Take Stock Brevard County graduate Jaden Edgecombe (2023) reflected on the journey it took to get to today—the now undergrad pursuing computer engineering at one of the top state’s public universities, the University of Florida. Jaden’s journey took dedication and a good support system to not only apply for college but to develop life-lasting skills to secure scholarships.
“In Take Stock in Children, my mentor taught me to dream big and believe in my abilities,” Jaden shared. Jaden’s mentor, Juliet Underill, encouraged the student to apply for large national scholarships such as Gates Millennium Scholars Program and QuestBridge, for which the student was named a College Match Finalist.
“My mentor has expanded my horizons and taught me how to believe in myself,” the Take Stock grad continued. Juliet worked with Jaden to have that stable balance of being proud of one’s accomplishments with humility and respect. In order to prepare for college and scholarship applications, the mentor-mentee duo worked together to develop Jaden’s elevator speech, proposals, and write well-thought-out essays.
The Take Stock program at the Brevard Schools Foundation also supported Jaden’s journey to obtaining scholarship success through their SAT Bootcamp, where the student learned the SAT score-building skills. Jaden developed a strong relationship with support from Dr. Steve Primus, TSIC Leadership Council member, who noted Jaden’s initiative to utilize all the opportunities presented to enhance the chances of college and scholarship success.
Jaden’s Take Stock experience is the base for advice shared with current Take Stock students considering if scholarships are worth applying for. “Take advantage of all of your opportunities-nothing is too small,” Jaden shared. “Build relationships with your teachers; they are great resources for you. Look for leadership opportunities in both school and community organizations if there is something that you are interested in. If there is not a club for it, then create your own. Be organized, make lists, and keep track of all deadlines; this will help make you a successful student. Make your mentor your ‘partner in success,’ ask them for assistance, and build a plan together. They have a wealth of knowledge—ask them to share it with you so that you can become a successful student.”
And a successful student, Jaden was in Take Stock! The Cocoa High School alum graduated Valedictorian, captain of the varsity football team, and with other accolades. Now at UF, balancing football and academics, Jaden has the skills learned from Take Stock Brevard to continue the journey to success in college, career, and life!
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