Success Stories

India White
"India White’s path has led her from living in a homeless shelter to becoming a leader, motivator and mentor. Born the 9th of ten children to an alcohol addicted mother, India faced physical and emotional abuse at home and the daily uncertainty of living in poverty. India left her home while in high school and moved to a homeless shelter. India continued to persist in her high school endeavors, graduated, attended the University of Florida and, against all odds, received her college degree. She now teaches algebra and geometry in Alachua County. "Without my mentor and Take Stock in Children, I would probably be on welfare for the rest of my life. I would have become a statistic,” said India. "I went from being homeless to being a teacher. There is just no way to say thank you for all that the Take Stock in Children program has done for me."   ...Watch Video

Letter from a Scholarship Recipient

Dear Take Stock in Children (TSIC) Coaches, 

I would love to share all of the amazing places my life has gone with special thanks and gratitude to the TSIC scholarship.

I completed 2 years at IRSC and received my Associate degree in 2006. I went on to receive my Bachelors degree in Design with a specialty in Architecture from the University of Florida (UF) in 2009. I continued on at UF and completed my Master's degree in Architecture in 2011. In 2012, I decided to go back for a second Master's degree in entrepreneurship from the UF Warrington College of Business.

Currently, I am the director of the A² Fab Lab at UF. It is a digital fabrication lab specializing in 3D printing, 3D scanning, laser cutting and CNC fabrication. We work with artists, architects, engineers, biomedical technicians, and entrepreneurs to create and fabricate art, prototypes, medical devices, etc. I have been managing the lab since it's beginning in 2009 - the first 3 years while I was in graduate school.

In 2013, I was part of HackerHouse, an entrepreneurial incubator for inventors to live in a house and create for 3 months. My partner and I won a world hackathon competition and were flown to California for the finals. We created a device that made music from motion. It was a great learning experience! 

In between my Bachelor and Master degrees, I took a two-month backpacking trip of Western Europe and visited  nine countries. This trip truly changed my life and created an affinity for travel to explore different cultures. I studied architecture in Mexico and entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom through study abroad programs during graduate school. In 2013, I also camped the Austrian Alps for a month. Having the opportunity to visit so many states and countries has made me realize how small the world can be only if you let it be.

One of the biggest things I like to focus on however, is not "work" or "career" or "money" related at all---it is continued elevation of consciousness and enlightenment. I strive to be ever present in the moment, to be completely content and happy, and to help others do the same. Much of this is achieved for me through yoga and meditation. I just got back from a life-changing experience in New Mexico desert mountains where I practiced yoga and meditation for 10 days with more than 2000 others. Due to my love of meditation, yoga, qi gong, massage and other healing techniques, I'm planning to open a hostel and healing arts center in Gainesville. These plans are tentative pending acquisition of a building.

As I mentioned, receiving the TSIC scholarship was a pivotal point in my life. It showed me that my world was much bigger than I thought and that I had more potential than I could've ever imagined possible. In middle school, I was constantly fighting, getting into trouble, and making bad grades. The opportunity of a college education gave me a reason to change my course and strive for something more. I am forever grateful to the Take Stock in Children Program.                                                

Sincerely, Mateo


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