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News Section: Schools and Education

Spotlight on Education: Take Stock in Children Celebrates 25 Upcoming Graduates

Published Friday, May 9, 2014 12:03 am

BRADENTON – Last week, Take Stock in Children Manatee held its annual Mentor Appreciation Dinner and Graduation Celebration at the Polo Grill to celebrate the upcoming graduation of 25 students from Manatee District high schools. The graduation of these students means each will receive a scholarship to college.
Take Stock in Children Manatee provided over $400,000 in scholarships at this celebration of success.

The students applied and were accepted during middle school or early high school and met with a mentor once a week and achieved academic success. Students, parents and mentors celebrated with school personnel and donors.

Take Stock in Children is a 501c3 that provides these scholarships to deserving students. Students are often the first in their families to graduate high school and almost always the first to attend college. This program changes the lives of children and families in Manatee County.

The seniors who received these scholarships are:

Ashley Bell, MSA, attending SCF, Biology, mentored by Julie Aranibar

Alexa Berk, SEHS, attending SCF, Marketing, mentored by Helene Levin

Kaylyn Borg, SEHS, attending, SCF,Nursing, mentored by Pat Valladares

Whitney Buckingham, MSA, attending SCF, Criminology, mentored by Julie Welch

Victoria DeOliveira, BRHS, USF, Criminology, mentored by Janis Groth

Justin Harris, BHS, Florida A. & M, Pharmacy, mentored by Dr. Napoleon Mills

Cas Henderson, BHS, SCF, Architecture, mentored by Floyd Korth

Quinteria Holmes, PHS, SCF, Nursing, mentored by Debora Shannon

Hollie Jessup, PHS, SCF, Nursing, mentored by Carol McMahon

Michael Kelley, LWRHS, UCF, Hospitality Management, mentored by Michael Corley

Korey Kinder, PHS, SCF, Biomedical Science, mentored by Lt. John Murrell

Shakera Latimore, SEHS, UF, Biology, mentored by Dr.  Patricia Dixon

Nick McConnaughey, Florida Gulf Coast, Music Ed., mentored by Mark Campbell

Lauren McDuffie, SEHS, UF, Pre-Medicine, mentored by Claire Slinko

Loujeanna Michel, MHS, FIU, Biomedical Science, mentored by Xtavia Bailey

Kasey Muse, BHS,  Univ. West Florida, Environmental Science, mentored by Bonnie Condor

Caitlyn Myers, MHS, SCF, Marine Biology, mentored by Marilyn Hockman

Kody Paul, BRHS, Florida Gulf Coast, Criminal Justice, mentored by John Gregory

Amber Proffitt, LERHS, UCF, Health Sciences, mentored by Ruth Vaccaro

Itzia Santamaria, BRHS, SCF, Biology, mentored by Cathy Duguay

Lukas Shipp, SEHS, SCF, Psychology, mentored by Dr. Louis Robison

Jacob Soles, LWRHS, U.S. Army/ Online College, mentored by Steven Cecil

Gianna Traylor, BRHS, FSU, Criminology/Psychology, mentored by Kathleen Martella

Myrcleine Valcin, SEHS, SCF, Business Admin., mentored by Stacy Schmoll

Benjamin Velazquez, MHS, SCF, Engineering, mentored by Dennis Wilkison

Michael Corley received the Mentor of the Year.

Korey Kinder and Lt. John Murrell received the New Legacy Award designed to recognize the cycle broken for Korey's family. His father and grandfather have been incarcerated and Korey's work with his mentor will break the cycle.

For more information about Take Stock in Children Manatee, contact Diana Dill at

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