NAPLES – Gisselle Nava, a member of The Immokalee Foundation’s Take Stock in Children program, has been awarded a $40,000 scholarship from the Leaders for Life fellowship program. She is the first student from The Immokalee Foundation to earn the award.
The Leaders for Life fellowship program aims to eliminate the financial burdens typically associated with a university education for highly motivated TSIC scholars who have demonstrated strong leadership skills, moral character and academic success. More than 100 of the top students from Take Stock programs across Florida apply for the fellowship program each year, with only five high school seniors chosen as scholarship finalists in 2020.
Nava received her scholarship award at the Take Stock in Children Leadership Summit Luncheon recently held in Tallahassee. Students enjoyed a luncheon with the Asofsky family, whose foundation supports the scholarships, and were recognized for their leadership and academic achievements.
“I’d especially like to thank the Asofsky family for choosing me to become part of this wonderful life-changing program,” said Nava in her speech at the luncheon. “You have given me the opportunity to live my passion and to live out my dream of becoming a registered nurse … Thank you for providing wings of hope to students like me whose wings have been previously clipped due to financial burden.”
Nava has been part of The Immokalee Foundation’s scholarship program since seventh grade and has maintained straight As throughout high school. She will be the first member of her family to graduate from high school and attend college.
“Most of the students in Immokalee are first-generation students,” Nava said. “The Immokalee Foundation looks past that and sees promise in each student.”
She calls joining the scholarship program one of the best decisions she’s made in her life and can already sense the impact that being part of the Leaders for Life fellowship program will have. “Leaders for Life has given me hope, but most importantly a family,” Nava said.
“We are so excited for Gisselle to be The Immokalee Foundation’s first recipient of the Leaders for Life fellowship,” said Amber Barr, program services director at The Immokalee Foundation. “We are proud of her accomplishments, and we are confident that she will succeed in her chosen career pathway of health care.”
The Immokalee Foundation has been a Take Stock in Children of Florida program partner since 2001 and recently earned its seventh consecutive Take Stock in Children Gold Level of Excellence Award. The program has grown from 12 to 165 high school students, and Immokalee Foundation students in the program have a 100% high school graduation rate and 100% enrollment in a post-secondary pathway.
The Immokalee Foundation provides a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to professional careers through support, mentoring and tutoring, and life skills development leading to economic independence. To learn more about The Immokalee Foundation, becoming a mentor, its signature events, volunteering as a career panel speaker or host, making a donation, including the foundation in your estate plans, or for additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit https://immokaleefoundation.org.