In Press Center, Take Stock in Children

The Immokalee Foundation welcomed 34 students into the Take Stock in Children scholarship program, which provides deserving students from low-income families a chance to obtain a post-secondary education in exchange for following program standards. Since becoming a Take Stock partner in 2001, The Immokalee Foundation has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships.

In greeting the incoming students and their families during the ceremony at Immokalee Technical College, Take Stock selection committee chair and mentor Dee Zednik said, “This signifies a commitment to your growth as not only a scholar, but also as a member of the Immokalee community.”

In addition to pledging to maintain good grades and behavior, the new Take Stock students – who are in seventh to 11th grades – promised to volunteer in the community and be positive role models to other students, as well as to meet regularly with their mentors.

Following the students’ pledge, their parents and mentors also took Take Stock’s pledges of support.

Student speaker Mercedes Salinas, who is enrolled at Florida Gulf Coast University on a Take Stock in Children scholarship, told the inductees, “The Immokalee Foundation helped shape my life into what it is today. They showed me all the endless possibilities of what my life could be, so long as I worked hard in the classroom.”

Steve Pryor, chairman of The Immokalee Foundation board of directors, reminded students and parents that the goal of The Immokalee Foundation is to provide students with both the education and the job skills to achieve financial independence.

The incoming Immokalee Foundation Take Stock in Children students include: Angel R. Aguilar-Calmo, Jimenez Andres Francisco, Maria C. Baltazar-Borja, Litzy Banda-Solo, Galilea Carranza, Bradelune Casseus, Christian Centeno, Deyna D. Cruz-Antonio, Andres E. Cruz-Soriano, Gerardo Cruz-Venegas, Edgar U. Diaz, Crystal Flores, Juan D. Garcia-Bravo, Jovanny Garcia-Cruz, Ivan A. Gonzalez-Gonzalez, Diana Guadarrama, Alexis C. Hernandez, Emily Hernandez, Wendy Hernandez-Isidro, Jorge Herrera-Carrillo, Oscar R. Lorenzo, Jesus M. Mancilla, Giovanni Matias, Jacqueline Ortiz, Jason R. Ramirez, Alejandra D.M. Ramirez-Garcia, Sattekya Ria, Jose A. Rosario-Juarez, Anjali C. Sales-Garcia, Marie M. Sanon, Oswaldo M. Santana-Lauriano, Juan D.D. Vasquez-Lopez, Karen J. Vasquez-Garcia and Elmerl Velazquez-Maldonado.

Recently, The Immokalee Foundation earned its sixth consecutive Gold Level of Excellence Award from Take Stock, the highest honor given by the statewide nonprofit.

The Immokalee Foundation provides a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to professional careers through support, mentoring and tutoring, and life skills development leading to economic independence. To learn more about The Immokalee Foundation, its signature events, becoming a mentor, volunteering as a career panel speaker or host, making a donation, including the foundation in your estate plans, or for additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit

Marie Sanon

Steve Pryor, Jesus M. Mancilla, Noemi Y. Perez

Dee Zednik

Mercedes Salinas

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