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Take Stock In Children Scholarship
Honors 22 Graduating Seniors

Keith Presley and his
mentor Bert Blanch

The Manatee County Schools Foundation recently honored 22 graduating seniors in the Take Stock In Children Scholarship Program. The ceremony was hosted by Carraba's Italian Grill. The honorees are the program's fifth group of high school graduates since the Manatee County Schools Foundation began the scholarship program nine years ago.

Take Stock In Children awards scholarships to students in middle school and early high school, then pairs the students with a mentor until they graduate. This early intervention strategy is designed to keep students in school and away from drugs and crime. Scholarship recipients sign a contract agreeing to maintain a grade point average of 2.5 or better, remain drug and crime free, and exhibit good behavior in school.

Francisca Sanchez and her mentor Catherine Parrish

The "two-plus-two" scholarships, valued at $8,000 each, provide tuition for two years of community college and two years at a state university.

In attendance at the ceremony were graduates' families, their mentors, school administrators, foundation board members, and school district administrators.

For more information on Take Stock in Children in Manatee County, visit