In Career Development, Press Center

The Immokalee Foundation recently received a $25,000 grant from the Gannett Foundation’s national “A Community Thrives” program.

Gannett’s fundraising challenge is providing grants to community groups that are driving positive change – enabling nonprofits to promote their ideas on a national level to court additional support through donations. The Immokalee Foundation is one of 16 nonprofits being honored with this funding during the campaign that ended in mid-April.

The $25,000 grant will benefit The Immokalee Foundation’s newest program, the groundbreaking Career Pathways Initiative, “Professional Careers in the New Economy.”

This new model recognizes that many well-paying professional jobs are available to students who earn industry-recognized certifications and credentials, in addition to professions that require a college or university degree. Through extensive collaboration with local middle and high schools, industry professionals, and higher education institutions, this new Career Pathways Initiative creates opportunities for middle, high school and post-secondary students to identify their career paths through networking, field trips, career panels, and after-school and summer career programming.

Woodelene Pierre

Woodelene Pierre, a rising ninth-grader at Immokalee High School involved in The Immokalee Foundation since seventh grade, selected the Health Care Pathway as her program focus. Through The Immokalee Foundation’s Middle School Academy, Pierre spent last year learning and researching salaries, colleges and universities, and multiple aspects of health care.

Attending a recent Health Care Summer Program was a part of Pierre’s eighth grade Career Action Plan, guiding her path to become a neonatal nurse or pediatrician.

The summer program included hands on experiences, such as taking vital signs and blood typing.

Immokalee Technical College provided the facilities and simulation lab for the Health Care Summer Program and the Engineering and Construction Summer Program.

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

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