In Post Secondary & Career Success

It’s no secret that the cost of attending a four-year college or university is rising rapidly. In fact, since 1980, college tuition and fees are up over 1,200%.

While many families scramble to absorb the costs to keep the dream of a postsecondary alive, the effect is felt on a deeper level for minorities and economically disadvantaged families who have historically faced significant barriers to access to education.

Even when they get access to postsecondary education, many must work in school to meet other financial needs. This unfortunate scenario leads to less time to focus on their studies and hurts their potential for academic growth.

The Immokalee Foundation’s graduating high school students—all of whom have a postsecondary plan for a professional career—depend solely on financial assistance to pursue a postsecondary education, which they likely would not have access to otherwise.

Thanks to our dedicated education partners and the commitment and generosity of our supporters, financial relief is available.

Immokalee Foundation students—many of whom are the first in their family to go to college—receive financial support in one of two ways:

  1. Through the Foundation’s partnership with Take Stock in Children (TSIC), low-income, academically qualified students receive a Florida Prepaid Tuition scholarship with guaranteed tuition coverage for their postsecondary program of choice. Foundation students are assigned a Florida Prepaid Scholarship when they first enroll in our middle school program.
  2. Funding to help cover expenses such as textbooks, fees, or equipment required for courses of instruction.

This scholarship support has helped our postsecondary students achieve remarkable success with 93% earning an advanced postsecondary certification or degree. This is particularly noteworthy when compared to 2022 national statistics, which indicate a degree or certification attainment rate of only 35% for Black students and 33.5% for Hispanic students – the two primary ethnic groups that The Immokalee Foundation serves.

Mildred E., an Immokalee Foundation Healthcare Pathway student and soon-to-be high school graduate, will pursue her college education at Florida Gulf Coast University thanks to much-needed and well-deserved scholarship money. She will also be the first in her family to go to college.

Mildred also received financial support through the Take Stock in Children Suncoast Housing Scholarship. She is one of ten Take Stock seniors in Florida who received this one-year scholarship to cover dormitory housing.

“I feel extremely supported and incredible,” Mildred exclaimed. “Pursuing an education while being a low-income student can sometimes feel like a dream, so to have the support of scholarships through The Immokalee Foundation’s education partners makes me hopeful about what I can accomplish in the future. My confidence in my potential has grown because of The Immokalee Foundation, and I am extremely grateful for their ongoing assistance and encouragement.”

Attending college for Mildred means stepping closer to a career as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist. Like her peers at The Immokalee Foundation, she sees her profession not only as a means to financial independence and a fulfilling life but also as a way to give back to her community.

“It’s an amazing career choice. After I graduate college, not only do I want to work in Collier County, but I want to return to Immokalee to help other Immokalee Foundation Career Pathways students achieve their goals.”

Though most Foundation students continue their postsecondary education by pursuing a college degree, The Immokalee Foundation recognizes that it is not the only pathway to success after high school graduation.

Some students participate in the Heavy Equipment Service Technician Program at Immokalee Technical College (iTECH). This two-year program provides students with practical experience in servicing heavy-duty vehicles designed for executing earthwork operations and other large construction tasks in Southwest Florida.

Students also achieve career success through our Collier County Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Career Academy, which exposes our students to several educational and professional experiences within the criminal justice system, concentrating on emergency dispatching.

All Immokalee Foundation students receive the necessary scholarship support regardless of their chosen postsecondary path.

 “Every one of us is certainly talented and smart enough to succeed and make a name for ourselves—and for Immokalee,” says Mildred.

When you donate to The Immokalee Foundation scholarship program, not only are you providing critical financial support, but you’re also providing a vote of confidence in a student’s potential—and the future of an entire community.

Donate today at or call us at (239) 430-9122.

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