Immokalee Foundation students explore university life

Posted 5/18/22

Twenty-four Immokalee Foundation students spent their spring break a little differently than most.

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Immokalee Foundation students explore university life

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IMMOKALEE — Twenty-four Immokalee Foundation students spent their spring break a little differently than most. The Foundation’s junior class spent their week off from school traveling throughout the state to explore different colleges and universities.

As they wrap up their junior year, the students are now beginning to think about which colleges they’d like to attend and which majors will help them achieve their career goals. The college tour included popular colleges and universities throughout the state including The University of Florida in Gainesville, Santa Fe College in Gainesville, University of South Florida in Tampa, University of Central Florida in Orlando and Valencia College in Orlando.

Immokalee Foundation juniors pose for a photo at Santa Fe College's Teaching Zoo.
Immokalee Foundation juniors pose for a photo at Santa Fe College's Teaching Zoo.
Immokalee Foundation juniors and postsecondary students pose in front of a mural at University of Central Florida.
Immokalee Foundation juniors and postsecondary students pose in front of a mural at University of Central Florida.
Ted B., Liliana S., Fabian E., and Jenesis S. Pose with a mural of Rosie the Riveter during their tour of Santa Fe College.
Ted B., Liliana S., Fabian E., and Jenesis S. Pose with a mural of Rosie the Riveter during their tour of Santa Fe College.
Immokalee Foundation juniors pose for a photo at University of Florida's Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Immokalee Foundation juniors pose for a photo at University of Florida's Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

The annual event for qualifying high school juniors allows students to learn about each school’s academic offerings and specialties, scholarships, clubs and organizations, best spots for dining and socializing and where to go for help, including research, tutoring and writing centers.

Many of these young people will be the first member of their family to have the opportunity to pursue a postsecondary education.

At each location, the high school juniors were able to connect with postsecondary students and admissions officers, helping gain a better understanding of the personality and atmosphere of each school. At University of South Florida and University of Central Florida, current students and Immokalee Foundation postsecondary students met up with the current juniors to share their experiences transitioning to college life on campus.

Before the trip, students received information about each school, including popular majors, median grade point averages, campus size and population, and other facts, but visiting each school in-person helped bring that information to life.

Crystal C., Karen V., Vanessa H., Julianna R., and Alexis V. eat lunch at a University of South Florida dining hall.
Crystal C., Karen V., Vanessa H., Julianna R., and Alexis V. eat lunch at a University of South Florida dining hall.
Fabian E. and Fatima R. pose at University of South Florida.
Fabian E. and Fatima R. pose at University of South Florida.
Lilianna S. and Aileen N. exploring the dorms at University of Central Florida.
Lilianna S. and Aileen N. exploring the dorms at University of Central Florida.
Marianna B., and Jenesis S. donning Santa Fe College hats and bags after the tour.
Marianna B., and Jenesis S. donning Santa Fe College hats and bags after the tour.

“During this incredible tour, our high school juniors were able to experience first-hand the college campus life and atmosphere,” said Marisol Sanders, high school services manager at The Immokalee Foundation. “This experience introduced them to postsecondary options enabling them to choose the best fit their personality and academic goals. Stepping foot on a campus that feels right to them can help solidify which school they would want to continue to pursue as they enter their senior year.”

“The tour was an amazing experience with all the speakers and presentations. We even had our very own special tours from students who were previously with the Foundation and are now in college,” said Mauricio P., current high school junior at The Immokalee Foundation. “I really learned what I needed to do to prepare for my journey, what the campuses look like, and what I need to do to accomplish my goals in college.”

The tour helps the students begin to imagine the transition to greater independence—and the possibility of moving away from their Immokalee homes in pursuit of their educational goals. The educational, career readiness and professional development programs created by The Immokalee Foundation have found great success—100% of their students graduate from high school and 92% of students graduate with a college or advanced postsecondary degree.

For more information on The Immokalee Foundation’s transformational work, visit: immokaleefoundation.org

Immokalee Foundation, schools, students, spring break

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