Cutler Bay resident Elizabeth Garris will be recognized for her involvement in the community with a special proclamation from the town council during its next meeting on May 18.
Town Councilmember (Seat 3) Peggy Bell, who thinks Garris deserves a lot of credit for rising above her own problems to help others, requested the proclamation.
“This wonderful Cutler Bay resident has struggled to support her son, who had cancer and survived, and raise her children alone,” Bell said. “We are really happy to honor her for her service to children. She really does a lot.”
Garris is a volunteer mentor who works with the non-profit organization Take Stock in Children, which assists low-income and at-risk students, many from minority families, with college scholarships, caring volunteer mentors and hope. Garris and others like her offer students a way to escape the cycle of poverty through education and have a better life.
Garris received the “True Believer” Award from that organization at the annual Unsung Hero Awards Celebration on Mar. 14 at Miami Beach’s Shane Center. Mentor coordinator Carin West presented Garris with the award for her work in mentoring a Miami-Dade County school child on her way to college.
Take Stock in Children, launched in Florida in 1995, has services starting in middle school, continuing through high school and transitioning into college, providing support, motivation and accountability. Its scholarships and student services are funded by public and private fundraising, and all mentors are volunteers. It is estimated that more than 16,000 children have been helped so far in Florida.
Elizabeth Garris is pleased by all the recognition, but she takes it all in stride.
“I am honored at this opportunity to give back, and I firmly believe that to bring honor to one’s self brings honor to the whole community,” Garris said.
For more information, visit online at www.takestockinchildren.org/.