Chipola Take Stock in Children earns luminary gold

Debra Perdue, Take Stock in Children coordinator

The Chipola College Take Stock in Children (TSIC) program has earned the Excellence Award, Luminary Gold Level Category from its statewide parent organization. Debra Perdue, Chipola TSIC student services coordinator, also was honored for her dedication to the organization.

Local TSIC programs that provide college readiness and mentoring supports to middle and high school students vie for the award.  TSIC Luminary Gold Level award is achieved by exceeding the requirements of the statewide organization.

According to Mrs. Perdue, “Our serving communities, school districts, mentors, and the Chipola Foundation have all contributed to this accolade. Particularly the mentors who are dedicated to the success of the students in high school and then in college. We could not have this success without the hard work of our mentors.”

TSIC serves students who are at-risk for dropping out of school. Students are matched with a mentor, receive in-school support, and college readiness services provided by the TSIC college success coach. Upon high school graduation, students earn a college scholarship. Mentors meet with their assigned students each week during the school year, offering encouragement, advice, and a sympathetic ear. Mrs. Perdue, also the TSIC college success coach, provides support and guidance to the mentors and the mentees.

To earn Luminary Gold recognition, local TSIC programs exceeded the 10 key indicators of performance and adherence to the requirements of the Florida Department of Education. The TSIC data reporting system measures student readiness, the number of students recruited, mentor matching rates, and mentor contacts.

The prestigious Luminary Award is given only to programs which exceed TSIC’s targeted goals in areas involving mentoring, college success coach visits and college readiness workshops.  “We work diligently every day to ensure our program is meeting the rigorous standards as required by the TSIC and its funding partners at the State of Florida, said Perdue.

A core requirement of the TSIC program is students are matched with a mentor when entering the program their freshman year and meet with their mentor each week throughout high school.  Chipola College TSIC maintains 68 high school students enrolled in 12 high schools in the five county region Chipola serves.

The Chipola affiliate, which consists of Calhoun, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty and Washington counties, recently inducted 20 new students into the program and will serve a total of 53 students in public high schools in the 2021-22 school year.

Perdue’s service to the program began in October 2018.  She came to Chipola from Florida Department of Education as State Supervisor of IT and Business, Management and Administration.  Prior to her five years at FLDOE she taught technology at Blountstown High School.

Dr. Matthew Hughes is the Dean of Assessment, Compliance and Grants at Chipola College.  He is also the Executive Director of Chipola College TSIC.  Perdue says, “Dr. Hughes along with Dr. Sarah Clemmons, President of Chipola College, have given TSIC strong support and encouragement.  It is thanks to their backing that we can provide this service to our community.”

To become a TSIC mentor, contact Perdue at or call 850-209-5314.