Investing in Kids (INK!) recently received a $4,000 scholarship donation from the Ponte Vedra Women’s Civic Alliance (PVWCA). The Civic Alliance has supported INK! for more than 10 years and contributes funding for the Take Stock in Children of Florida (TSIC) scholarship program which is matched dollar for dollar by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.
Recently, Civic Alliance members donated $4,000 to INK! to purchase a Florida Prepaid Plan for a Class of 2028 Take Stock St. Johns County student. The donation was received on September 7 at the home of Annie DeWeese, a Civic Alliance member in Ponte Vedra, Fla. According to Cathy Newman, INK!’s Executive Director, Anjolee Romero, a Take Stock in Children graduate, attended the presentation and shared her experiences as a student in the program. Romero graduated from Bartram High School in May 2023 and is attending the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) this year.
According to James Wheeler, INK!’s Operations and Student Programs Director, students are selected for TSIC when they are in the eighth grade in St. Johns County public schools. Upon acceptance into the program, students sign a contract to maintain a minimum 2.5 grade point average (GPA), continue good behavior and attendance, and remain drug and crime free. The program is the only public-private partnership of its kind in the U.S.
“All donations made to the Take Stock in Children St. Johns County program stay in our community,” said Wheeler. “St. Johns County students benefit directly from scholarship donations from individuals and organizations like the Ponte Vedra Women’s Civic Alliance. We appreciate the PVWCA for its long-standing support for this program and dedication to helping students meet the costs of attending college or technical school.”
The TSIC program provides training and support for mentors to facilitate a variety of youth development and enrichment experiences, encourage good character, provide navigational support around school-to-work transitions, and safeguard against adversity in-school and out of school, among others.
“Our organization included the funding of the INK! scholarship, in support of a Ponte Vedra student, within in its bylaws a few years after the Alliance was founded,” said Joan Davey, President of the PVWCA. “We raise funds to support many local organizations and appreciate the mentoring program that INK! and Take Stock in Children provide to help children pursue higher education.”
“We are inspired to assist, knowing that higher education is one of the best ways to help break the cycle of poverty. The education foundation’s assistance in determining the eligibility of each student for the program, the tracking and guidance throughout the process as well as providing a one hundred percent match to our scholarship donation through Florida Pre-paid helps to ensure success and doubles our outreach,” Davey said.
The Alliance will hold a Pickleball Fundraiser to assist in funding their community initiatives, including support for INK!, on Wednesday, November 15 from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. at The Yards, 54 Alta Mar Drive in Ponte Vedra Beach. For more information, visit the website at https://pvwcafundraiser.org/.
PVWCA supports community projects in St. Johns County and the surrounding beaches community financially, programmatically, and through volunteer services.
Take Stock in Children® provides low-income students with a unique opportunity to escape the cycle of poverty through mentorship, education, college success coaching, career coaching, and the opportunity to earn a college scholarship. Since 1998, INK! has been the exclusive umbrella agency for the St. Johns County Take Stock in Children® (TSIC) organization.