Florida’s Children are Desperately in need of Mentors

Excerpt from the Tallahassee Democrat, January 18, 2024 

Our children are being short-changed, and their futures are being compromised. A thriving society requires more. Each day, wisdom from aging generations is lost; formative lessons internalized from the agony of conflict, the impact of financial desperation, and the wounds of civil illness are sadly buried and eternally silenced.

Our children desperately need to learn lessons from their elders and connect with caring adults to inspire, instruct, and leave an imprint. They need a mentor.

Take Stock in Children of Florida was founded in 1995 to address Florida’s disturbing and economically impacting high school drop-out rate with the mission to break the cycle of poverty through education. For 28 years, Florida’s legislature has invested in mentorship by providing resources that allowed Take Stock to facilitate scholarships, mentors, and hope to nearly 42,000 at-risk students from low-income backgrounds. We are proud of our history, but more is required.   

The need to empower Floridians by offering individualized pathways to prosperity and self-sufficiency was identified by Florida’s First Lady Casey DeSantis in 2021 when she launched Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity. This initiative harnesses the power of community collaboration between the private sector, faith-based communities, nonprofits, and government entities to maximize support for Floridians in need. The initiative has broken down silos, garnered support from both public and private organizations, and given individuals facing a multitude of challenges the means to overcome their circumstances. But more – much more – is required.    

Click here to read the full Op-Ed