Take Stock in Children Awarded Mentorship Program for At-Risk Male Students (MPARMS) Grant

Take Stock in Children of Florida was awarded the Mentorship Program for At-Risk Male Students (MPARMS) grant in the amount of $750,000 by the Florida Department of Children and Families to recruit, enroll, support, and mentor at-risk male students. MPARMS is one of three Florida Responsible Fatherhood Initiative grants comprising Governor Ron DeSantis’ Father First initiative.

Take Stock anticipates recruiting 750 at-risk male students over the three-year grant term.

Take Stock services will focus on 36 Florida counties, including Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Bradford, Calhoun, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Duval, Escambia, Flagler, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Holmes, Jackson, Lee, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okaloosa, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, St. John’s, Suwannee, Volusia, Walton, and Washington.

“This MPARMS grant will allow Take Stock to create an approach that attracts and retains additional male students and mentors as Take Stock in Children program participants,” said Jillian Hasner, President and CEO of Take Stock in Children of Florida. “We anticipate this focused effort will help mitigate the growing gap in postsecondary degree attainment between males and females among our economically disadvantaged, at-risk student population in Florida.”

Take Stock joins a coalition of over 30 organizations in Florida that form the Governor’sFather First initiative. This coalition, managed by Family First, provides services to empower fathers to embrace their unique roles in their children’s lives, equipping them with resources and encouragement to help them continue to learn and grow in their fatherly role.

Empowering Floridians to grow economically and socially is a priority of the DeSantis administration.

“We are so grateful for the Governor’s leadership in the launch of Father First, a program that will strengthen families through responsible parenting,” said Department of Children and Families Secretary Shevaun Harris in a press release announcing the initiative. “We know that when fathers are involved in their children’s lives, there are undeniable benefits, and with the help of our partners throughout the state, fathers will have dedicated resources to help them be the father their children deserve. The DeSantis administration remains focused on supporting families, building resiliency and encouraging fathers to choose to be a father first.”

Father First, overseen by the Department of Children and Families, aligns with similar programs organized under Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity, an initiative originally launched in 2021 by First Lady Casey DeSantis.  Hope Florida utilizes Hope Navigators to guide Floridians on an individualized path to prosperity and economic self-sufficiency by focusing on community collaboration between the private sector, faith-based communities, nonprofits, and government entities.  The Hope Florida model has been implemented by the Florida Department of Children and Families, the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Guardian ad Litem Office, and most recently, the Florida Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

Since 1995, Take Stock’s support services have helped nearly 42,000 students across Florida succeed in college, career, and life and prosperously contribute to Florida’s economy. This targeted effort will leverage Take Stock’s proven model of success to benefit communities across Florida by engaging at-risk, male students with the transformational power of mentorship.