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Twenty-five high school juniors who participate in The Immokalee Foundation programs recently spent three days touring Florida college campuses to prepare for the next phase of their lives.

During spring break from classes at Immokalee High School, the students kept their minds on education as they were introduced to the University of Central Florida, University of South Florida, University of North Florida, Florida State University and the University of Florida.

An annual event for qualifying high school juniors, the tour allowed students to learn about the schools’ academic offerings and specialties, scholarships offered, where to go for help – such as tutoring contacts, writing centers and research – what clubs and organizations are available, the best spots to eat and socialize, and where the fitness facilities are located.

At several schools, post-secondary students from The Immokalee Foundation served as tour guides, advising the high school students about what they should be doing to get into the college and what it’s like to be a student at that school. It was an empowering experience for the younger students to see their older counterparts leading the way.

“Visiting all those campuses was an experience like no other,” said Yazmin Ruiz. “They were all incredible, just as the tour guides were. It gave us future college applicants the college experience and made us aware of the opportunities and requirements each school had to offer.”

Touring five campuses also helped students realize that their futures include many possibilities.

“The tour gave me insight on what college is like and the atmosphere,” said Anissa Avalos. “They were all unique in different ways.”

“You have to see which school has the best opportunities and majors for the career you want to pursue,” said Yuridia Zaragoza. “Each college was different because of its diversity. Overall it was a great experience, and I am very grateful to have been able to do this because it’s not every day you are given a chance to visit these great colleges.”

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


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