IMMOKALEE — The Immokalee Foundation is recruiting mentors for the upcoming academic year. The hybrid mentorship program aims to open flexibility for Foundation mentors by providing virtual options in addition to traditional in-person mentorship. During an online zoom webinar on May 26, staff from The Immokalee Foundation will provide an overview of the life-changing Immokalee Foundation mentor program.
Mentors meet with their mentees weekly for at least 30 minutes during the academic year running from September through May, contributing their time, attention and experience while offering advice to help their students be successful. The Immokalee Foundation’s program allows mentees and mentors to grow together, fostering deep meaningful relationships for students and mentors alike that can last a lifetime.
“The Immokalee Foundation’s mentoring program is so unique and special,” said Yeimi Espinoza, Take Stock in Children Program Manager at The Immokalee Foundation who oversees the mentoring program. “Our students and mentors truly come to form incredible relationships — many of our mentors become like family to our students. The program allows a mentor to follow their student throughout their time in school, helping them grow along their personal and academic journey.”
The Foundation matches volunteer mentors with middle school and high school students who live in the Immokalee community based on the student’s career interest and the volunteer mentor’s career background. The mentor-mentee relationship becomes a critical component of The Immokalee Foundation’s Career Pathways Program, which allows students to pursue career interests in growing fields throughout Southwest Florida including Business Management & Entrepreneurship, Education & Human Services, Engineering & Construction Management, and Healthcare. Mentors bring an abundance of professional knowledge and experience that helps Foundations students during high school as they participate in their pathway and eventually look to postsecondary and career success after graduation.
Many of these students are looking to become the first in their family to pursue a postsecondary education, and the personal relationship that each student builds with their mentor plays a major role in helping make those dreams a reality.
“At The Immokalee Foundation, mentorship is a cornerstone of our program,” said Noemi Y. Perez, President and CEO of The Immokalee Foundation. “It provides our students with individualized attention that helps motivate many of our students to succeed.”
Linda Ayer, a former teacher and administrator at Immokalee High School and long-time mentor at The Immokalee Foundation, has mentored 12 students over the last eight years.
“No matter how old we get, there is always something that we can learn and something that we can give,” said Linda. “Immokalee has some wonderful kids with lots of talent. I encourage others in the community who may think that life has passed them by to consider signing up to become a mentor. You’ll find that it’s one of the greatest opportunities and joys in your life — becoming a mentor was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
The mentor program provides Immokalee’s students the individualized attention and self-esteem to follow their dreams, and their mentor serves as an additional source of inspiration and encouragement throughout their often-difficult journey. Extraordinary mentors help unlock the potential of each individual student at The Immokalee Foundation.
The virtual mentorship recruitment webinar will be held via Zoom on Thursday, May 26 at 6 p.m. The webinar will review the requirements, onboarding process and what to expect for mentorship at The Immokalee Foundation. To register for the free virtual webinar, please visit: https://bit.ly/TIFMentor or call 239-430-9122.
For more information on The Immokalee Foundation’s transformational work, 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.