Seeking Applications: Mentoring Program Offers Low-Income Students in Hillsborough County a Chance to Pursue Their Dreams of a College Education

Tampa, Fla. – (March 10, 2022) For many at-risk students in our community the opportunity to go to college may seem out of reach. They may not have a positive role model to help guide them through the challenges of school and life. Their environment may lack emotional, educational or financial support. That’s where Hillsborough Education Foundation’s (HEF) Take Stock in Children mentoring program can help.

As one of the largest mentoring programs in Tampa Bay, serving more than 300 students in Hillsborough County Public Schools, HEF provides the most vulnerable students in our community with a caring mentor, college success coach and opportunity to earn at least a 2-year Florida Prepaid scholarship when a student completes the program and graduates high school.

HEF is now accepting applications through May 9th from current seventh and eighth grade students to enter the mentoring program this fall.

Criteria to qualify:

  • Must be in 7th or 8th grade and enrolled in a Hillsborough County Public School
  • Must financially qualify
  • Must have a minimum unweighted GPA of 2.5

Application process:

  • Visit: to complete an online application/essay questions
  • Submit a copy of a 2020/2021 Tax Return 1040 Form with the student applicant listed as a dependent
  • Social Security card
  • If selected to move forward, participate in an interview

For the past two years, 100 percent of the seniors in HEF’s mentoring program graduated from high school, compared to 79.7* percent of their at-risk peers in Florida. *Most recent data: 2020-2021, Florida Department of Education

“Studies show students with a mentor have better school attendance, better attitudes toward school and are more likely to enroll in college. HEF’s mentoring program helps maximize student success and builds a sustainable, thriving workforce of tomorrow,” said Joanne Sandoval, HEF’s Director of TSIC Program. “The bond formed between scholars and mentors serves as the foundation for students’ lifelong success and provides hope for a brighter future.”

Students meet regularly with their mentors, virtually or in person, at least twice per month. There is always a need for more trustworthy role models to volunteer as mentors. If interesting in becoming a mentor, visit to learn more and sign up.

About Hillsborough Education Foundation 

Established in 1987, Hillsborough Education Foundation (HEF) is a nonprofit focused on strengthening public education by supporting teachers and empowering students to achieve academic and personal success. Together with our community partners, HEF strategically invests in initiatives that impact teaching quality, increase graduation rates and build equity in education—bolstering a thriving workforce of tomorrow and the sustainable prosperity of Tampa Bay. Learn more at


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