Please join us for graduation

by | May 20, 2017

KEY WEST, FL, May 19, 2017 – The Monroe County Education Foundation will recognize the accomplishments and celebrate the graduation of 54 Take Stock in Children scholars on Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. in the Marathon High School Auditorium.

This year the foundation is honored to welcome Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie or Ethiopia as the keynote speaker.

Prince Ermias currently serves as the Chairman of the Crown Council of Ethiopia in exile. The Crown Council is the last surviving Imperial Ethiopian deliberative body. The Crown Council has, in exile, pursued a mission devoted to cultural and humanitarian roles, and has no political mission at this time. Through the Haile-Selassie Fund for Children in Need, Prince Ermias has sponsored scholarships for Ethiopian students. His current project includes the Water Initiative for Africa, to bring pure drinking water to the people of Africa while helping to improve their ecological conditions. Prince Ermias has briefed the United States Congress on several occasions.  He has also lectured at universities in the United States and in other parts of the world on African Affairs.

In 1997, Prince Ermias was named recipient of the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA) Silver Star Award for Outstanding Contributions to Strategic Progress Through Humanitarian Achievement, for his work for Ethiopian Refugees in Africa.

“We’re looking forward to celebrating the accomplishments of these dedicated and hard-working Take Stock in Children scholars,” said Monroe County School Superintendent Mark Porter. “And we’re honored that Prince Ermias will be inspiring them as they embark on the next phase of their educational journey.”

Although the stated mission of Take Stock in Children is to provide students with the financial resources to attend college, the Monroe County Education Foundation board continues to focus on providing students with all tools and skills necessary to complete a degree, diploma, or certificate.

Program Coordinator Chuck Licis highlighted the importance of Take Stock’s college and career readiness efforts. “Nearly all of this year’s graduating class is college-ready, meaning they will immediately be enrolling in college-level math, science, and English classes.” Licis added, “We are very proud of our amazing scholars.”

The Monroe County Education Foundation, established in 1996, is a Florida not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing and improving the educational experiences of students within Monroe County. In addition to the MCEF flagship program, Take Stock in Children, the foundation provides leadership development opportunities and international travel experiences for qualified Monroe County students. Over 250 students from Monroe County have received scholarships since the program was founded.  For more information about MCEF or to donate, please visit or contact Chuck Licis, program director for TSIC Monroe County at

The Monroe County Education Foundation, through its flagship program Take Stock in Children, provides funding, summer educational enhancement opportunities, and mentorship to help Monroe County students achieve their potential. MCEF provides access to higher education for Florida students who are at risk of not attending college or university.  Through the program, MCEF matches at risk students with mentors, guides students in making smart career choices, and guarantees resources so that Monroe County students may complete a college degree or certificate.