High School Senior Jean Monecla, a scholar with Take Stock in Children’s Palm Beach program was determined not to be a statistic. Growing up without a father and raised by a teenage mother, Jean knew his road to success would not be without its obstacles and challenges.
“Growing up without a father can lead to many negative outcomes, from bad habits, and lack of self-worth,” said Jean about his childhood. “It goes without saying that it isn’t easy being a young, black male living in America.”
Jean oftentimes felt the odds were stacked against him.
Despite his hardships, Jean chose to defy the stereotype by turning his negative situation into a positive one through education. An important influence on Jean’s path to success was becoming a Take Stock in Children scholar. Jean credits the program for shaping and molding him for success and providing him with a caring adult mentor and a college scholarship that opened the doors of opportunity for his future.
Today, Jean is in the top 20% of his graduating class.. He is a member and leader of several clubs and organizations at school and within the community. After graduation, Jean plans on attending Florida Atlantic University to major in Biology with the dreams of being a neurologist.
“I am grateful to Take Stock in Children for the opportunity to show the world what I always knew I was capable of doing,” said Jean. “I want to serve as an example to those coming from a similar background as me. I was homeless, fatherless, and even bullied, but I made it. So there is no excuse for you not be successful because with hard work, dedication, and the proper guidance all things possible.”