Sixteen post-secondary students in The Immokalee Foundation’s programs each have been granted a $500 scholarship from a nonprofit organization established to award “fun money” to deserving students.
Dr. Massoud Eghrari and his late wife, Isabella, knew how difficult it is to pursue an education and career – particularly so for Immokalee youth, who have limited resources. So they set up the Massoud and Isabelle Eghrari Charitable Foundation not only to support worthy students’ educational goals, but also to enhance students’ quality of life by awarding the money with no requirement other than that the students spend it on themselves.
That could mean extra pillows and dorm room decor, a dinner out on a test day or anything else – including a trip to Disney World. That’s what Graciela Cervantes plans for a portion of her award, a once-in-a-lifetime experience that she never imagined having.
“Receiving this scholarship helped me feel like there was someone who not only cared about my education but about me as well,” Cervantes said. “The point of this scholarship is to use it on something other than school, which was very unexpected because most scholarships are intended for tuition or books.”
“The Immokalee Foundation has helped me so much in the past three years,” Cervantes said. “During this time, I have been in the Career Development Program. I can honestly say it is because of The Immokalee Foundation that I am in college. They always served as a guide to me when I needed help applying for college, submitting scholarships, and providing help to answer any questions that I had.”
When Eghrari became a widower, the nonprofit he co-founded continued to provide scholarships like the one Cervantes received. Today, Dr. Eghrari and his wife, Tayebeh, continue to be strong supporters of The Immokalee Foundation’s efforts.
The Immokalee Foundation provides a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to success through college and post-secondary preparation and support, mentoring and tutoring, opportunities for broadening experiences, and life skills development leading to economic independence. To learn more about The Immokalee Foundation, volunteering as a career panel speaker or host, becoming a mentor, making a donation, including the foundation in your estate plans, or for additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit www.immokaleefoundation.org.