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The Immokalee Foundation received a $30,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County to support its career-oriented initiative, Career Pathways: Empowering Students to Succeed.

The Community Foundation of Collier County provides grant funding to nonprofits for programs that achieve measurable results in addressing community needs. The Immokalee Foundation has done just that, demonstrating a major impact on the educational and career trajectories of its participating students.

Almost 40% of eighth graders in Immokalee are at risk of dropping out before high school graduation, and 60% of Immokalee high school students do not have post-secondary plans. By contrast, The Immokalee Foundation’s participating students achieve a 100% high school graduation rate, 100% continue on to post-secondary programs, and 91% complete their professional certification programs or college educations.

Career Pathways begins in middle school. Students participate in intensive six-week rotations to learn more about the in-demand careers in Southwest Florida in the following pathways: Engineering & Construction Management, Education & Human Services, Health Care, and Business Management & Entrepreneurship. Middle school students – along with their parents – learn the types of professions available in each pathway, average salaries, and whether the career requires professional certifications and credentials or a two- or four-year college degree.

Once students decide their career path, the program team helps them put a plan in place for their high school years to ensure they obtain the needed education, training, internships and industry-recognized certifications to obtain industry-specific certificates, credentials and jobs.

“Through career exploration and experience, along with mentorship, our Career Pathways program sets Immokalee’s students on a course to professional success,” said Noemi Y. Perez, president and CEO of The Immokalee Foundation. “Our students are eager to achieve a bright future through professional careers, and the Community Foundation of Collier County’s generous support will help make that possible.”

The Community Foundation of Collier County is a tax-exempt, public, charitable foundation, established in 1985 to increase private philanthropy in Collier County. The foundation works with donors and nonprofits to ignite action and mobilize resources to address community needs in Collier County. 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

The Immokalee Foundation’s Career Pathways students explored careers during a tour with PulteGroup

The Immokalee Foundation’s Career Pathways program helps students learn about in-demand professional careers

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