NAPLES — The United Way of Collier and the Keys awarded The Immokalee Foundation a $25,000 grant to support the Foundation’s innovative Career Pathways program. The funds will help continue to develop enhanced curriculum and provide experiential learning opportunities for Foundation students. The program features four Career Pathways: Business Management & Entrepreneurship, Education & Human Services, Engineering & Construction Management, and Healthcare, which allows students to explore career options beginning in sixth grade.
“When it comes to charitable giving, the United Way has established a benchmark of excellence rarely seen in this industry,” said Noemi Y. Perez, President and CEO of The Immokalee Foundation. “On behalf of our Career Pathways students and their parents, the hardworking men and women of Immokalee, we offer our gratitude and appreciation to the United Way of Collier and the Keys for their continued support of our programs.”
The United Way of Collier and the Keys is committed to improving lives and strengthening the community so all individuals have an opportunity to thrive and achieve their full potential, directly aligning with The Immokalee Foundation’s mission to provide educational and professional development opportunities that set the youth of Immokalee on a path toward future careers and financial independence.
“The Immokalee Foundation is taking educational opportunities to the next level. The Career Pathways Program really showcases how establishing strong community partnership can improve the overall educational opportunities,” said Spencer Smith, United Way of Collier and the Keys Vice President of Programs. “Students are getting firsthand experience that is going to give them a huge advantage in a competitive market. The United Way of Collier and the Keys is proud to partner with Noemi and her team.”
The Immokalee Foundation’s Career Pathways program launched nearly three years ago and builds on the success of the Foundation’s after-school and summer college-preparatory and certification programs. Through extensive collaboration with local middle and high schools, industry professionals, and higher education institutions, The Immokalee Foundation developed the Career Pathways program—a professional development and career model that prepares students for professional careers in high-demand jobs in Southwest Florida. The grant will help support the costs associated with the robust program.
As part of the curriculum, Career Pathways provides students ranging from middle school to high school access to after-school and summer programs, field trips and career panels, apprenticeships and internships, mentoring, financial literacy training, classes for earning industry certifications and credentials, and dual enrollment programs at local colleges and universities.
The program is helping students find and pursue their passions and has seen marked success; 100% of Immokalee Foundation students graduate from high school, 100% have a postsecondary plan for a professional career, and 92% go on to graduate with an advanced postsecondary certificate or degree.
For more information on The Immokalee Foundation’s transformational work, visit: immokaleefoundation.org.