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For the eighth consecutive year, The Immokalee Foundation has earned the statewide Gold Level of Excellence Award from Take Stock in Children, the acclaimed scholarship and mentoring program that serves to increase high school graduation and college enrollment rates.

Established in 1995, Take Stock operates in every county in Florida and offers students the opportunity to earn a two- or four-year college scholarship. Collier County students in Immokalee participate in Take Stock through The Immokalee Foundation, a local affiliate. Beginning in middle school and continuing through high school, students receive academic support and mentoring through the foundation to help them achieve their Take Stock scholarships.

Gold Level of Excellence is awarded to Take Stock’s local affiliates that meet high marks on its Balanced Scorecard indicators. These include mentor pairing, college-readiness workshops and coaching, student recruitment, timely and accurate reporting of data, and compliance with all program requirements.

The Immokalee Foundation received a perfect 100 points, earning praise for meeting Take Stock in Children’s standards for new students entering the program and for its mentoring and college-readiness efforts.

Being a part of Take Stock through The Immokalee Foundation had a big impact on Giovanni Matias and his postsecondary plans. Matias placed fifth in the Class of 2020 at Immokalee High School and will attend Northeastern University to study computer science and computer engineering in the fall.

“Being accepted into Take Stock introduced me to my mentor and contributed to my college tuition,” Matias said. “My mentor was the most helpful person – especially during the college application process – and an excellent person to provide real-world advice.”

“Recognition like this helps reinforce the life-changing work we do at The Immokalee Foundation to help our students build pathways to success,” said Noemi Y. Perez, president and CEO of The Immokalee Foundation. “We’re grateful to Take Stock in Children for this recognition, and to our dedicated staff, mentors, and community and corporate partners who make it possible to achieve excellence and prepare our students for professional careers and financial independence.”

Since 2001, The Immokalee Foundation has awarded more than $1 million in Take Stock scholarships. The 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, 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

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