scholarship Celebration

On Sunday, August 26th, the Tampa Bay Rays generously awarded 9 Take Stock in Children scholarships to students in Hillsborough County. The students were invited, along with their families, to watch the Rays absolutely dominate the Boston Red Sox. Students were honored on the field before the game, celebrating their scholarship with numerous other students from across Tampa Bay. We are very grateful for the Ray's support of Take Stock in Children as they have been a consistent and determined partner.


Mentor Resources
September: Student Check Lists

Florida Shines is a fantastic resource we want to share with all of our TSIC mentors. On this free website, you can explore different colleges, degree programs, scholarships, get advice on applications, applying for college, and so much more! Consider logging on to the next time you meet with your mentee!

One great feature on Florida Shines is their high school level College Checklists - there is one for each grade. Go over this checklist with your mentee to see if they are on track for high school graduation! You can download the checklists HERE .

Mark Your Calendar!

September 22
October 2
Senior Workshop
for all TSIC 12th Graders

September 26
 New Student Orientation
New TSIC Students Only
October 1
FAFSA Opens!
All TSIC Seniors Can Submit Their FAFSA
October 12
End of 1st Quarter
All Students

For more information, contact Anna Laird via  email.

The College Success Team
    William Dailey                            Anna Laird

              email                                            email     
 Wildens Cajuste                 Mari Velaz                   Melanie Jimenez 
                email                                     email                                  email                 
If you know someone who is interested in mentoring, 
have them visit our website for more information: