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Take Stock in Children Celebrates 51 Graduates

KEY WEST, Fla. – The Monroe County Education Foundation recognized the accomplishments of its 51 Take Stock in Children graduating scholars on Saturday, May 25, 2019.

The Take Stock in Children Class of 2019 represents a diverse group of students from Coral Shores High School, Marathon High School, and Key West High School who are ready to take the next step in their educational career.

With over 120 advanced placement courses and nearly 40 dual enrollment courses behind them, the 51 TSIC scholars have collectively earned a 3.64 weighted grade point average. Sixteen will receive Florida Bright Futures scholarships in addition to their Take Stock in Children scholarship and other local scholarships. In total, the TSIC Class of 2019 has earned over $2 million in scholarships.

“We couldn’t be more proud of this group of scholars,” said Monroe County Education Foundation President Bryan Green. “The Foundation enthusiastically congratulates these 51 students and wishes them much success in their pursuit of a college degree or career certification.”

Keynote speaker Mr. Johnny Louis, TSIC 2011 alumni who earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Florida International University in 2017, provided an inspirational message and shared his triumphs as well as challenges while pursuing his degree. “Don’t limit yourself to what you can or can’t do with your college career,” Louis advised the seniors. “In fact, aim high and perform above those expectations. You will only be doing yourself a favor in the end.”

Louis was the first in his family to earn a bachelor’s degree, an accomplishment for which he credits the Take Stock in Children program. “The program works,” Louis emphasized during his remarks as he thanked all who made a difference in his life: his mentor Mr. Tim Gaffney, his teachers, and his family.

The mission of Take Stock in Children is to provide opportunities for a post-secondary education to its financially and academically eligible students. Additionally, the Monroe County Education Foundation provides the TSIC Monroe students with the tools and skills necessary to complete a degree, diploma, or industry certification.

Program Coordinator Chuck Licis highlights the importance of Take Stock’s college and career readiness efforts. “This year’s class has participated in college and career readiness workshops and college tours. They have met weekly with their volunteer mentor who has guided and encouraged them to reach their potential.” Licis added, “They are now ready to take the next step, to pursue their college goals, earn a degree with minimal debt, and pursue their career dreams!”

The Monroe County Education Foundation, established in 1996, is a Florida not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing and improving the educational experiences of students within Monroe County. In addition to the MCEF flagship program, Take Stock in Children, the foundation provides leadership development opportunities and international travel experiences for qualified Monroe County students. Over 700 students from Monroe County have received scholarships since the program was founded.  For more information about MCEF or to donate, please visit or contact Chuck Licis, program director for TSIC Monroe at