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BAY EDUCATION FOUNDATION INDUCTS NEW SCHOLARS

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Twenty-four Bay County sixth graders were inducted into the Bay Education Foundation’s Take Stock in Children program on May 17, 2016, at the Panama Country Club. The students and their parents signed a contract with the Foundation to focus on achievement, attendance, and attitude throughout their time in school, to remain drug-and crime-free, and to volunteer in their community.

Twenty-four Bay County sixth graders were inducted into the Bay Education Foundation’s Take Stock in Children program on May 17, 2016, at the Panama Country Club.  The students and their parents signed a contract with the Foundation to focus on achievement, attendance, and attitude throughout their time in school, to remain drug-and crime-free, and to volunteer in their community. 

“Our Take Stock in Children program offers the promise of a two-year college tuition plan to selected students,” says Mike Plitman, scholarship committee chairman.   “This is a great opportunity for sixth graders to become a part of a meaningful program that will help them develop into scholars.””

New scholars include Abby Garvin (Bay Haven Charter Academy); Joanna Martinez and Shelby Pruneau (Deane Bozeman School); Breanna Hughes, Emmy Nguyen and James Free (Breakfast Point Academy); Nyanza Allen (Everitt Middle School); Aisha Moneymaker and Kelvin Woodward (Jinks Middle School); Mary Abner, Ajayla Gainer, Dominique Hayes, Courtney Mathes and Azelia Smith (Merritt Brown Middle School); Daniel Medley, Montez Turner and Kristen Vancil (Mowat Middle School); Angel Alvarado-Perez, Olivia Messer and Jackson Savell (North Bay Haven Charter Academy); Sarah Breegle (Palm Bay Preparatory Academy); Katlyn Moates and Gabrial Schouten (Surfside Middle School) and Isabella Crider (University Academy).

In addition to the two-year tuition scholarship, the Take Stock in Children program provides mentors, staff support, and guidance to ensure that the students—many of whom are the first in their families to attend college—are prepared for the rigors of college coursework. Students also receive book scholarships from the Gulf Coast State College Foundation and the Florida State University-Panama City Foundation.

”Mentoring is the major feature of our program,” says Janet Kessler, Mentor Coordinator of the Bay Education Foundation.  “Each new scholar will be matched with an adult mentor who will help guide and support the student during the school year.”  The Foundation welcomes mentor volunteers at any time and stresses that mentoring is not tutoring.  The application process and training program are brief but thorough. 

A number of private individuals, businesses, and organizations work to provide local funds.  Funds raised in the community are matched dollar for dollar by the state through the Florida Prepaid Tuition Foundation.  Major donors include the Nelson Family Foundation, the St. Joe Foundation, Allstate Construction, Thrivent Financial, and Reliant South Construction Group.  The Bay Education Foundation also raises funds at its annual Golf FORE Education tournament, Strides for Scholars race and Arts Alive event to fund the scholarships.  

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