Once again, Immokalee High School IT Academy Director Steven Becker swam the extra mile – actually, quite a few of them during his fifth race – and raised more than $5,500 in support of The Immokalee Foundation during the annual Florida Keys Community College Swim Around Key West.
On June 10, Becker started swimming around 8:30 a.m. off Higgs Beach at Key West’s White Street Pier 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 four to more than eight hours. To prepare, Becker swam two miles in a pool on weekdays and 4 to 6 miles in the Gulf on weekends.
Becker exceeded impressive goals this year: he completed the swim in five hours and 18 minutes; placed third overall for solo males; placed first in his age group; and had more than 30 contributors donate to benefit the foundation’s Take Stock in Children scholarship program.
“Although the swim is over, I encourage everyone to contribute to The Immokalee Foundation,” said Becker, who recently turned 55. “Their success propels me to want to keep doing it.”
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 in 2009: After spending 25 years in corporate America, he began teaching at Immokalee High School. This summer, he will teach a two-week computer coding class to high school students as part of the foundation’s program.
He also has been a mentor for The Immokalee Foundation’s Take Stock in Children scholarship program. As a mentor, Becker enjoys the opportunity to empower students and help them find their own personal paths to success. His role is to motivate his mentee to reach their potential, and help them navigate the challenges of education and life.
Becker praises The Immokalee Foundation and especially the nonprofit’s staff and board members. “It’s inspiring to work with a team of supporters with their level of commitment and involvement,” he said.
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.