Daniel Hernandez, The Immokalee Foundation, Post-Secondary and Career Success Program Specialist, Olga Placeres, Preferred Travel of Naples CFO and Agency Manager, Wilma Boyd, Founder and President of Preferred Travel of Naples, Paulina Magana, The Immokalee Foundation, Post-Secondary and Career Success Program Specialist and Mark Trejo, The Immokalee Foundation, Post-Secondary and Career Success student. (Submitted photo)
NAPLES – The Immokalee Foundation has launched a new Travel Scholarship Fund to support students who attend colleges far away from their hometown. The new fund is being supported by proceeds from The Dazzling World of Travel event presented by Preferred Travel of Naples and 50 of their luxury travel partners this coming February. While most Immokalee Foundation students receive scholarships to colleges in Florida, many receive full scholarships to out-of-state schools. The new travel scholarship fund is a source to help these students with expenses related to enrolling in a faraway school, such as travel home for Christmas or warm winter clothing for the cold northern winters they experience for the first time. The need for the fund came from real-life experiences of the foundation’s students, said Noemi Perez, executive director. Alex Guzman, an Immokalee Foundation student, received a scholarship to St. John’s University in Minnesota. When the weather turned cold, he was unprepared and lacked the funds to purchase warmer clothing. He went to classes wrapped in the comforter from his dorm bed. Other students became homesick; most had never been away from their families for extended periods; and the cost of travel made coming home for holiday and summer breaks prohibitive for many students. Preferred Travel of Naples’ owner Wilma Boyd has pledged 100 percent of the proceeds from the Dazzling World of Travel event to The Immokalee Foundation Travel Fund. The annual travel showcase is scheduled for February 18 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Club Pelican Bay, at 707 Gulf Park Drive in Naples. Event guests will meet with representatives to learn about the most exciting and desirable travel destinations and experiences in the world, including active adventures, celebration travel, luxury jet transportation, family and land travel, private jet, river cruising and more. The event is by invitation only; for more details call 239-261-1177 or visit www.preferrednaples.com. 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, volunteering as a career panel speaker or host, becoming a mentor, making a donation, including the foundation in your estate plans, or for additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit https://immokaleefoundation.org.