Since its formation in 1995, the nonprofit organization Take Stock in Children (TSIC) has been helping children excel academically throughout high school and beyond. With the motto of “Change a child’s life today, and break the cycle of poverty through education,” TSIC mentors children from low socioeconomic backgrounds to academic excellence. Studies have shown that when a child has a mentor throughout their education, they have a better outlook at school and are more likely to enroll in college or a trade school. TSIC aims to help children through mentorship to achieve success in a postsecondary education and ultimately in a future career.

Take Stock in Children is run through the Hillsborough Education Foundation (HEF) and is one of the Tampa Bay area’s largest mentoring programs. Students enrolled in this program have access to a volunteer mentor throughout their education and a college success coach. Every student in TSIC also has an opportunity to earn a Florida Prepaid Scholarship if program requirements are met.

Recently, 30 migrant students were accepted into the TSIC program in Hillsborough County. Mentors are encouraged to meet in person, but TSIC also has a monitored application where students and mentors can meet virtually. Since migrant students often travel throughout the year, many will be utilizing this virtual option to participate in the program.

“Mentorship can be a game changer for most of these students. With 325 students currently enrolled in the TSIC program from middle and high school, we need mentors,” stated Anna Corman, interim CEO of the Hillsborough Education Foundation.

Currently, in the program, there are 16 students who are without a volunteer mentor.

Corman mentioned, “Many people are worried that they can’t be a mentor, but it’s all about sharing experiences and serving as a role model to students.”

Volunteers who wish to mentor will have to complete training, pass a criminal background check, be 18 years of age or older and have a high school diploma. Volunteers also must be available to meet with a student 30 minutes a week and make a commitment to mentor for a year.

To apply to be a mentor, visit or call 813-574-0260. HEF appreciates donations as well. Since 93 cents of every dollar donated goes back into its programs, financial support is vital to provide Florida Prepaid Scholarships for TSIC recipients.

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Ashley Abene has written for the Osprey Observer since 2023. She has a master’s degree in writing and literature and a bachelor’s degree in professional writing from the University of South Florida. She has taught college-level writing and literature at USF and Southeastern University for over nine years. She’s a blogger at Peace Filled Family and enjoys writing children’s books. She’s also a mom to three kids, and her husband has been serving in the military for over 20 years.