Sanford, Fla. – The Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools’ Take Stock in Children – a state-wide program dedicated to providing mentors, and ultimately college scholarships, to students with limited economic resources – recently celebrated the graduation of 16 college-bound seniors. The event was hosted by Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens and dinner was provided by Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q.

Take Stock scholarships, which are awarded to pre-selected recipients, help fund two years at a Florida community college and two years at a Florida state university. To qualify, participants must earn high grades, maintain good conduct, remain drug and alcohol free, and meet with an adult mentor on a weekly basis throughout high school. The Foundation, which sponsors the program on a local level, has assisted in funding 270 college scholarships since the program’s inception in 1997.

This year’s graduates include Johnathan Parker and Joseph Somarriba from Crooms Academy of Information Technology; Beth James and Tavaya Rivera of Lake Brantley High School; Kaniesha Dixon from Lake Howell High School; Ciara Cravatta, Diante Dingle, Jesnayree Matos and Brittany Songer from Lake Mary High School; Michael Borba and Kendrick Miller from Lyman High School; Jennifer Justiniano and Tanesha People from Seminole High School; Jessica Hogarth from Seminole State College Adult High School; and Nicholas Brown and Jessica Lowry from Winter Springs High School. (Photo includes Eric Geboff, Executive Director, The Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools and Marlene Mraz, Take Stock in Children Program Manager. Not shown: Nicholas Brown, Jessica Hogarth, Kendrick Miller, Tavaya Rivera and Joseph Somarriba.)

“These students have many more responsibilities than most students in high school and have learned what it takes to balance difficulties and success. Most students have said that without the motivation of both their mentor and the hope of a scholarship, they would not have been as committed to their education or even thought that a college education was possible,” shared Marlene Mraz, Take Stock in Children Program Manager. “When I think of where each of the students started and where they finished, it swells my heart.”

“The Foundation’s Board of Directors understands the need for a program like Take Stock,” said Eric Geboff, Executive Director. “Students are selected in eighth grade based not only on financial need, but on their grades, family support and potential for success. These are young people who deserve our help to make their dreams of a college education come true.”

For more information on Take Stock in Children or any of The Foundation’s programs, contact Eric Geboff, Executive Director at 407-320-0180, or visit The Foundation’s web site at tfsc.dev.findsomewinmore.com.   The Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization. Donations may be tax deductible.


Established in 1986, The Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools, Inc. raises funds to further enhance the superior performance of students and teachers in Seminole County Public Schools. Funds raised help support programs such as scholarships, classroom grants, recognition and rewards for students and teachers in Seminole County. For more information, please call Eric Geboff at 407-320-0180.