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Program helps deserving students go to college

Jermain Merisier has big plans for his future

Most 13-year-olds aren’t thinking about college yet, but that’s not the case for one 8th grader at Roosevelt Middle School.

Jermain Merisier has big plans for his future.

“I look forward to playing football. I just want to play in the NFL,” he said.

Merisier is already a star on the field and a talented drummer in his church and school band, but if you ask his family and teachers, he shines most in the classroom, making him a perfect pick for Take Stock in Children.

"Jermaine has the grades, he has the desire to go to school and his parents and family want him to go to school,” saidMarilyn Schiavo, the Student Services Coordinator for Take Stock in Children.

The non-profit helps lower income, deserving students go to college.

The kids are mentored through middle and high school then eventually awarded a college scholarship.

"We migrated here from Haiti; our parents weren't fortunate enough to go to school,” said Gladette Merisier, Jermaine’s older sister. “They came here and taught themselves how to read and how to speak English and he sees that. He sees how determined my parents are. So he also wants great for himself because he sees how hard they work."

Jermain knows it won’t be easy, but he’s known for tackling challenges.

Five years ago, he suffered severe burns from a cooking incident. He was hospitalized for months.

"Even with the accident, it hasn't changed him one bit,”said his sister. “It shows me how strong he is and that nothing can stop him. Nothing will get in this way,” she said.

As part of the ‘Take Stock’ deal, Jermain must maintain a certain GPA as well as vow to be crime and drug free.

He says his dream school is FSU in Tallahassee.

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