The Center for Leadership and Service, a part of the Division of Student Affairs, received a $5,000 grant from Capitol One #WishForOthers and Takeya Bland, a University of Florida alum. During her time at UF, Bland was a Machen Florida Opportunity Scholar, and the president of Project MASCOT. The generous donation will allow 30 mentors and 30 mentees to participate in Project MASCOT’s annual Mentor/Mentee trip at no cost for the next three years. In the spring semester 2015, Project MASCOT took 65 mentors and 65 mentees to the Jacksonville Zoo.

Bland, a Panama City, FL. native, graduated from the University of Florida in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. While at UF, Bland was an active member of Project MASCOT, becoming President in her senior year.

“As a former member of Project MASCOT, I recall some college students not joining because they couldn’t afford to pay membership dues. Tremendous effort was exerted by the leadership board and members to conduct fundraisers and find sponsorship,” Bland writes. “It was truly an honor to be able to gift Project MASCOT at UF with funds from the CapitalOne #WishForOthers contest in order to continue this exceptional program!”

Bland received her Master of Science in Project Management through the Florida Institute of Technology, and is now working as a Human Resource’s Generalist in the Washington, DC area.

Project MASCOT (Mentoring Alliance: Students and Communities Outreaching Together) is a one-year program for University of Florida students interested in helping and motivating elementary school children in the Gainesville area. Project MASCOT is part of the MentorUF program in the Center for Leadership and Service.

For additional information:
Contact:  Stacie Schultz, Director of Leadership Initiatives
Phone: (352) 392-1215