BELLE GLADE, Fla. — Climate change is a topic in Belle Glade, but not the environmental kind. It's the name of a non-profit project aimed at raising graduation rates in the community.
If there were report cards given for graduation ceremonies, the one at Glades Central Community High School on Friday would get all A's!
50 seniors graduated with good enough grades to get nearly half a million dollars in college scholarships.
"It was something I will never forget," said David Carreon.
Carreon is one of the students who spent the last four years in Take Stock In Children's climate change initiative, an intense one-on-one mentorship program.
"It was at first very daunting for me personally because all these new challenges that my parents couldn't relate to," said Carreon.
Carreon will be the first in his family to attend college. He got into his dream school, the University of Florida, and believes without the four-year mentorship, he may not have left Belle Glade.
"It's really helped me to open my eyes to the broader world," said Carreon.
Darlene Roselvard left her family in Haiti with a big goal.
"For me, going to college first generation is an opportunity for me to give back to my community," said Roselvard, who will head to Florida Atlantic University on a full ride, and then plans to work with other students to show them what can be done with hard work and a strong support system.
"'Take Stock' was my hope, my little shining, bright light guiding me," said Roselvard.
Since the initiative began in 2015, graduation rates in the Glades have doubled.
To learn more about Take Stock's program, click here.