Pathways Blog

League Club grant gives The Immokalee Foundation’s student computer lab a makeover

The Immokalee Foundation’s student computer lab just received a major upgrade thanks to the generosity of Southwest Florida’s League Club.

The club awarded the foundation $8,000 through a grant from its Community Trust Fund at its April Briefcase Breakfast, sponsored by Northern Trust. The grant, along with a boost from a private donor, enabled the nonprofit to purchase 40 laptop computers for students participating in The Immokalee Foundation’s programs.

Each year, grant requests are reviewed by The League Club’s volunteer Community Involvement Committee and are awarded for projects or critical services, equipment, and improvements to make a valuable impact in the lives of local residents.

“Congratulations to The Immokalee Foundation for all the wonderful work you do for Immokalee,” League Club Vice President of Communications Mary Beth Jones said in a letter to The Immokalee Foundation’s Executive Director, Steven Kissinger.

“Due to these donations, The Immokalee Foundation has opened up the lab to any student in need of a computer and Wi-Fi in Immokalee,” said Steven Kissinger, executive director of The Immokalee Foundation.

The League Club is a 501(c)(3) organization of women in Southwest Florida strengthening communities through fellowship, education, volunteerism and philanthropy. The League Club is open to women who have been or are still active members of a Junior League that is a member of the Association of Junior Leagues International. For more information, visit www.leagueclub.org.

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.

Annalinda Ragazzo, The League Club, with Steven Kissinger, The Immokalee Foundation

Annalinda Ragazzo, The League Club, with Steven Kissinger, The Immokalee Foundation

The Immokalee Foundation students Marco Garza, Sandra Soto, Arline Martinez and Dulce Chavarria

The Immokalee Foundation students Marco Garza, Sandra Soto, Arline Martinez and Dulce Chavarria

 

 

Teacher’s Key West swim sets goal of $10,000 for The Immokalee Foundation’s scholarships

Immokalee High School IT Academy Director Steven Becker will once again go the extra mile – actually, quite a few of them – in support of The Immokalee Foundation in the annual Florida Keys Community College Swim Around Key West.

On June 10, Becker will start swimming at about 8:30 a.m. off Higgs Beach at Key West’s White Street Pier and swim in open, warm water 12.5 miles around the island to raise money in support of scholarships for Immokalee students. The swim can take anywhere from last year’s winning time of just under four hours to eight hours or more. To prepare, Becker swims two miles in a pool on weekdays and four to six miles is the Gulf on weekends. This will be his fifth Swim Around Key West.

Becker has set especially impressive goals this year. He has completed the race four times; his most recent attempt was in 2015, when the event was canceled due to a tropical storm moving through the Keys. “So this one counts for two swims,” Becker said. In light of that, he has doubled his fundraising goal to $5,000 – which, coupled with matching gifts from loyal supporters, will mean $10,000 for the foundation’s Take Stock in Children scholarships.

As a personal goal, Becker is looking to shave six minutes or more off his time in order to complete the race in five hours. “Each time it gets harder as I get older,” said Becker, who will be 55 in June.

Becker has been active in several Immokalee Foundation programs, including Career Development, which helps students refine academic skills, guides them through a process of career goal-setting and increases their knowledge of career opportunities. The program also infuses innovative ideas to attract students who seek alternative education choices. Becker experienced a career change himself: After spending 25 years in corporate America, he began teaching at Immokalee High School in 2009. He also has been a mentor for The Immokalee Foundation’s Take Stock in Children scholarship program. This summer, he will teach a two-week computer coding class to high school students as part of the foundation’s program.

To support Becker’s Key West swim to benefit The Immokalee Foundation, visit www.immokaleefoundation.org and click Donate Today. To follow Steven Becker’s progress, follow him on Twitter at #5HrSwim.

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.

Steven Becker

Steven Becker

Steven Becker training for Key West swim at Sterling Oaks pool

Steven Becker training for Key West swim at Sterling Oaks pool

Steven Becker during first Key West swim in 2008

Steven Becker during first Key West swim in 2008

Calendar Announcement/Save the Date: The Immokalee Foundation 2017 Charity Classic Pro-Am and Pairings Party

WHAT:
The Immokalee Foundation’s 2017 Charity Classic Pro-Am will be held Monday, Nov. 13, at Bay Colony Golf Club. The low-net score golf tournament will pair more than two dozen of the world’s greatest golfers with Naples’ most philanthropic players.

Each amateur foursome will be paired with a different professional player for the first and second nine holes during an exclusive pairings party at The Old Collier Golf Club Sunday, Nov. 12.

WHO:
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.

Chairing the event for the seventh year is Kevin Johnson of Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, along with Sunny Sapiente of Bay Colony Golf Club.

WHEN:
Monday, Nov. 13, 2017
7:30 a.m. breakfast and golf demonstrations
9 a.m. shotgun start
Lunch and awards presentation immediately following the tournament

WHERE:
Bay Colony Golf Club
9740 Bent Grass Bend, Naples

TICKETS:
Entry fees begin at $5,000.

INFO:
The Immokalee Foundation, 239-430-9122, info@immokaleefoundation.org, www.immokaleefoundation.org

The Immokalee Foundation students enjoy a sweet experience with Norman Love

Students from The Immokalee Foundation recently toured Norman Love Confections and Artisan Gelato by Norman Love in Fort Myers, with the founder himself leading the visit.

Master Chocolatier Norman Love shared personal stories with the students, along with several secrets to his success; he also revealed a few special techniques used to create his world-renowned chocolates.

Love led 22 foundation students through the chocolate salon, kitchens, packaging and warehouse areas. He explained the process of making exquisitely crafted chocolates, desserts, crepes, pastries and holiday specialties. After offering the students samples of his confections, Love surprised them with handmade authentic Italian artisan gelato.

“Mr. Love shared his history and culinary experiences with us, which was really interesting,” said Jennifer Villa, who is currently dual-enrolled at Immokalee High School and in iTECH’s Culinary Arts program and will be attending Keiser University Center for Culinary Arts in Tallahassee. “I couldn’t believe he invited me back to be a pastry chef in training for an entire day. That will be another experience I will never forget.”

Norman Love Confections has Chocolate Salons in Fort Myers, Estero and Naples in Southwest Florida, as well as Artisan Gelato in Fort Myers. The chocolatier creates and distributes handcrafted artisanal chocolates from its Fort Myers corporate headquarters that encompasses both production and retail operations. For more information, visit www.normanloveconfections.com.

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.

 

The Immokalee Foundation’s students at Norman Love Confections

The Immokalee Foundation’s students at Norman Love Confections

Norman Love with The Immokalee Foundation’s students at Artisan Gelato by Norman Love

Norman Love with The Immokalee Foundation’s students at Artisan Gelato by Norman Love

Norman Love, Jennifer Villa

Norman Love, Jennifer Villa

NLC packaging and warehouse

NLC packaging and warehouse

NLC team member describes confections

NLC team member describes confections

The Immokalee Foundation middle school students spend spring break in Washington, D.C.

Middle school students enrolled in The Immokalee Foundation’s Junior Career Development Program spent their spring break traveling away from the beaches, sunshine and leisure of Florida to snow, large buildings and learning – and they loved it. The mid-March trip to Washington, D.C., was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to Alondra Estrada. Ivette Varella called it “a dream come true.”

Ten Immokalee Foundation students visited the White House; U.S. Capitol; Smithsonian Institution museums; Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. memorials; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; war and military memorials; Arlington National Cemetery; and Mount Vernon.

This is an annual experience for young teens in The Immokalee Foundation’s program, but for the first time, students also were able to see the original copies of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives.

Along with her classmates, Cenaida Herrera was very impressed. On a web page created for the students to submit their memories, she wrote, “They were the authentic (documents), and it was so cool to see how they preserved the original paper and the writing of the documents.”

Students spent long days taking in new experiences.

“We also learned about temperatures below 50 degrees!” Daniel Trejo-Garcia wrote on the site.

Abraham Salazar not only enjoyed the Lincoln Memorial because he was able to see in person the iconic image of the 16th president in his chair, but also because he and the honored man share the same first name. “Also, the quote at the top of the monument inspired me,” Salazar wrote. “All of this would not be possible without The Immokalee Foundation.”

“One of my favorite things I did during this trip was seeing the White House,” wrote Dalila Gonzalez. “It was great that I finally got to see it in person and not in textbooks or in a picture. The people I got to spend time with and the sights were unbelievable. I think everyone should know how great The Immokalee Foundation is for making this trip so amazing!”

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.

 

The Immokalee Foundation group at the White House

The Immokalee Foundation group at the White House

The Immokalee Foundation group at The Capitol

The Immokalee Foundation group at The Capitol

Leslie Escalante, Cenaida Herrera

Leslie Escalante, Cenaida Herrera

Elmer Santaigo

Elmer Santaigo

Daniel Trejo-Garcia

Daniel Trejo-Garcia

Cenaida Herrera, Leslie Escalante, Jaelyn Sanders

Cenaida Herrera, Leslie Escalante, Jaelyn Sanders