Investing in Kids (INK!) logo
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Welcome to the Investing in Kids (INK!) Submission Portal

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, INK! leads efforts to directly benefit the educators and students within the St. Johns County School District. Our programs and events strive to provide the tools and resources that are necessary to help each child reach their full potential. Since 1994, Investing in Kids (INK!) has led the effort to cultivate success for students and teachers through funding, initiatives, and inspiration.

Take Stock in Children

Take Stock in Children (TSIC) is a statewide non-profit organization that was established in 1995 to offer low-income, at-risk students a unique opportunity to escape the cycle of poverty through education. This program offers students a college tuition scholarship, mentor, and hope of a better life. Since 1998, ink! has been the exclusive umbrella agency for this program in St. Johns County.

In our local program, students are selected for TSIC when they are in the 8th-9th grades. Selected students for TSIC sign a contract with ink! agreeing to maintain a 2.5 GPA, stay in school and remain drug and crime free.

Once students enroll in the TSIC program they are assigned a volunteer mentor that remains with them throughout their middle and high school careers. Students are required to meet with their mentors once a week. Mentors help students in many ways including career and college exploration.

In exchange for completing this program, students receive a minimum of 60 credit hours scholarship to attend a public Florida post-secondary educational institution of their choice. To date over 24,000 children throughout the 67 counties in Florida have received this life changing opportunity.

For more information, email James (Jim) Wheeler or call (904) 547-7121

Senior Scholarships

***Note: This year we have TWO application types- Merit Based and Needs Based.  If your family normally meets free or reduced lunch income guidelines, you should complete BOTH applications.  If your family income is above those limits, you only need to complete the Merit Based Application

Dr. Wayne Hartley Memorial Scholarship For The Academies- (MERIT and NEEDS BASED awards)

Dr. Wayne Hartley (or “Doc Hartley” as his students referred to him) was a well-known and well-respected educator in St. Johns County Schools for almost 30 years. He was born and raised in St. Augustine, graduated from St. Augustine High School, and after receiving his graduate degrees in History, American Studies and Education, he taught History at Nease and Menendez High Schools for over 20 years. He, along with other business partners, administrators and dedicated teaching colleagues, pursued funding and designed the first high school Academies in St. Johns County.

Dr. Hartley passed away in 2021, after a courageous battle with Covid-19. These scholarships have been established in his memory. Each year, up to six scholarships in the amount of $1,000.00 will be awarded to graduating seniors pursuing post-secondary education in the Fall Term 2024. Students must be enrolled in an Academy at one of the three eligible St. Johns County public high schools (Nease, St. Augustine, and Pedro Menendez.  Each school will have one scholarship awarded based on academic excellence, and the other awarded based on financial need.

The Jack Hamiltion Wheeler Memorial Scholarships (MERIT BASED)

This scholarship was founded in 2019, when Jack, who was a senior at Creekside, lost his life in a tragic car crash three days before Christmas. To honor Jack‘s memory, life, and legacy at Creekside high school, the Wheeler family has established a scholarship foundation to provide financial assistance to graduating St. Johns County high school seniors pursuing higher education.

Three scholarships will be awarded in the amounts of $2,000 $1,500 and $1,000 for students pursuing college and/or vocational school enrollment in the fall semester of 2024. The Wheeler family wishes to thank those that work so hard to assist in the awarding of the scholarship and especially to the community that cares deeply about our cause. To date the JHW Scholarship foundation has provided over $20,000 in financial aid to assist students in furthering their education!  To learn more about the Jack Wheeler Memorial Scholarship, go to www.jackwheelerfoundation.org

Tanner Gillespie Memorial Future Firefighter Scholarship (MERIT BASED)

This scholarship is new in 2024, funded in memory of Tanner Gillespie, a St. Johns County graduate who passed away in 2023.  Tanner pursued his passion and began a career with the Jacksonville Fire & Rescue Department after high school. To help others achieve a similar dream, this scholarship will fund the primary cost of attending the First Coast Technical College Firefighter Program, including all tuition and required equipment and book fees (approximately $3750).  The Class of 2024 St. Johns County grad must enroll and pass required physical and medical exams and begin no later than January 2025.  

Tucker McCarty Health Science Scholarship (MERIT BASED)

This scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior enrolled in Flagler Hospital Academy of Medical and Health Careers at Pedro Menendez High School, St. Johns County. One scholarship will be awarded annually, in the amount of $1000.

The applicant must be a 2024 graduate of Flagler Hospital Academy of Medical and Health Careers at Pedro Menendez High School. The applicant must also demonstrate the Six Pillars of Character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. The applicant must have a minimum unweighted overall grade point average of 3.0. Recipients must enroll full time in a post-secondary degree program beginning with the Fall Term 2024.

David Toner Scholarship (MERIT BASED)

This scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior enrolled at a high school in St. Johns County who plans to attend Florida State University. One scholarship will be awarded annually, in the amount of $1000.

The applicant must be a 2024 graduate within St. Johns County who plans to pursue post-secondary education at Florida State University. The applicant must also demonstrate the Six Pillars of Character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. The applicant must have a minimum unweighted overall grade point average of 3.0. Recipients must enroll full time in a post-secondary degree program beginning with the Fall Term 2024.

St. Johns County Jumpstart Scholarships-  (NEEDS BASED)

These scholarships will be awarded to graduating seniors enrolled in St. Johns County public schools who demonstrate financial need. The scholarship value is equal to one year of tuition (30 credit hours) at a Florida public state college (i.e. St. Johns River State College or equivalent).

The applicant must be a 2024 graduate at a St. Johns County public high school. The applicant must have a minimum unweighted overall grade point average of 2.5. Recipients must enroll a minimum of two college courses or a career program in a post-secondary program beginning in Fall Term 2024.

As this is a Needs Based Scholarship, parents must submit income tax information from 2022 or 2023 as part of the application process.


MacDonald Family Education Scholarship
(MERIT BASED)

This scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior enrolled at Bartram Trail High School OR in the teaching academies at Creekside, Ponte Vedra, or St. Augustine High Schools. The applicant must be a 2024 graduate who plans to pursue a post-secondary degree in Education to become a teacher. The applicant must also demonstrate a passion for teaching as well as the Six Pillars of Character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. The applicant must have a minimum unweighted overall grade point average of 3.0. Recipients must enroll full time in a post-secondary degree program beginning with the Fall Term of 2024.

Lieutenant Colonel Sally MacDonald Memorial Scholarship (NEEDS BASED)

LTC Sally MacDonald was a loving mother, daughter, sister, and friend who served her country proudly. Sally was a running enthusiast who loved life and enjoyed serving others. LTC MacDonald graduated from Townson University in 1998 with a B.S. degree in Social Science. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland in 2002. LTC MacDonald earned a Master of Laws degree upon graduation of the 59th Judge Advocate Graduate Course in 2011. LTC MacDonald served 15 years as an attorney in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Office. She is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. In 2017, LTC Sally MacDonald passed away while serving as the Associate Dean of Students at the Judge Advocate’s Legal Center and School. Prior to assuming her duties as Associate Dean, LTC MacDonald most recently served as the Chief of Military Justice for the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

LTC MacDonald’s awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with 4 oak leaf clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with 2 oak leaf clusters), National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. She was also Airborne qualified.

This scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior who is an active member of a JROTC program in a St. Johns County public school that plans on attending college to pursue a post-secondary degree.  As this is a Needs Based scholarship, parents must submit income tax information for 2022 or 2023 as part of the application process.

The application must have a minimum unweighted overall grade point average of 2.5. The recipient must plan on serving as an ROTC member while pursuing a post-secondary degree starting in the Fall semester of 2024, as well as demonstrating the Six Pillars of Character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship.  


Rays of Hope Foundation Scholarship (MERIT BASED)
This $1000 scholarship is funded by Radiant Credit Union's Rays of Hope Foundation.  The scholarship is awarded to a St. Johns County Class of 2024 graduate who will be attending a vocational, technical, or trade school program.  Finalists will be required to submit two (2) reference letters and an additional essay. 

The Rays of Hope Foundation is a 501c(3) organization founded to promote and provide charitable assistance that contributes towards the development, education, and well-being of young people in the communities served by Radiant Credit Union.

Rookie Teacher of the Year

Congratulations on being named your school’s Rookie Teacher of the Year (ROY)! We look forward to your participation in the SJCSD Teacher of the Year selection process and the opportunity to read your application. You must be in your third year (or less) of full-time teaching to be eligible for Rookie Teacher of the Year. All full-time teaching experience counts toward this time requirement, regardless of location. Carefully follow all instructions on this page and subsequent pages:

Online Application Submission and Checklist

  1. Applications must be completed by Wednesday, October 18, 2023.
  2. Please define any abbreviations or acronyms.
  3. The application is comprised of the following:
    1. Completion of online questionnaire and writing prompts
    2. Please be prepared to upload the following components:
      1. Three (3) letters of recommendation (limit to one page per recommendation, PDF format). Please name these files "School Name, Nominee Last Name, Letter of Recommendation 1", "School Name, Nominee Last Name, Letter of Recommendation 2", and "School Name, Nominee Last Name, Letter of Recommendation 3";.
      2. Headshot Photograph (does not have to be by professional photographer) (JPEG format). Please name this file "School Name, Nominee Last Name, Headshot".

For more information, email Suzanne (Suzy) Michel or call (904) 547-7130.

Teacher of the Year (TOY)

Congratulations on being named your school’s Teacher of the Year (TOY)! We look forward to your participation in the SJCSD Teacher of the Year selection process and the opportunity to read your application. Carefully follow all instructions on this page:

Online Application Submission & Checklist

  1. Applications must be completed by Wednesday, October 18, 2023.
  2. Please define any abbreviations or acronyms.
  3. The application is comprised of the following:
    1. Completion of online questionnaire and writing prompts
    2. Please be prepared to upload the following components:
      1. Three (3) letters of recommendation (limit to one page per recommendation, PDF format) Please name these files "School Name, Nominee Last Name, Letter of Recommendation 1", "School Name, Nominee Last Name, Letter of Recommendation 2", and "School Name, Nominee Last Name, Letter of Recommendation 3."
      2. Headshot Photograph (does not have to be by professional photographer) (JPEG format). Please name this file "School Name, Nominee Last Name, Headshot".
      3. Classroom schedule (full week, second semester, PDF format). Please name this file "School Name, Nominee Last Name, Classroom Schedule".

For more information, email Suzanne (Suzy) Michel or call (904) 547-7130.

Process

1. Register

Click on the "Register" link and complete and submit the registration form.

2. Login

Login to the award with your email and password.

3. Create

Create your online application.

4. Save

During the Call for Applications period, your application can be saved as DRAFT until all the required information is completed and attachments uploaded. As each section is complete, you will see a appear in the category tab when the application is saved. At any time, you can download and print your application by clicking on the icon in the Application Summary section.

5. Submit

On completion, save your Nomination as FINAL. Download and print a copy of your application for your records by clicking on the icon in the Application Summary section in the right column. Note: If an update is required prior to the Call for Applications period, you can make the update and resave as FINAL.

If you require assistance or additional information, please contact the Award Administrator.

Key Dates

Teacher and Rookie of the Year
Application Open:
October 5, 2023
Application Close:
October 18, 2023

Take Stock in Children
Application Open:
January 31, 2024
Application Close:
March 21, 2024

Senior Scholarships
Application Open:
February 7, 2024
Application Close:
March 23, 2024

Contact Us

Investing in Kids (INK!)
1 Christopher St. St. Augustine, FL 32084
Email: info@inksjc.org
ink!

Copyright  2023 Investing in Kids (INK!).  All rights reserved.