A community partner since 2016, BMO Wealth Management’s contributions have helped The Immokalee Foundation guide students beyond high school graduation with support for postsecondary programs – including scholarship opportunities for advanced certifications and college degrees that lead to well-paying, in-demand careers in high-growth Southwest Florida employment sectors.
“Developing the leaders of tomorrow is critical to the long-term success of our community,” said Amy Hale, managing director, BMO Wealth Management. “We are proud to support the work The Immokalee Foundation does to inspire and prepare young people as they embark on their postsecondary path.”
“BMO Wealth Management’s generous support and continued investment in our students’ success makes all the difference as they look ahead to life after high school graduation and beyond,” said Melissa Phillips, The Immokalee Foundation’s vice president of philanthropy. “Community partnerships play a crucial role in helping us provide career-based programming and the tools students need to achieve their professional goals.”
The Immokalee Foundation’s partnership with Florida’s Take Stock in Children program helps break the cycle of poverty for at-risk, low-income, academically qualified students by providing one-on-one support through volunteer mentors, professional college success services, and the opportunity to earn a college scholarship. The Immokalee Foundation has earned Take Stock in Children’s Gold Level of Excellence for its success in student recruitment, mentor pairing, advocacy and planning, student growth and improved GPAs.
The Immokalee Foundation’s Take Stock in Children Program Manager Yeimi Espinoza attributes her career success to the assistance she received from scholarship support through The Immokalee Foundation.
“As a senior in high school, The Immokalee Foundation provided the resources I needed to prepare for my college experience, specifically with a Florida Prepaid tuition scholarship through the Take Stock in Children program for my education at Florida Gulf Coast University,” said Espinoza.
Espinoza gave back to The Immokalee Foundation, serving as an intern while she was an FGCU student. After earning a bachelor’s degree in social work in 2014, she was offered a full-time position with the foundation.
“My degree allowed me to start my career with the organization to which I owe my success. Seven years later, I have grown as a professional in my career, and I have enjoyed every minute of making a difference in the students we serve,” said Espinoza.
BMO Wealth Management’s scholarship donation helps 221 students from The Immokalee Foundation who are currently continuing career preparation with postsecondary studies, including Arline Martinez, a biochemistry major at Florida SouthWestern State College; Jonathan Martinez, studying studio art at Florida State University; and nursing students Domonique Rios at Tallahassee Community College and Cindy Velazquez at Florida SouthWestern State College.
For more than 30 years, The Immokalee Foundation has provided 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, becoming a mentor, its signature events, 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 https://immokaleefoundation.org.