Nine years ago, Watson Marcelin was paired with his mentor Shepard M. Scheinberg through Champions For Learning’s Take Stock In Children program. Since Marcelin’s eighth grade induction into the program in 2013, Scheinberg has been one of Marcelin’s biggest cheerleaders, providing him with support and advice.
“Who would’ve known a relationship that I started with a complete stranger in the 8th grade would’ve come to fruition how it has today,” said Marcelin. “Shep is more than just a mentor to me. We met almost every week for about 6 years. He is a direct correlation to the success I’ve had.”
Throughout Marcelin’s high school career, Scheinberg pushed Marcelin to be the best version of himself he could be. From lessons on saving money to accepting people from different backgrounds, Scheinberg used his platform as a mentor to help prepare Marcelin for the future.
“You know, I always tried to build confidence in Watson and I would always tell him, ‘You can be anything in the world. You can be President of the United States. You can be a senator; you can do anything’. I tell him that today as well because he has this potential. That’s what mentoring is all about. To try to draw out that potential and build on it,” said Scheinberg.
Marcelin says having Scheinberg for a mentor who was there every step of the way was his “golden ticket”.
“I was just very lucky to have him as a mentor.” said Marcelin. “Lucky in so many ways. Little things, like when I was in high school, he would come to every single lacrosse game or football game I had. Little things like that went a long way.”
After Marcelin graduated from Champions For Learning and Lely High, he and Scheinberg continued to stay in touch as Marcelin attended the University of Florida and double majored in Anthropology and Economics with two minors in Entrepreneurial studies and Statistics. Marcelin now lives in Naples and works remotely from home as a Sales Development Representative in the tech sales sector.
Today, Scheinberg is still invested in Marcelin’s success and continues to find ways to connect and network him with other people. Marcelin says he believes Scheinberg thinks his job as a mentor is not yet finished.
“It’s the influence I was able to have on Watson that has been so rewarding. I think I got more out of it then Watson,” said Scheinberg.
Saturday, April 9th, Marcelin and Scheinberg had the opportunity to catch up in the same place they met nine years ago; Champions For Learning’s 8th Grade Induction. There, Marcelin got to speak on his time in the Champions For Learning program, crediting his success in life to his mentor, Shepard Scheinberg.
At the induction, Champions For Learning welcomed 47 new students into its Take Stock In Children (TSIC) program.
These 47 students are current eighth-graders from nine Collier County middle schools that will be partnered with a mentor who will help support and guide them throughout their high school years and help prepare them for college and/or a career.
The Take Stock In Children program through Champions For Learning offers students a caring volunteer mentor, a professional College Success Coach, College Readiness support. Upon successful completion and participation in the TSIC program, students earn a two-year state college scholarship.
Including Marcelin, more than 500 students are alumni of this program, with more than 200 high school students active each year.