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Caps, gowns, diplomas, sashes, commencement speeches, and the sweet sound of hearing your name announced as you proudly walk across the stage. These classical elements of a graduation ceremony help make this monumental occasion memorable.

However, this event takes on an extra special meaning for Immokalee Foundation students. It serves as a shared opportunity to recognize and celebrate perseverance and overcoming adversity among proud family and friends. And that’s precisely what happened for the 86 Immokalee Foundation high school and postsecondary students honored recently during The Immokalee Foundation’s Senior Celebration at Florida Gulf Coast University.

For some of the students we support, graduation means being the first in their family to complete high school or college. For others, this ceremony marks the entrance into the elite group of Immokalee Foundation alumni—15,000 professionals strong.

But there’s more to celebrate. One hundred percent of our students graduate high school compared to 88% statewide.

Ninety-three percent earn a postsecondary degree or certificate compared to the statewide statistics of 41% for Hispanic students and 31% for Black students—two groups primarily served by The Immokalee Foundation.

These powerful metrics reflect the significant effort made in preparing our students for tomorrow’s workforce, especially considering labor economists predict that more than 60% of jobs will require a degree or credential beyond high school by 2030. Today, only 50% of working-age (ages 25-64) Floridians hold such a credential, leaving a considerable gap in workforce talent.

While the majority of our high school graduates will attend a college or university, some will pursue a military career, and others will follow a professional path at Immokalee Technical College. All in preparation for becoming productive citizens and fulfilling the workforce needs of a rapidly growing community.

It is no secret that graduation is a collective effort. Because of the dedication and unwavering support from our Board and Emeritus, donors, volunteers, community partners, staff, and hardworking family members, our students are a step closer to realizing their dream of a successful career and financial independence.

It is our honor to introduce some of our shining graduates whose lives you have changed and who are ready to continue their education or make their mark in the professional workplace:

Postsecondary Graduates

Finance B.
Florida Atlantic University
Bachelor of Arts in Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship

Finance is currently an AmeriCorps member serving with The Healthcare Network in the community outreach department. In the upcoming year, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in international development. 




Ruth B.
Vanderbilt University
Bachelor of Science in Human & Organizational Development Medicine, Health, and Society

Ruth is slated to become a Behavior Technician with ABS Kids in Nashville, TN. She will work with children, providing applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for autism spectrum disorder.




William P.
University of Central Florida
Bachelor of Science in Accounting

William has accepted a job offer as a Tax Intern with top five accounting firm, Grant Thornton in Orlando, FL.





Alex S.
Florida State University
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Alex is preparing to embark on his post-graduation journey at Apex Technology in Jacksonville, FL, as a staff engineer in Mechanical Engineering.



High School Graduates

Ayla C.
Ayla plans to join the U.S. Marine Corps with a long-term goal that includes a college education, followed by a career in Criminal Justice as a crime scene investigator.






Jose G.
Jose plans to attend the University of South Florida to pursue a career in Chemical Engineering.







Mildred H.

Mildred will pursue a degree of Clinical Laboratory Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University and plans to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Florida and become board certified as a Licensed Medical Laboratory Scientist.






Elmerl V.

Elmerl will study computer science at the University of South Florida with the goal of starting his own IT company.

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