It’s not every day that a student gets to go Back to School shopping with Palm Beach County School Superintendent Dr. Robert Avossa.
But Palm Beach Lakes High School senior Ja’maar Nelson got that chance recently, thanks to Take Stock in Children’s ninth annual Back to School Shopping Event at the Target store in Royal Palm Beach.
“This was a wonderful experience, it felt like Dr. Avossa really cared about helping me get what I needed,” Nelson said, after getting assistance from the Superintendent with picking out clothes and supplies. “With all the stuff I purchased, I’m ready, I could start school tomorrow!”
Twenty Take Stock in Children high school students were given $200 and a budget sheet to shop with a mentor for school supplies and clothing. For most of these students, this was the first time they shopped by themselves to get the items they need for the upcoming school year. The mentor shoppers helped the students make the best use of their funds.
Dr. Eddie Ruiz, the District’s Assistant Superintendent for Student Services, Equity, and Access was also on hand for the event, teaming up with another high school student for back to school shopping.
“This is my favorite event of the year,” said Nancy Stellway, Executive Director of Take Stock Palm Beach. “The kids get to see that people care about them, and they learn about budgeting.”
Take Stock in Children was established in 1995 as a non-profit organization in Florida that provides a variety of services to students, including college scholarships and caring volunteer mentors. Their comprehensive services start in middle school, continue through high school, and include helping students transition into college.