A 2003 alumna of the Take Stock in Children program in Marion county, Desta Meghoo-Tonge credits Wendy Welch, her Take Stock in Children mentor, for teaching her the most important life lesson - believing in herself.
Though receiving a Take Stock in Children scholarship changed her life, her mentor was an essential part of the program.
As a Take Stock scholar, Desta met with Wendy every week. She thought these meetings would be focused on her academics. They were much more. Wendy provided a healthy, positive relationship that helped foster accountability and a bond that became priceless in Desta's life. Wendy shared with Desta advice that would help shape her future -- and allow her to be an even stronger, positive role model for her seven younger siblings.
Wendy was there for Desta every step of the way. After high school graduation Desta attended Florida Agricultural & Mechnical University with sound advice from her mentor. 1) Don't let anyone take advantage of you or monoplize your time. 2) Do what makes you happy. 3) If you make a mistake, get back up and try again.
Today, Desta lives in Atlanta, Georgia and teaches music at a charter school where she serves almost 800 students.