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.