For immediate release – June 26, 2017

Viera, Florida- Brevard Schools Foundation is pleased to announce a $20,000 grant from the Balda Family Foundation.   These funds will be used to purchase Florida Prepaid Scholarships for students in the Brevard Schools Foundation Take Stock in Children Program. The Balda Family Foundation has been a long-time supporter of the Brevard Schools Foundation, and has donated more than $150,000 that has been used to assist more than 40 Take Stock In Children students.

When asked about the impact the Balda Family Foundation has had in Take Stock in Children, Program Manager, Marlene Mraz replied “The Balda Family Foundation truly honors their tagline ‘motivate, inspire, educate’. This family honestly cares about the future lives of the students they affect by donating to their future through education. The Balda Family Foundation understands the population of students we work with and we are honored to partner with their family to permanently change the lives of our students.”

Take Stock in Children provides a unique opportunity for aspiring low-income, at-risk students to escape the cycle of poverty through education. The program offers students a caring mentor, College Success Coach and hope for a better future, with the incentive of a college scholarship upon graduation.

“These scholarships are allowing more students to access higher education, said Janice Kershaw, President of the Brevard Schools Foundation. “We appreciate the Balda’s continued generosity.” Brevard’s Take Stock in Children program boasts a 100% graduation rate compared to the state average of 70% for low-income students. Kershaw said, “This is only made possible by the generous donors who support the program, as well as volunteer mentors and program staff to monitor students, provide interventions and conduct coaching. The Take Stock in Children program not only helps make sure students graduate high school, but also prepares them for college.”


Take Stock in Children is a scholarship and mentoring program that provides low-income students an opportunity to fulfill their academic potential and to attend college.  The Brevard Schools Foundation administers the program for all Brevard public middle and high schools. It is the strategic mission of Take Stock in Children to reach more students through aggressive fundraising. Every scholarship dollar raised is generously matched through the Florida Prepaid Foundation Project STARS program. It is the Brevard Schools Foundation vision to provide scholarships to all qualified students wishing to improve their economic status by obtaining a college degree. The program has an ongoing need for volunteer mentors to serve the students in the program. Mentor trainings are provided on the first Tuesday of each month.

To learn more about this program, please visit:


The Balda Family Foundation’s mission is to motivate, inspire and educate academically promising, at-risk and underserved youth in Brevard County, FL, through educational opportunities and college scholarships. The foundation was established in 2007 by Ricardo A. Balda and his four adult children. In 1955, at age 14, Mr. Balda immigrated to the United States from Ecuador with his parents and four siblings, he later went on to be the first in his family to receive a college degree. The Balda family has directly seen the positive impact a higher education can make, and as a result, the family places a strong emphasis on academic excellence and understands the important role education plays in permanently lifting one out of financial hardship.

For more information, please contact Sarah Balda, or visit their website at: