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How a Summer Internship Became a Workforce Initiative

25 Oct 2018 10:35 AM | Dan Sidler (Administrator)

October 19, 2018

How a Summer Internship Became a Workforce Initiative

(Bradenton, FL) - A funny thing happened this summer. An internship turned into an idea for tackling workforce needs.

Giancarlo Gamboa-Barrios, a Take Stock scholar, interned at Sunz Insurance this summer after graduating from high school.
Gamboa-Barrios liked the insurance business and the company liked him;  he is now working part-time while he completes his degree at State College of Florida. 

Gamboa-Barrios was accepted in the Take Stock in Children of Manatee County in 8th grade; he maintained rigorous academic and behavior standards in order to keep the scholarship and mentor provided to him upon acceptance. Gamboa-Barrios met with his mentor weekly throughout high school; The Take Stock scholarship now covers the cost of his education; the job with Sunz covers his living expenses.

“By the time Giancarlo finishes his post-secondary education, he’ll be workforce-ready and positioned for a career in business,” said Jamie Serino, executive director of Take Stock in Children of Manatee County. “With 185 Take Stock alumni and more on track to graduate high school this year, we started talking to the business community about how we could cultivate more win-win experiences like this.”

After joining the Chamber of Commerce, Bradenton Area EDC, and Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance, and hearing about the community’s workforce needs, Serino shaped Take Stock’s Workforce Initiative.   

The Initiative will enable members of the business community to be more involved in nurturing and shaping the upcoming workforce. Serino envisions Take Stock scholars having opportunities to tour workplace facilities, do internships, and apply for jobs with area businesses. A Corporate Partnership Program has been developed to support the new initiative.

Take Stock will be talking more about the Workforce Initiative at Defying Gravity on November 16 at the at the Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton starting at 6:30 pm. Sponsorships are available; businesses that sponsor a table will be eligible for a Corporate Partnership. For more information, contact Jamie Serino at (941) 751-6550 x 2120. To attend Defying Gravity, RSVP on line for tickets at

“Take Stock leads the state in high school and college graduation rates; this kind of work ethic translates easily to the working world; it gives the business community the confidence to work with our scholars and alumni,” said Serino. “I envision Take Stock scholars bringing a pipeline of talent to our community that can stay in our community.”

Take Stock in Children of Manatee County mission:  Take Stock in Children of Manatee County, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization with a mission to provide an opportunity for a post-secondary education for academically and financially qualified students.  All scholarship dollars stay local and are matched dollar-for-dollar by the Florida Prepaid Foundation.

Interviews available. Contact Suzanne Dameron at 941 809 3247 and

What: Defying Gravity: A Take Stock Galactic Launch, is a fundraising event for Take Stock in Children of Manatee County

When: Friday, November 16, 2018; 6:30 pm

Where: Manatee Performing Arts Center, Bradenton, FL 34205

Why: A benefit for Take Stock scholars that will introduce the Workforce Initiative and Corporate Partnership Program

Event Features: (6:30 pm) Reception in the Bradenton Kiwanis Hall with Hors d’oeuvres
(7:30 pm) Dinner and Program with live performance by TheForce, the Take Stock band

(8:30 pm) Dessert Reception & Dancing in the lobby

8430 Enterprise Circle, STE 140
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202

941-757-1664 |

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