Immokalee High School IT Academy Director Steven Becker will once again go the extra mile – actually, quite a few of them – in support of The Immokalee Foundation in the annual Florida Keys Community College Swim Around Key West.
On June 10, Becker will start swimming at about 8:30 a.m. off Higgs Beach at Key West’s White Street Pier and swim in open, warm water 12.5 miles around the island to raise money in support of scholarships for Immokalee students. The swim can take anywhere from last year’s winning time of just under four hours to eight hours or more. To prepare, Becker swims two miles in a pool on weekdays and four to six miles is the Gulf on weekends. This will be his fifth Swim Around Key West.
Becker has set especially impressive goals this year. He has completed the race four times; his most recent attempt was in 2015, when the event was canceled due to a tropical storm moving through the Keys. “So this one counts for two swims,” Becker said. In light of that, he has doubled his fundraising goal to $5,000 – which, coupled with matching gifts from loyal supporters, will mean $10,000 for the foundation’s Take Stock in Children scholarships.
As a personal goal, Becker is looking to shave six minutes or more off his time in order to complete the race in five hours. “Each time it gets harder as I get older,” said Becker, who will be 55 in June.
Becker has been active in several Immokalee Foundation programs, including Career Development, which helps students refine academic skills, guides them through a process of career goal-setting and increases their knowledge of career opportunities. The program also infuses innovative ideas to attract students who seek alternative education choices. Becker experienced a career change himself: After spending 25 years in corporate America, he began teaching at Immokalee High School in 2009. He also has been a mentor for The Immokalee Foundation’s Take Stock in Children scholarship program. This summer, he will teach a two-week computer coding class to high school students as part of the foundation’s program.
To support Becker’s Key West swim to benefit The Immokalee Foundation, visit www.immokaleefoundation.org and click Donate Today. To follow Steven Becker’s progress, follow him on Twitter at #5HrSwim.
The Immokalee Foundation provides a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to success through college and post-secondary preparation and support, mentoring and tutoring, opportunities for broadening experiences, and life skills development leading to economic independence. To learn more about The Immokalee Foundation, volunteering as a career panel speaker or host, becoming a mentor, making a donation, including the foundation in your estate plans, or for additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit www.immokaleefoundation.org.