Student Success Stories

Janet Pineda

Janet Pineda

County: Okeechobee

As a child of a single, migrant parent, Janet had aspirations to go to college but had no idea how she could afford it. No one in her family had traveled that path. Originally from a small town in western Mexico, Janet’s mother moved her five children to the United States in search of a better life. 

Janet's own mother had not gotten far in school because she had to help her family in the fields. Knowing the importance of education and the opportunities it would unlock for her daughter, she made sure Janet stayed in school. 

Janet spent early mornings picking oranges, strawberries, apples and cherries to help her family. She also juggled learning English and keeping up with her grades in school. Her hope was to go college, but she was unsure of how she would afford it. 

One afternoon in an English class Janet received the news that she had been accepted into the Take Stock in Children Okeechobee Program. 

This was the day her history was rewritten. 

When she met Connie Medrano, Janet gained more than just a mentor. She gained a role model, an advocate, a friend and someone to help navigate the unknowns of attending college. Connie and Janet both came from migrant families and were able to share the unique challenges they faced. With the support of Connie, Janet had big dreams and hope for the future. She was determined to be an accountant and knew with the support of her mentor and Take Stock in Children she had endless possibilities. 

Through hard work and determination, Janet earned an associate’s degree in Accounting from Indian River State College and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University. Today, she is currently sitting for her CPA exam and works as an accountant for Wicks, Brown, Williams & Co., a local CPA firm in Okeechobee. A mother of two young boys, Adrian and Vicente, Janet has rewritten her sons’ futures as they will follow in her footsteps of going to college someday just like mom did. After finishing her CPA exam, Janet plans to become a Take Stock mentor and help build a bridge to college for students in her community. 
 
As a child of a single, migrant parent, Janet had aspirations to go to college but had no idea how she could afford it. No one in her family had traveled that path. Originally from a small town in western Mexico, Janet’s mother moved her five children to the United States in search of a better life. 

Janet's own mother had not gotten far in school because she had to help her family in the fields. Knowing the importance of education and the opportunities it would unlock for her daughter, she made sure Janet stayed in school. 

Janet spent early mornings picking oranges, strawberries, apples and cherries to help her family. She also juggled learning English and keeping up with her grades in school. Her hope was to go college, but she was unsure of how she would afford it. 

One afternoon in an English class Janet received the news that she had been accepted into the Take Stock in Children Okeechobee Program. 

This was the day her history was rewritten. 

When she met Connie Medrano, Janet gained more than just a mentor. She gained a role model, an advocate, a friend and someone to help navigate the unknowns of attending college. Connie and Janet both came from migrant families and were able to share the unique challenges they faced. With the support of Connie, Janet had big dreams and hope for the future. She was determined to be an accountant and knew with the support of her mentor and Take Stock in Children she had endless possibilities. 

Through hard work and determination, Janet earned an associate’s degree in Accounting from Indian River State College and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University. Today, she is currently sitting for her CPA exam and works as an accountant for Wicks, Brown, Williams & Co., a local CPA firm in Okeechobee. A mother of two young boys, Adrian and Vicente, Janet has rewritten her sons’ futures as they will follow in her footsteps of going to college someday just like mom did. After finishing her CPA exam, Janet plans to become a Take Stock mentor and help build a bridge to college for students in her community. 
 
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