About Us

Transforming Florida one student at a time.

Take Stock in Children, Inc. is a nonprofit organization, transforming Florida one student at a time. Working in every county throughout Florida, Take Stock in Children of Sarasota is 1 of 46 affiliate offices. Our mission is to break the cycle of poverty for low-income, academically qualified students by providing opportunities for a postsecondary education. Through an innovative multi-year model we provide wraparound services to students, with continued support after high school completion. Students are matched with a caring volunteer mentor, equipped with college readiness services and a dedicated college success coach, awarded a college scholarship, and provided with postsecondary support through degree or certification attainment.

600 Students Enrolled

Middle/High School & College

22 Middle & High School Sites

Served in Sarasota County

$6 Million

In Florida Prepaid Foundation Scholarships

2,000 Volunteer Hours Served

& Over 200 Volunteer Mentors

Board Members

Scott Atkins

Bank of America

Jay Brady

Brady Consulting & Communications

Charles Bryant

Lone Star Wealth Management

T. J. Chitekwe

Mann Gelon Glodney Gumerove Yee LLP

Dr. Stephen Covert

Pine View School

Michelle Cherp

McLeod Land Services, Inc.

Karen Hough

Northern Trust

Brittany Lamont

Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance

Kelley Lear

Thomson Reuters

Davian Spires

Sarasota County Schools

Lori Sutton

First Horizon Bank

Marjolaine Townsend

Steve & Marjolaine Townsend Scholarship Fund

Justin Williams

Jon F. Swift Construction

Dr. George Mims


Ivory Matthews

Neal Communities


Lisa Bechtold
Executive Director

(941) 266-6231

[email protected]

Melanie Custer
Director of Operations

(941) 270-3850

[email protected]

Diana Dill
Director of Development & Community Partnership Portfolio Manager

(941) 504-0995

[email protected]

Liz Mena
College Success Coach

(941) 209-3760

[email protected]

Caroline Nielubowicz
College Success Coach

(941) 216-2945

[email protected]

Ashley Carson
Club Take Stock/Alumni Relations

(941) 270-3850

[email protected]

Nikki Kochis
Club Take Stock/Alumni Relations

(941) 270-3850

[email protected]

Jennifer Shin
Office Manager & New Student Coordinator

(941) 270-3850

[email protected]

Faith Scott
Program Coordinator and Senior Class College Success Coach

(941) 484-3622

[email protected]

Rebecca Lockwood
Mentor Coordinator & College Success Coach

(941) 216-2934

[email protected]

Anjali Cadena
Director of Strategic Initiatives

(941) 217-8605

[email protected]