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Take Stock in Children is powering up central Florida by expanding its successful data-driven approach to helping students escape poverty through education. In 2016, Take Stock in Children was awarded a generous grant by the Helios Education Foundation to develop and test a methodology to drive student selection and scholarship matching.

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This innovative program is being piloted in Orange and Osceola counties. It will help these local programs serve an additional 320 students, while developing scalable practices that will transform the entire statewide network of 45 affiliates serving 8,400 students. Helios Scholar selections and scholarship assignments are based on data science and predictive analytics. Because of the innovations developed through this grant, Take Stock in Children will be able to more clearly identify students who will be most impacted by services and ensure that scholarship funding is aligned with student pathways.

Crystal Menzie

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All Helios scholars benefit from the traditional Take Stock in Children model founded upon scholarships, mentors, and hope. Students are provided with an adult mentor, a professional college success coach, and a Florida Prepaid Scholarship. In exchange for this support, students promise to maintain a minimum of a 2.0 grade point average, remain drug and crime free, and have good school attendance.

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Early results from a study conducted by the University of Florida confirm that Take Stock in Children programming, and especially mentoring is having a substantial positive impact on low-income youth across Florida. It also indicates that students of all ethnicities benefit from Take Stock in Children services, but students of color, including African American and Hispanic students, experience the greatest level of impact.

Rayna and her Mentor