By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
Mentors, donors and students gathered in the lobby of Bank of American for an after-hours reception Wednesday evening, Oct. 19.
Looking around at the gathered crowd, Jo Willis, Madison County Program Coordinator for Take Stock in Children, remarked, “This is a really good turnout.”
It was a reception for Emilio Alonso-Mendoza, the CEO of Take Stock in Children, Inc. Alonso-Mendoza had traveled from the Take Stock in Children state office in Miami, first to Tallahassee, with several other stops in the Panhandle, then on to Madison to meet with and talk to some of the people involved in the mentoring program in Madison County.
Willis was especially pleased that some of the students in the program were attending the reception, hosted by the Madison County Foundation for Excellence in Education (MCFEE).
Currently, Willis added, there are 58 Madison County students enrolled in the mentoring program; 70 other students have already graduated and are now in college or vocational school.
Alonso-Mendoza spoke with several education officials at the reception, including School Superintendent Lou Miller, as well as several other elected officials, MCFEE members, mentoring volunteers, teachers and students.“I saw how our Take Stock program is really a movement in (Madison) County,” Alonso-Mendoza later wrote in his weekly update, adding that he was pleased to have spoken to so many local officials involved in the program. Besides Miller, he also chatted with Sheriff Ben Stewart, Kiwanis Club President Lucile Day, City Commissioner Myra Valentine, County Commissioner Roy Ellis, Supervisor of Elections Jada Williams, Woman’s Club President Mary Groover, Clerk of the Court Tim Sanders, Rotarian Jim Sale and many others.
Because of Take Stock and the community’s involvement, “Seventy of the promising youth of that community have a bright future ahead of them.”