florida citrus sports donates $1 million to take stock

floridacitrustakestock

Sandy Shugart, Elisha Gonzalez-Bonnewitz, Chuck Beverly and Chuck Olgilvy

Florida Citrus Sports Chief Executive Officer Steve Hogan announced today that the FCSports Foundation has made a $1 million donation to help Valencia bring Take Stock in Children (TSIC) to Orange County. FCSports, the founding partner, has committed to sponsor children for five years in the program at $200,000 per year.

Take Stock in Children is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing scholarships and mentors to qualifying low-income, at-risk youth in Florida. Since its inception in 1995, it has served more than 17,600 students through use of the Florida pre-paid college fund. Prior to the collaborative effort of Valencia and FCSports, Orange County was the lone county in the state without the widely successful program.

“We are so excited about our role in supporting the Take Stock in Children program in Orange County,” said Hogan. “These are very challenging economic times and children in our community are struggling to see a future without the help of positive role models and an education.  FCSports has been assisting the needs of children in our community since the first bowl game in 1947 and organizations like ours need to answer the call for help now more than ever.”

Students participating in the program are selected in the seventh grade and agree to maintain a minimum 2.5 grade point average and meet with their assigned mentor weekly. Once they graduate high school, they will have the opportunity to attend a two-year community college and then complete their education at a state college or university.

Over the course of its five-year, $1 million commitment, Florida Citrus Sports Foundation will help over 150 underprivileged youth have the opportunity to attend college, an effort which could mean the difference in these challenging economic times.

“The Foundation is thrilled to share the opportunity of a college education with these deserving young people,” said FCSports Foundation director Jill Mickle.  “The price tag of a college education should never restrict the conscientious, hard-working student just because they are economically-disadvantaged.”

Florida Citrus Sports’ donation to the Take Stock in Children program is one of five pillar programs dedicated to serving the areas at-risk youth – TSIC, Florida Citrus Sports Summer Camp, Day for Kids, Dream Ticket Clearinghouse and local children’s hospital visits.  In an effort to tie these programs together, youth participating will now be known as Florida Citrus Sports Foundation “MVPs.”

Through its bowl games – the Capital One Bowl and Champs Sports Bowl – and signature events, Florida Citrus Sports and its foundation have made an effort to help children of Central Florida since 1947.  Its commitment to TSIC will now allow the foundation to take one more step forward from its annual Summer Camp and will now help guide children from the age of 10 through college.

The program is continually looking for mentors.  For more information on how to serve as a TSIC mentor, contact Valencia Community College or the Florida Citrus Sports Foundation.

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