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NAPLES, Fla. (Aug. 4, 2021) – For the ninth consecutive year, The Immokalee Foundation has earned the prestigious Gold Level of Excellence Award from Take Stock in Children, the acclaimed statewide scholarship and mentoring program that serves to increase high school graduation and college enrollment rates amongst underserved, low-income students.

Established in 1995, Take Stock operates across Florida to offer students the opportunity to earn a two- or four-year college scholarship. As the local affiliate, The Immokalee Foundation provides students with academic support and mentoring from middle school through high school to help them achieve Take Stock scholarships.

Araceli H.

Araceli H. is a recent The Immokalee Foundation graduate who participated in the Take Stock in Children program.

Participating in Take Stock had a tremendous impact on The Immokalee Foundation student Galilea Pedraza and her postsecondary plans. Now a nursing student at Florida Gulf Coast University, Pedraza is well on her way to fulfilling her dream with the support of her mentor.

“The Immokalee Foundation has given me so many opportunities, like being accepted into Take Stock in Children,” said Pedraza. “This program has paired me with a mentor who has supported me and my career goals. Because of that, I am working toward my goal of someday becoming a nurse in the neonatal or pediatrics unit of a hospital.”

The Immokalee Foundation 2021 graduates Jaelyn S. (left) and Cenaida H. (right).

Gold Level of Excellence is awarded to local affiliates that meet top 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.

Achieving a perfect score of 100 points, The Immokalee Foundation earned accolades for meeting Take Stock in Children’s high standards for new students entering the program and its mentoring services.

“Recognition like this reinforces the life-changing work we do at The Immokalee Foundation,” said Noemi Y. Perez, president and CEO of The Immokalee Foundation. “We’re grateful to Take Stock in Children for this acknowledgment, 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.”

For more than 30 years, The Immokalee Foundation has provided 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 estate plans, or additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit

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