A Beckman “Boost”

Community Foundation


Yesterday's "Giving Tuesday" brought together 17 area middle-school students at a special event hosted by The Community Foundation of Sarasota County. The young, ambitious students learned there of their exciting opportunity to earn themselves a fully funded college tuition through CFSC’s partnership with Take Stock in Children of Sarasota County (TSIC), a unique program developed with donor support to give qualified, selected 6th graders an opportunity to become TSIC Scholars and earn full-ride scholarships. In addition to $100,000 in funding from generous donors of the Community Foundation, Take Stock in Children and the State of Florida will contribute an additional amount of approximately $200,000 to make sure these students have access to tuitions at Florida college or state universities for a two- or four-year degree program.

Contingent on their participation and commitment to the program, students must meet with a mentor at school weekly, maintain 2.5 GPA, attend school regularly, remain drug and crime free, exhibit positive behavior in and out of school and attend all TSIC events and workshops to receive the benefits of being a TSIC Scholar. “This is an honor to be included in this project,” said Lisa Bechtold, Executive Director of TSIC of Sarasota County. “And is life-changing for these students and their families.” 

The project was inspired by Ron and Carole Beckman, who have a passion to permanently redirect the life trajectory of challenged, disadvantaged youth and create opportunities for them to yield lifelong successes. “Today’s children are the future of our community. By providing the right kinds of ‘helping hands’ to at-risk youth, we can boost the efforts of many and positively alter the trajectory of their lives,” said Ron Beckman.

The 17 students this year were specially identified because of their completion of four consecutive years at Title 1 school Alta Vista Elementary’s Eagle Academy. The Eagle Academy is a six to eight-week summer learning program that combines academics, enrichment activities and parent programming for its students. Data showed that this free summer learning experience led to learning gains and an absence of summer learning loss, ultimately helping to close the achievement gap for these area youths.

“The passion Ron and Carole Beckman have for helping children is so admirable,” said Roxie Jerde, President and CEO of the CFSC. “They truly demonstrate how every single one of us has the power to positively impact the lives of those around us for the betterment of our entire community. I applaud them for their vision to not only help these students, but also to encourage personal philanthropy and collaborations.”

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is proud to partner with SRQ Media Group to highlight stories about community impact powered by philanthropy in our region, thanks to the support of donors and our local nonprofit partners. The Community Foundation is a public charity founded in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council as a resource for caring individuals and the causes they support, enabling them to make a charitable impact on the community.

Photo provided by The Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

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