Education Foundation of Alachua County boosts students’ finances, self esteem


When Mark Bryant, a 17-year-old senior at the Professional Academies Magnet at Loften High School, heard about the Take Stock in Children’s program he knew very little about it, nor the organization that started the program — The Education Foundation of Alachua County.

All he knew was that he had friends in the program whose mentors met them for special lunches. 

“I started hanging out with my friends and their mentors and eventually I got an interview for it,” Mark said. 

Loften High School senior Mark Bryant, 17, leans against a doorway at Tom Petty Park on Tuesday in Gainesville. Bryant is the recipient of college funding from Take Stock in Children and the Senior Scholarship Program, and he plans to attend Santa Fe College. He is the first person on his mom's side of the family to go to college. [Chasity Maynard/Special to The Sun]

Mark is one of the 59 students from Alachua County who will receive a Florida two-year, prepaid college scholarship to any college or technical program, through the Take Stock in Children program. And he’s one of the 58 students to earn a scholarship through the Education Foundation’s senior scholarship program. 

This year, the Education Foundation was able to award nearly $700,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors. 


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