The Immokalee Foundation, which recently earned Take Stock in Children’s Gold Level of Excellence Award, is spotlighting National Mentoring Month in January to recruit additional adult mentors to help guide and advise students in the foundation’s Take Stock in Children scholarship program.
Students newly inducted into Take Stock in Children – mostly seventh and eighth graders – are partnered with a volunteer mentor who provides support, guidance, accountability and friendship. The students officially enter The Immokalee Foundation program during an induction ceremony at Ave Maria University in the spring. During the event, the students pledge to maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA, exhibit good behavior, remain crime- and drug-free, and meet with their mentors once a week until they graduate from high school. In exchange, they each are awarded full-tuition scholarships to four-year state colleges, two-year community colleges, or vocational/technical schools, depending on their career paths.
A significant part of the Take Stock in Children students’ success is the mentoring component; through The Immokalee Foundation, more than 140 mentors share their time, talent and experience to encourage Immokalee students to excel in their studies – and in life.
As a result of the involvement of caring mentors, 100 percent of The Immokalee Foundation’s students in the Take Stock in Children program graduate from high school with an average 3.38 GPA.
“The job of the mentor is to provide advice, support and friendship to a young student,” said John Costigan, a foundation board member and mentor. His wife, Emily, also is a mentor. “We enjoy mentoring because it puts a face on the scholarship program and gives us a very personal connection to the important work of The Immokalee Foundation. We feel students benefit from a perspective they might not otherwise have, and we benefit from making a contribution to a very deserving student’s success.”
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.