Released by The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools
The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools is pleased to announce our Take Stock in Children Mentors of the Year for 2013-14: Mr. Gary Avin and Mrs. Dottie Gorton. Mr. Avin has been mentoring for two years, and wanted to get involved with Take Stock in Children because he benefited from having several great mentors in his life. Mrs. Gorton is a retired teacher who, soon after retirement, realized how much she missed the students. She has been mentoring since 2000, and has had the opportunity to invest in the lives of six young women so far.
Take Stock in Children was established in 1995 as a non-profit organization in Florida that provides a unique opportunity for low-income and at-risk students, many from minority families, to escape the cycle of poverty through education. We offer our students college scholarships, caring volunteer mentors and hope for a better life. Our goal is to continue to reduce the number of high school drop-outs and to increase the number of students who finish college and enter the workforce successfully. Each student who enters our program signs a contract promising to remain crime and drug free, maintain at least a 2.5 GPA, exhibit positive behavior, and meet with their assigned mentor regularly through high school graduation. Upon graduation, students receive a 4-year college tuition scholarship. The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools administers the program in Lee County with an over 95% success rate.
Clifton Flemming, Mr. Avin’s mentee stated, “My mentor has had an impact on my academic success by enforcing to me that through hard work and dedication, I can achieve whatever goals I set in life.” “The experience with Take Stock in Children has taught me that mentoring is not a one-sided relationship,” said Mr. Avin. “When I took on the responsibility as a mentor, I thought I was going to be the one teaching, guiding and counseling Clifton. At times I believe he is the one mentoring me.” Dennie Hamilton, CEO of LCEC, Mr. Avin’s employer noted, “In addition to leading an engaged and productive team here at LCEC and being a devoted husband and father, Gary’s commitment and tireless efforts to develop our students is exemplary. It’s easy to see why he has earned this recognition. We are exceedingly proud of him.”
Mrs. Gorton shared, “Without a doubt, the Take Stock in Children mentoring experience has been most rewarding, and I feel blessed to have been a part of my students’ lives. The students in Florida and specifically Lee County are most fortunate to have this program available.” Her current mentee, Lloytifah Jones shared, “It is truly a blessing to be mentored by her.”
To learn more about this program and how you can apply to be a mentor for this or one of our other mentoring programs, please visit our web site at www.LeeSchoolFoundation.org and click on Programs or call The Foundation office. January is National Mentoring Month and we are in need of numerous mentors throughout Lee County. We provide mentor training and resources and ask for a commitment of at least one year. Mentors meet with students at their school for about 45 minutes a few times a month during the school year.
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