Last year, the Westgate Resorts Foundation solicited requests for collaboration grant proposals from their existing grantees. The idea behind a collaborative grant was to foster partnerships between local non-profits for the purpose of leveraging resources for greater impact in the community.
That’s when we learned about Take Stock in Children (TSIC), which is a national program that “provides a unique opportunity for deserving low-income youth/students, many from minority families, to escape the cycle of poverty through education”. They “offer their students college scholarships, caring volunteer mentors and hope for a better life. Their comprehensive services start in middle school, continue through high school and include the transition into college.”
We met to explore the possibilities of working together and submitting a proposal to the Westgate Resorts Foundation, and almost immediately we realized we had the potential to impact entire families and future generations by working together. The concept was simple – by helping the parents of the students become more employable, the family is strengthened and the student has a much better chance for success.
We enrolled four parents in the Fall 2017 classes and two of them successfully completed and graduated (see picture above). At a recent recruiting event for the upcoming LifeWorks class, JP graduate Jana Henry shared her story with the TSIC parents. She was moved to tears as she talked about how the LifeWorks class helped her to get up the courage to pursue the career she was made for, but had previously denied herself out of fear and the challenges of being a single mom. As a certified make-up artist and aspiring actor, she had just secured her first speaking role in a feature film!
Jana Henry has discovered a path to the job she was made for…
And JP and TSIC have discovered that we are better together!
Pictured L to R: Marc Stanakis, Jean Michel & Jana Henry/JP Grads, Kelly Astro & Deniese Crisafi/Valencia College-TSIC