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Staff, students and donors of The Immokalee Foundation, along with team members from BCB Homes, gathered in mid-December at the site of the inaugural home in the foundation’s Career Pathways Learning Lab subdivision to inscribe messages of goodwill on the roof trusses before they were raised.

Gregg D. Sjoquist, chairman of the Wasie Foundation, which generously underwrote the cost of the neighborhood’s first home, provided a message that was inscribed for the home’s future owners: “Only in America, the land of the free and home of the brave, are all things possible.”

Sjoquist’s and other inspirational and heartfelt messages will forever be part of the inaugural home in the foundation’s Career Pathways Learning Lab, an 18-home subdivision in Immokalee that serves as a hands-on professional career experience for high school students participating in the foundation’s Career Pathways program.

Students in two of the foundation’s Career Pathways – Construction Management & Engineering and Business Management & Entrepreneurship – are working alongside BCB Homes professionals and other homebuilding contractors to learn technical and professional skills that are in high demand throughout Southwest Florida. This experience, coupled with their educational curriculum, is helping Career Pathways students achieve employability upon high school graduation and pursue postsecondary education to attain their chosen professional careers.

Melissa C. Phillips, vice president of philanthropy at The Immokalee Foundation, was on-site for the signing of the trusses.

“Every day that we can introduce our students to professional careers and provide them with hands-on experience, we are closer to seeing them succeed and achieve financial independence,” Phillips said. Her truss message stated, “Enjoy all of the moments that turn into memories.”

Phillips added that several Learning Lab students working on the project also participated in leaving meaningful messages on the home’s trusses.

Slated for completion in the summer of 2021, the three-bedroom, two-bath, single-family home will have 1,680 square feet of air-conditioned living area plus a two-car garage and a screened lanai. The home will be sold at market price to further support The Immokalee Foundation’s Career Pathways program.

Career Pathways provides the youth of Immokalee with robust after-school and summer programming that prepares them for well-paying, in-demand professional careers. Career Pathways empowers students to pursue careers in four employment sectors: Engineering & Construction Management, Education & Human Services, Health Care, and Business Management & Entrepreneurship.

The Wasie Foundation focuses on supplying financial support for people who are motivated to succeed in life. Formed in 1966 by transportation industry pioneer Stanley Wasie and his wife, Marie, The Wasie Foundation has distributed millions of dollars in grants to publicly supported charities focused on healthcare and education, leaving a lasting legacy for the family’s philanthropic efforts. Recognized as an “Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation” by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, The Wasie Foundation solely funds section 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organizations. For more information, visit

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, 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

Don and Patricia Altorfer, Melissa Phillips, Noemi Y. Perez, Daniela Flores, Jesus Figueroa, Diego Garcia and Josue Lopez-Delacruz included inspirational messages on the trusses.

The Immokalee Foundation’s Career Pathways Learning Lab project includes 18 single-family homes.

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