Press Release: Immokalee High School Students Attend FSU Medical School


Immokalee High School Students Attend FSU Medical School

NAPLES, Fla. (Aug. 5, 2011) – Three of The Immokalee Foundation’s students, from Immokalee High School, recently had the unique opportunity to see what it’s like to be in medical school thanks to Florida State University College of Medicine Summer Institute, a highly competitive summer program managed by FSU College of Medicine Outreach and Advising Office.

The students – Luis Parra, Stephanie Alcime and Chedeline Fredrick – submitted applications, were accepted into the program and then received a TIF Pathway to Success scholarship that made the dream a reality. Through Pathways to Success, TIF provides ongoing mentorship for students by sculpting an individual success plan that nurtures the child’s development as a student, citizen and future professional.

“The Summer Institute is a wonderful opportunity for students to further their academic and career goals – an opportunity that shows them the possibilities and how to accomplish their goals,” said Noemi Perez, student advocate for TIF’s Take Stock in Children program.

The weeklong sessions, for juniors and seniors, are designed to provide an inside look at what it means to be both a doctor and medical student. It’s one way to encourage students from diverse backgrounds to consider careers in medicine – support they don’t often receive.

“Our goal for the Summer Institute is to recruit students from rural, underserved and minority backgrounds and, at the same time, recruit students from other parts of Florida who have a desire to work in medically underserved areas,” said Thesla Berne-Anderson, director of college and pre-college outreach at the College of Medicine.

Participants travel to FSU’s campus in Tallahassee where they shadow physicians and medical students, visit rural health centers and receive college testing and application advice. They also attend faculty lectures on topics such as medical ethics, migrant health care and doctor-patient relations. In several activities, the participants go through training similar to what real medical students face. They get hands-on involvement in taking blood pressure, performing CPR and more.

Immokalee senior, Luis Parra, loved the experience. “We got to witness a lot of things that medical students don’t get to see until their third year of medical school,” he said. For him, it confirmed what he already knew: he wants to be a surgeon and plans to attend FSU after graduation.

Junior Stephanie Alcime, who also wants to be a surgeon, recognizes that opportunities like this don’t happen often. “When you have a chance to go somewhere and do something, you have to do it,” she said.

Perez said the selection process is competitive; students must have a GPA of at least 3.5 and outstanding leadership, volunteerism and a passion for science and medicine. “We are so proud of our students that were selected and they should be proud as well.”

The Immokalee Foundation has a range of programs that focus on building pathways to success through college and vocational school, mentoring and tutoring, and opportunities for broadening experiences and life skills development. To learn more about TIF, volunteering as a mentor or for additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit


Sharon Arnold, Gravina, Smith, Matte & Arnold Marketing and Public Relations, 239-275-5758,


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