Doris Laing was a quiet 14-year-old ninth-grader when she first met her mentor in 1996. Laing was a member of Take Stock in Children’s Student/Mentor Support program designed for low-income kids. Her mentor, Barbara Pariente, was a judge on the Fourth District Court of Appeal.
Laing maintained a 3.0 GPA, stayed out of trouble and earned a scholarship to college. For 20 years, she remained close to Pariente and leaned on her for emotional support through graduate school, marriage, children and life’s uncertainties. Last October, Justice Pariente swore Laing in as a new lawyer.
“Children need mentors in their life for additional support, encouragement and direction,” said Nancy Stellway, Executive Director of Take Stock in Children Palm Beach County. “Home life for most students is very different today than it was years ago. With many parents working several jobs in order to feed their families, more single parent households and increased social pressures, students often find themselves lacking sufficient guidance and support. We know that when we provide students with tools and long-lasting relationships, they can achieve better academic results and options for their future.”
Laing’s story proves mentors have a profound impact on children — not only in school, but in work and in life. In honor of National Mentoring Month, the Town of Palm Beach United Way would like to recognize its partner agencies who offer mentoring programs and highlight the successes they’ve achieved.
Alzheimer’s Community Care was founded in 1996 by a group of Florida residents who were concerned about the growing number of people affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related neurocognitive disorders. Today, the organization is the largest provider of community-based, dementia-specific services in Florida.
Alzheimer’s Community Care has been a Town of Palm Beach United Way partner agency since 2000. We’re proud to help fund two of the agency’s programs in Palm Beach County:
Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA) has been a Town of Palm Beach United Way agency since 2001. AVDA’s domestic violence center offers an array of services for victims of domestic violence such as a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency and transitional housing, advocacy, counseling, and support to help victims live violence-free and independent lives. They also work in the community to educate and engage people of all ages in their commitment to prevent domestic abuse.
Caridad Health Clinic has been a Town of Palm Beach United Way agency since 2002. The center provides medical and dental care to uninsured children and adults in Palm Beach County, who do not qualify for other programs and subsidies, and who cannot access care anywhere else.
Milagro Center has been a Town of Palm Beach United Way partner agency since 2003. Their services empower at-risk youth in Delray Beach through the use of art-based activities and experiences. They encourage children and teens to “reach for the stars,” with the ultimate goal of motivating children, teens, and their families to succeed in their schoolwork and in their lives.
Achievement Centers for Children and Families has been a Town of Palm Beach United Way partner agency since 2013. They provide affordable quality care to children whose parents otherwise could not maintain their job or go to school. Their programs are designed to meet a child’s academic, social, emotional and physical needs; through toddler, preschool, afterschool, teen, adult and family programs.
Clinics Can Help has been a Town of Palm Beach United Way partner agency since 2012. They provide surplus medical equipment and supplies to financially needy patients, clinics, programs and schools in Palm beach County.
One program funded by the Town of Palm Beach United Way is The Lending Closet. This program collects and provides surplus durable medical equipment and supplies to clinics, programs and schools in Palm Beach County. This includes hospital beds, wheelchairs, walkers, shower chairs, nebulizers, oxygen concentrators and other equipment that is necessary for the safe recovery of many individuals.
Take Stock in Children has been a Town of Palm Beach United Way partner agency since 2006. They promote personal worth, self-responsibility and academic success for deserving low-income children by providing a unique set of resources including mentors, scholarships, long-term support, student advocacy and a guaranteed educational opportunity.
The Literacy Coalition has been a Town of Palm Beach United Way partner agency since 1994. They promote and achieve literacy through programs meeting the needs of children, adults, families and workplace employees who have limited English and reading skills.
One program funded by the Town of Palm Beach United Way is Literacy AmeriCorps. This program recruits, trains places and supervises up to 40 recent college graduates who provide a year of service as reading tutors, mentors, graduation coaches and college readiness coaches.
Adopt-A-Family has been a Town of Palm Beach United Way partner agency since 2000. They restore families with children in crisis to stability and self-sufficiency by providing access to all-encompassing services which include housing and quality after-school activities.
One program funded by the Town of Palm Beach United Way is Project Grow. This program is a licensed afterschool/out-of-school program that serves up to 60 children in kindergarten through fifth grade from formerly homeless and low-income families in Palm Beach County.