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FUTURES, Inc. d/b/a FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. You will receive a gift confirmation and a tax receipt via first class mail. A copy of the official registration #CH10078 and financial information may be obtained from the Florida Division of Consumer Services at or by calling toll-free 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) within the state. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state. No portion of any contribution is retained by professional solicitors, so 100% of each contribution is received by this organization. Your contribution is tax deductible as allowed by law.
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 Take Stock In Children NEWS

January 20, 2017

For additional information contact:
TSIC Program Coordinator Shimene Shepard
386.255.6475, ext. 50724 or

Daytona Beach - January is National Mentoring Month and this year FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools' Take Stock in Children (TSIC) is celebrating 15 years of the mentoring movement and expanding quality mentoring opportunities to connect more of our community's at-risk youth with caring adults.  On January 17, FUTURES/TSIC held its annual Mentor Appreciation celebration, hosted by Patrick Sullivan of Homewood Suites by Hilton Daytona Beach Speedway-Airport.  At the celebration Tony Tussing, longtime DeLand resident, was named the FUTURES/TSIC 2017 Mentor of the Year.     

Mr. Tussing has served as mentor with FUTURES/TSIC since 2009.  Currently, he has dedicated himself as a mentor to Justin Wilson, a senior at DeLand High School where the pair meet on a weekly basis.   Mr. Tussing began as Justin's mentor when he entered the program in the 9th grade.  Through the years, Mr. Tussing has taken an active role in Justin's education, making certain that he is achieving good grades and preparing himself for college.  Aside from his role as a mentor, Mr. Tussing provides support to the whole FUTURES/TSIC program. He is involved with the TSIC Leadership Council, serves on the student selection committee, actively attends all TSIC events, and is one of the program's biggest advocates.  According to TSIC Program Coordinator Shimene Shepard, "Mr. Tussing has gone above the 'mentor's' call of duty.  He has committed himself not only to Justin's success but the success of our local Take Stock in Children Program.  In addition to being a mentor he serves on the TSIC Leadership Council and helps shape the program's success in Volusia County."  

Mr. Tussing is also very active in the DeLand community.  Not only is he is a retired coach and Volusia County teacher where he taught for more than 35 years, but he remains involved in local athletics, including being an official scorer at Stetson University basketball games.  He is a longtime, active member of the Kiwanis Club of DeLand currently serving as its 2016-17 President. He also has been a School News Columnist for the DeLand Beacon newspaper for many years.

FUTURES/TSIC was honored to have Jillian Hasner, President and CEO of the statewide Take Stock in Children program, attend this year's Mentor Appreciation celebration.  Mrs. Hasner had the opportunity to meet with several local mentors, thank them for their service to the Take Stock in Children program and hear stories of their strong relationships with their mentees.  Mrs. Hasner was in Daytona Beach to speak at the FUTURES Foundation Board meeting on January 18, 2017.  Addressing the Board, Mrs. Hasner spoke in detail of the program's impact on the youth of our community as well as the future direction of Take Stock in Children. 

Take Stock in Children, Inc. is a nonprofit organization, transforming Florida one student at a time. Working in every county throughout Florida, their mission is to break the cycle of poverty for low-income, academically qualified students by providing opportunities for a post-secondary education. They offer college scholarships to students, provide caring volunteer mentors, and instill hope for a better life.

For Volusia County public school students, FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools facilitates this statewide program.  TSIC scholars are selected in the eighth grade through an application process which is assisted by public school guidance counselors. A local TSIC student selection committee reviews the applications from public school students and processes the new students. TSIC scholars are paired with a mentor who meets with them for 30 minutes each week on school campus beginning in the ninth grade.  FUTURES' TSIC scholars must maintain a weighted cumulative GPA of 3.0 and maintain good citizenship (no drug, alcohol, crime or gang activity).  Upon achieving these goals and graduating high school, FUTURES/TSIC awards a Florida Prepaid tuition scholarship.

Research shows that mentors can play a powerful role in providing youth with the tools to make responsible choices, attend and engage in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior such as drug use.  In turn, these young people are:
  • 55% more likely to be enrolled in college

  • 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities

  • 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities

  • More than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team

Each January, National Mentoring Month allows for unique engagement from community members interested in becoming a mentor.  This year, with the support of the mentoring community, we are encouraging the public to go beyond just digital engagement - and become involved in making a real life impact.  Anyone interested in mentoring, may contact Ms. Shepard at 386.255.6475, ext. 50724, or

The local TSIC program is completing this year's application process and donations are still needed to purchase scholarships for the incoming class of freshmen. Based on legislative funding, currently all scholarship contributions are matched 100% with dollars from the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid Foundation's STARS Scholarship Program which enhances each dollar donated locally.  TSIC scholarship donations are always welcome through the FUTURES Foundation as are planned gifts through wills, trusts and other estate planning avenues.

FUTURES Foundation supports educational quality for the Volusia County Public School System by directing resources toward areas of identified need, increasing community involvement and support, and encouraging open communication between the community and our schools.  It is a nonprofit, direct support organization founded in 1985 to support Volusia County Public Schools.  The organization's volunteer board of directors consists of business and community leaders who raise funds for programs such its TSIC scholarship and mentoring program. For information about FUTURES, please contact Executive Director Cynthia Perrick Ramirez at 386.255.6475, ext. 50730, or, or visit its website at  


Take Stock in Children President and CEO Jillian Hasner, 2017 Mentor of the Year Tony Tussing, FUTURES/TSIC Program Coordinator Shimene Shepard, FUTURES Foundation President John Guthrie and FUTURES/TSIC College Success Coach Justine Florez.   

May 19, 2016

For additional information contact:
Cynthia Ramirez, Executive Director
386.255.6475, ext. 50730 or



Daytona Beach - FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools recently received $5,000 from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation Inc. to support the Volusia County Take Stock in Children (TSIC) scholarship & mentoring program for at-risk high school students.

TSIC scholars are selected based upon financial need, academic achievement, good character and community involvement.  They have the benefit of mentors working with them throughout their high school years, as well as the support of Volusia County TSIC Program Coordinator Sheila Rees and Student Advocates/College Readiness Coaches Kimberly Grimes and Theresa Clark Hennessy, to ensure they graduate successfully from high school and are prepared for and enter college.

TSIC scholarships are funded through community and individual donations such as Bank of America Charitable Foundation's recent investment and currently are matched dollar for dollar through the Florida Prepaid College Foundation's S Stanley Tate Project STARS (Scholarship Tuition For At-Risk Students) Scholarship Program.  The Volusia County TSIC program typically awards a four year college tuition scholarship purchased through the STARS Program.

Mentors are being recruited for TSIC students and anyone interested in volunteering 30 minutes each week on school campus should contact TSIC Program Coordinator Sheila Rees at or 386-255-6475, ext. 50724.

Pictured are, left to right:  Bank of America Managing Director Sam Willett, FUTURES Executive Director Cynthia Ramirez and Bank of America Senior Vice President Karen Jacobs

May 13, 2016
For additional information contact:
Sheila Rees, TSIC Program Coordinator
386.255.6475, ext. 50724 or


Daytona Beach - Take Stock in Children, a statewide scholarship and mentoring program facilitated locally through FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools, hosted its annual New Student Induction & Senior Recognition Ceremony May 12 at Daytona International Speedway. The event recognized newly selected participants as well as graduating high school seniors.

As proud parents, mentors and sponsors looked on, 15 new students were welcomed into the program in a ceremony conducted by FUTURES Vice President & TSIC Leadership Council Chair Paula Gregory, CPA, and TSIC Program Coordinator Sheila Rees.  For the fifth year, County Judge Dawn P. Fields officiated over the induction as students and parents attested to their commitment to abide by the program's rules.  They will have the benefit of volunteer mentors working with them throughout their high school years, as well as the support of Take Stock Program Coordinator Sheila Rees and College Success Coaches Kimberly Grimes and Theresa Hennessy, to ensure they successfully graduate from high school and are prepared for college. These 15 students will be high school freshmen in the 2016 - 2017 school year:  Alexas Morrison, Brittany Donohoo, & Justin Romero, DeLand High School; Lioned Carrasquillo, Deltona High School; Drew Eldridge & Ethan Turley, Mainland High School; Adrian Lopez & Darla Hurney, New Smyrna Beach High School; Jaemy Lee, Pine Ridge High School; Amelia Bonjour, Amber Butler, Katelyn Ferdinand, Renag Morkous & Richiana Franklin, Spruce Creek High School; and Jenny Rodriguez, T. DeWitt Taylor Middle-High School.

Eighteen members of Volusia Take Stock's Class of 2016 who are graduating from Volusia County high schools later this month were recognized.  The following 14 students, who have been accepted at colleges and universities, will receive a Florida Prepaid four year college tuition scholarship: Melinda Jefferies Beamon, Atlantic High School; Hannah Langrick, Deland High School;  Jade Hancock, Mainland High School; Julia Bruckner and Kaylyn Over, New Smyrna Beach High School; Raymond Morales, Pine Ridge High School;  Eben Follmar and Samuel Ovington Winters; Seabreeze High School; Nicholas Cupelli Destefano, Spruce Creek High School; Jennifer Vargas, and Kathleen Lester, Taylor Middle High School; Garrett Crawford, Cheyenne Slate, and  Jack McCormick, University High School.  The following students will receive Florida Prepaid two year college tuition scholarships:  Angela Carbuccia, Atlantic High School; Kei'Sonna Baugh and Kandace King, Mainland High School; and Emily Perreault, Seabreeze High School.

Christopher Evans, a May graduate of the University of Central Florida and Account Executive at Brown & Brown, was presented the Alumni Excellence Award for his commitment to Volusia TSIC through volunteerism and giving back to the program from which he received his scholarship four years ago.

Ceremony keynote speakers were TSIC Alumni Monica Reece, Dametria Stephens and Clarice DeLiefde who offered their insight and experience while participating in the Take Stock in Children Program during their four years in high school.  Miss Reece is currently working at Sabre Hospitality as a Reservation Agent and pursing a double major Bachelor's Degree from Rosen College of Hospitality as an Event and Hospitality Manager.  She will be graduating in December 2017.

Miss Stephens is currently attending University of South Florida pursing a degree in Health Science with concentrations in Social, Behavioral and Biological Health and will graduate in May 2016.  She plans to pursue her Master's Degree in Public Health. Mrs. Deliefde is a Volusia County School Teacher at Westside Elementary in Daytona Beach and earned her degree at Daytona State College in December 2013.  

TSIC Mentor Mrs. Cathy Sherman, an ESE Support Facilitation Teacher at Taylor Middle High School in Pierson, who has taught at Taylor for 11 years provided her insights on her mentor experience.  Mrs. Sherman earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Health and Physical Education from Seton Hall University and her Master's Degree from Grand Canyon University in Educational Leadership. She fully understands the value of an education and is dedicated to her students.  She not only takes on the role of a teacher, but she is a Student Government and National Honor Society Sponsor, SWAT sponsor and a longtime Take Stock in Children Mentor and Advocate.  In addition, she is part of the Project Heat and Check and Connect at her school.   

TSIC scholars are selected in eighth grade based upon financial need, academic achievement, good character and community involvement. Scholarships are funded through community and individual donations as well as proceeds from fundraisers presented by FUTURES such as the recent Caribbean Party. FUTURES Foundation works directly with the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Foundation STARS (Scholarship Tuition For At-Risk Students) Program for dollar for dollar matching funds on the purchase of these scholarships. Since the Stanley Tate Project STARS scholarship program began, more than 29,000 scholarships have been awarded statewide to low-income students at risk of dropping out of school, and who otherwise might not have had the opportunity to attend college.

Donations to purchase scholarships are accepted throughout the year and mentors are being recruited for these new students. Anyone interested in donating or volunteering 30 minutes each week on school campus may contact TSIC Program Coordinator Sheila Rees at or 386-255-6475, ext. 50724 for additional information.

TSIC Mentor Chief Deputy Mike Coffin

Volusia County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Mike Coffin is one of those gentlemen you can call on regardless of any situation and he'll make you feel at ease.  Although he maintains an extremely hectic work schedule, when Mike was asked to become a Take Stock In Children mentor for a high school student, he didn't hesitate! He immediately completed the application process and mentor training so he could be paired promptly with a Take Stock In Children Scholar. Since 2011 when he became TSIC Scholar Hannah Langrick's mentor, Mike meets with her at DeLand High School once a week during lunch time in the same place. Not only has he made a positive impact on his mentee, but this impact extends naturally to other students who see him there every week. This commitment by a caring, respectful adult has made such a huge impact on Hannah that sometimes we can't believe it's the same young lady we brought into TSIC three short years ago. Hannah was shy, quiet and seemed reserved.  Well Hannah is now very open minded, energetic and ready to take on any and all challenges throughout high school and beyond.  Mike has helped her develop interpersonal skills she will use throughout her life that couldn't be taught from a textbook.  He has treated her with kindness and respect. He truly has taken stock in our community by offering not only his service as a mentor but by being invested in our TSIC program and the success of our students. For his dedication, we recognized Mike as our 2013 TSIC Mentor of the Year in a small ceremony but would like to recognize him again for his continued commitment.

The following was provided by his mentee Take Stock In Children Scholar Hannah Langrick during our local Mentor of the Year process:

Mr. Mike Coffin has often served as both a counselor and a leader since he became my mentor three years ago. He's also been a rock and a friend in times of need. For these reasons I am nominating Mr. Coffin as Mentor of the Year. 

First of all, Mr. Coffin has served as a mentor should. He has helped me improve my grades as well as organize my schedule in an efficient manner. Just last week we talked about how to manage my homework schedule along with extracurricular activities. He often has good insight from his experiences with a busy schedule and his advice, such as keeping a planner or doing homework ahead of time, really helps. 

Mr. Coffin also has been both a leader and an inspiration.  Often I go to him during our meetings for advice or inspiration in a project I'm working on or a problem I'm facing. He is able to speak in a clear and understanding manner to simplify what he wants to communicate and this makes myself and others respect his opinion and insight. He is careful to only offer optimistic inputs and often is able to help me see the light at the end of the tunnel. For example, just recently I had a huge English project due and I thought it was too much and that I would not do well. However, Mr. Coffin assured me that I would be fine as long as I manage my time and didn't stress. Sure enough I passed with flying colors. 
 Last but certainly not least, Mr. Coffin has often served as a rock and a friend in times of need. Many times I get overly stressed about homework; I have stomach aches and refuse to eat; or I will be having drama. During these times, Mr. Coffin never hesitates to lend a helping hand. He has great wisdom in taking his time to assure me that I can handle every challenge I face.   For these reasons and so much more I have the utmost respect for him. He puts other people before himself every day, not only as part of his job but in everything he does.   He is such a caring person and has so much passion in all that he does, he has encouraged me to work harder and to be just as caring. He has been a wonderful influence on me. . 

In conclusion, Mike Coffin has been the best mentor by displaying qualities such as a helping hand, a leader's optimistic insight and friend's compassion. How one man can wrap all these qualities into one I don't know!   However, Mike does and that's why he should be Mentor of the Year. 

TSIC College and Career Readiness Summit - September, 2014 

TSIC Visits DeLand Kiwanis Club - July 22, 2014

The FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools held its Take Stock in Children (TSIC) New Contract Signing and Senior Recognition Ceremony May 15. Volusia County Judge Dawn Fields presided over the swearing-in ceremony and shared words of encouragement with the new enrollees and their parents.
New Student - Tais Wilson - Heritage Middle School

The program assists ambitious, goal-oriented students to graduate from high school and attend college by offering college tuition scholarships and volunteer mentors.

"Low-income students are selected in eighth grade through an application process which includes writing an essay on why they should be selected. Once selected through a committee review process, they are paired with a mentor who beginning in ninth grade meets weekly for approximately 30 minutes on campus during the school term," said Cynthia Ramirez, executive director of FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools.

"The Volusia County Take Stock In Children scholar must maintain a weighted GPA of 3.0 and maintain good citizenship," added, noting that good citizenship includes no drug or alcohol use, crime or gang involvement.

Upon achieving these goals, the students are awarded a Florida Prepaid tuition scholarship. The Florida prepaid scholarships purchased for these students are just over $16,000.

FUTURES/Take Stock in Children raises funds for these student scholarships through individual, community, civic and private donations and all contributions are matched 100 percent with dollars from the Florida Prepaid Scholarship Program.

Kimberly Griffiths, O'Dregon Smith, Isael Mancilla, County Judge Dawn Fields, Gabriela Soto, Tais Wilson, Alicia Black and Carolynn Boatfield stand before parents and stakeholders at a banquet honoring the commitment and oath of the new Take Stock in Children inductees.

Students at the event had plans of entrepreneurship, medicine and the arts.

"She has always been a good student, always been on the honor roll, but once she saw all the scholarships that were available she's been working her butt off even more," Tais Wilson's father said about his daughter. "She's finished her her high school math classes and hasn't begun high school yet."

"It is very important to me," Tais chimed in, who plays the cello and piano and seeks a profession in the medical field.

'I can do this' Odeon Smith, a student interested in game design told the Daytona Times he understands the importance of the scholarship. "It can be a struggle to get money, and I know I can do this.''

"We are a team," he added, referring to his family and mom, Connie Smith, who also was at the banquet.

Mentors are being recruited to meet with students at their school to offer encouragement, motivation and serve as positive role models. Interested parties can complete an online application at or call the office at 386-255-6475

New TSIC students pictured left to right:  Kimberly Griffiths, O'Dregon Smith, Isael Mancilla, County Judge Dawn Fields, Gabriela Soto, Tais Wilson, Alicia Black and Carolynn Boatfield. Not pictured are eighth graders Brandynn Reed, Ivan Lopez and Frangelica O'Conner and tenth graders Cheyenne Slate and Isabel Valencia.

TSIC 2014 graduates pictured left to right: front row kneeling, TSIC Student Advocate Jeanna Butler and TSIC Mentor Coordinator Sheila Rees; Standing: Danyale White, Alexander Benitez, Richelle Williams, Keyur Patel, D'Cota Dixon, Marisha Mars, Matthew Motil, Rubin James, ShaiLeya Wren, Anthony Williams, Morgan Lawrence and Kevin Tierney. Not pictured is Shaun Harris. 

TSIC Mentor/Coordinator Sheila Rees was recognized by the Kiwanis Club of DeLand as "Champion of Youth 2014" at Stetson University on February 15th.  Congratulations Sheila!

TSIC Student Kevin Tierney wins Leaders 4 Life

Travels to Tallahassee to be recognized on February 12th, 2014

Photo with Governor Rick Scott

TSIC Student Kevin Tierney Nominated for Leaders 4 Life

December 3, 2013, State Senator Dorothy L. Hukill joined the Take Stock In Children organization in honoring a local high school student, Kevin Tierney. Kevin is a senior in the AP Program at Spruce Creek High School and a member of the JROTC.  He is one of twelve nominated scholars statewide for the prestigious "Leaders 4 Life" Fellowship.
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