January is National Mentoring Month and Take Stock in Children is happy to announce Hope Schmidt, a mentor with the Charlotte County TSIC program, as the 2016 Mentor of the Year. As a retired school nurse, Hope knows firsthand the importance of being compassionate and kind.
Early in her nursing career, Hope worked as in the emergency room and then became a school nurse with Charlotte County Public Schools. She was recognized as Support Employee of the Year in 2008. A year later, Hope decided to become a Take Stock in Children mentor, providing guidance and positive direction for five mentees.
Education, for Hope, was the key to changing the trajectory of her life. Earning her high school diploma through hard work, Hope went on to attend nursing school at Hitchcock Medical Center which is now part of Dartmouth College on a full scholarship.
Growing up in Boston, Hope was the youngest of five children, surviving many hardships in order to graduate high school. With her mother ill most of her childhood and the death of her father, Hope and her siblings relied on her community for support, especially the nuns at her school.
Sharing with her mentees her own struggles growing up, Hope provides her students the greatest gift of all – teaching lessons in resiliency. Elizabeth Hicks, one of Hope’s students, shared how Hope had impacted her life: “The stories of how she made it through hardships in her own past inspires me and makes me feel grateful for all that I have. She has truly been my bright ray of hope.”