In Uncategorized

Knowing that any significant undertaking is rarely accomplished alone, The Immokalee Foundation is proud to be at the forefront of creating successful partnerships in the community.

We do this with one goal in mind— to ensure that no child in Immokalee is left without equal opportunity to succeed and reach financial independence.

These partnerships create an environment where everyone wins, especially as we all work together to help meet the workforce needs in a growing Southwest Florida community.

Just how are we C-ing the way to student success, you ask?

Is it by being competitive? Maybe in the business world, but it doesn’t quite fit for a non-profit whose mission is to elevate the youth of an entire community. Collaborative? Much closer, but maybe a little too corporate sounding. By cooperating? Bingo!

Originating from the Latin word “cooperari” which means to work with/together, cooperating perfectly describes the Foundation’s approach to providing educational and career development programs for Immokalee’s youth that forever change their lives.

Here are six ways we foster a cooperative community culture to ensure young people in Immokalee have a pathway to success.

Collier County Public Schools (CCPS)

Simply put, we would not be who we are today without the decades of support we have received from Collier County Public Schools (CCPS). To begin, CCPS provides facilities for some of our programs and events, such as Immokalee Readers and our Middle School program. Plus, current and retired CCPS teachers often fill vital leadership roles in Immokalee Foundation programming.

CCPS administrators continue to provide extraordinary advice on student activities, and we work directly with CCPS guidance counselors to ensure our students are academically on track. In fact, many of our students learned about The Immokalee Foundation from a trusted advisor at CCPS.

CCPS’ Immokalee Technical College, or iTECH, supports many aspects of our Engineering & Construction Management Pathway.

Immokalee Readers Program

Held on-site at all five CCPS elementary schools and one charter school in Immokalee, our Immokalee Readers program addresses the critical need for child literacy support. Since many Immokalee students use languages other than English at home, supplementary training is essential.

This essential program lays the foundation for their educational progress throughout their childhood and ultimately their pathway to a successful career.

Each year, over 800 participating students from all five of Immokalee’s public elementary schools engage in after-school enrichment activities to help build their reading and language skills.

As an NCEF Blueprint Partner, The Immokalee Foundation proudly hosts students from Guadalupe Center, Redlands Christian Migrant Association, and Collier County Public Schools as part of this life-changing literacy program.

An impressive ninety-seven percent of these motivated children made academic gains last year.

Career Pathways Learning Lab

The Immokalee Foundation created an innovative solution to support students interested in a career in the construction industry while tackling the surging demand for construction professionals in Southwest Florida. The Career Pathways Learning Lab home construction project is an 18-home subdivision in Immokalee that offers hands-on education training to Foundation students enrolled in the Foundation’s Engineering & Construction Management Pathway.

Thanks to the support and cooperation with Collier Enterprises, Immokalee Technical College (iTECH), and BCB Homes, Foundation and iTECH students get to work and train alongside experienced industry professionals and learn the ins and outs of the construction industry.

Not only do these students receive industry certifications and valuable hands-on experience, but The Learning Lab also provides high-quality, single-family homes for those who want to live and work in Immokalee.

The Learning Lab is creating the next generation of construction professionals to help build the growing infrastructure of Southwest Florida.

Public Safety Career Academy

Since 2021, The Immokalee Foundation has partnered with the Collier County Sherriff’s Office (CCSO) to expose students to various educational and professional experiences within the criminal justice system, specifically on dispatching.

This six-week program represents an innovative step in addressing the critical shortage of 911 call takers and dispatchers in Southwest Florida.

Students who finish the CCSO academy have the 232 hours of training required to take the exam to become state-certified as a public safety telecommunicator in Florida. They can immediately begin the application and hiring process at CCSO to be ready to start on-the-job training as a full-time dispatcher.

Since we began the Public Safety Career Academy with CCSO, 19 Immokalee Foundation students have completed the program.

Educational Summer Camps

Over the last six years, we have partnered with FGCU to provide unique educational summer camps for our students. These include STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) camp for middle schoolers, and Healthcare, Education and Human Services, Engineering and Construction, and Business Management & Entrepreneurship camps that complement our year-round Career Pathways curriculum.

In partnership with iTECH, Engineering & Construction Management camp students focused on various construction and building projects and received basic hand and power tools training.

These camps are instrumental in preventing summer learning loss that typically affects low-income households and sets our students up for success in the upcoming academic year.

Internships, Career Panels, and Educational Field Trips

Each year, The Immokalee Foundation partners with numerous businesses and organizations throughout the Southwest Florida community to host educational field trips, career panels, and paid internships for students that expose them to the inner workings of their chosen Career Pathway.

Arthrex, Hertz, Healthcare Network, Microsoft, Physicians Regional Healthcare System, and Suffolk Engineering are just a handful of the organizations that support our mission through their hands-on participation.

These career learning opportunities are crucial to gaining hands-on experience, building confidence, and supplying the future workforce of Southwest Florida.

And finally, we are so thankful for the cooperation and partnerships with all our volunteers, mentors, educators, businesses, and supporters throughout Southwest Florida. This cooperative culture demonstrates the power of what can be accomplished when we all work together.

As Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”

Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search