IMMOKALEE — Thirty-nine students from The Immokalee Foundation are celebrating their graduation from Immokalee High School. Many of the graduates will become the first in their family to attend college.
At Immokalee High School, Foundation students represent 12% of the 2022 graduating class, including 18 who graduated in the top 20% and six who graduated in the top 10. The vast majority of the Foundation’s students will pursue a postsecondary education at colleges and universities such as University of Florida, Florida State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida International University, Florida A&M University and Ave Maria University. Still more plan to join the military or attend technical school.
“I can’t express enough how proud we are of these students and what they have achieved,” said Noemi Y. Perez, President and CEO of The Immokalee Foundation. “Their success shows the transformative impact our educational support can have on students who get involved with our programs.”
The Class of 2022 represents a continuation of The Immokalee Foundation’s long history of academic success. One hundred percent of the Foundation’s students have graduated from high school, 100 percent have a postsecondary plan to pursue a professional career, and 92 percent graduate with a postsecondary certificate or degree, with the majority of them getting a four-year bachelor’s degree.
Stephanie Robert, who graduated in the top 5% of her class will attend University of Florida starting in the summer to study nursing. She plans on becoming a neonatal nurse and hopes to work in a hospital treating newborns. Stephanie said the guidance she received from the Foundation on finding her passion and helping make college accessible was invaluable and she now feels prepared to start the next chapter.
“The Immokalee Foundation has changed my life in ways that I could have never imagined possible,” said Stephanie. “The Foundation has taught me so much about myself and helped me to become the woman I am today. My proudest moment was when I received my acceptance from the University of Florida, a school that I had thought was far beyond my grasp. The Foundation helped teach me that hard work and determination pay off.”
Kenniya Miller has been a part of The Immokalee Foundation family since she was in kindergarten. She joined as part of the Immokalee Reader’s elementary school program, eventually joining the middle school and high school programs as well, and is now a 2022 graduate of Immokalee High School.
Kenniya’s diligent work ethic and ambition have resulted in an outstanding achievement — Kenniya earned her associate of arts (AA) degree from Florida SouthWestern State College ahead of her high school diploma. She calls it her “proudest moment from high school” alongside getting into her dream school, Florida A&M University.
“The Immokalee Foundation enabled me to meet and work with people that I’ve been able to build powerful connections with,” said Kenniya. “I hope to come back and help people the same way others have helped me.”
Kenniya will be attending the FAMU/FSU College of Engineering at Florida A&M University as a rising Biomedical Engineering/Pre-Medicine scholar in the fall, and hopes to eventually align herself with Southwest Florida-based Arthrex.
“This extraordinary group of students will no doubt go out and change the world. We are excited to see all that they do and accomplish, said Perez. “There’s no limit to what these young people are capable of achieving. And our highly supportive Foundation team and community volunteers will be there alongside them as they pursue their dreams.”
For more information on The Immokalee Foundation’s transformational work and to stay connected with our student’s stories, visit: immokaleefoundation.org.
About The Immokalee Foundation
For more than 30 years, The Immokalee Foundation has been preparing the next generation of leaders through a 100% focus on education, career readiness, and professional development for students in Immokalee--from kindergarten to postsecondary education. The Immokalee Foundation offers new pathways to success and financial independence through robust programming that prepares students for well-paying, in-demand professional careers in Business Management & Entrepreneurship, Education & Human Services, Engineering & Construction Management and Healthcare. For additional information call 239-430-9122 or visit immokaleefoundation.org.