Students from The Immokalee Foundation’s Career Pathways program are receiving an essential tool for educational success with the donation of 70 laptops from The Hertz Corporation.
“Education is one of our community giving priorities at Hertz, and we’re proud to provide the donation of laptops to support students and The Immokalee Foundation’s important mission,” said Lauren Luster, Hertz’s Director of Communications.
The Immokalee Foundation’s need for student laptops is ongoing, and the urgency has increased during the pandemic. While some foundation programming has transitioned back to in-person, others are still being administered in a virtual format. Laptop donations help The Immokalee Foundation meet the need for laptop access for all students, especially those who have to share with several siblings.
Laptops also help The Immokalee Foundation’s middle and high school students who might otherwise not be able to participate in the foundation’s upcoming summer programs: the middle school STEM summer camp in partnership with Florida Gulf Coast University, and the high school Career Pathways summer camps held in partnership with FGCU and iTECH.
“Hertz has been a strong community partner for The Immokalee Foundation over the past several years,” said The Immokalee Foundation’s Career Advancement Manager Barbara Hawkes. “By providing laptops to our students, we are able to accommodate their technology requirements, which has enabled our programs to run seamlessly.”
Career Pathways is The Immokalee Foundation’s educational and professional development program that introduces students to well-paying career opportunities in high-demand employment sectors. Beginning in middle school, students participate in intensive six-week rotations to learn more about the in-demand careers in Southwest Florida identified as part of the Career Pathways program: Business Management & Entrepreneurship, Education & Human Services, Engineering & Construction Management, and Healthcare. The students learn—along with their parents—the types of professions available in each pathway, average salaries, and whether the career requires professional certifications and credentials or a two or four-year college degree.
By high school, students have chosen their specific pathway. Academic programming includes financial literacy, postsecondary and college prep programs, career panels and field trips, and intensive career programming specialized for each of the four pathways. Students participate in certification courses and paid internships that immerse them in the education and training needed for their pathway, with the goal that each student graduates with an industry-recognized certification.
Immokalee Readers is an after-school literacy program designed to help the lowest-performing young readers by supplementing their regular classroom instruction with one-on-one tutoring. The tutors are paid high school students supervised by certified classroom teachers in all five Collier County public elementary schools in Immokalee. High school students develop a resume and undergo a job interview to apply for tutoring positions to help the younger students with reading.
For more than 30 years, The Immokalee Foundation has provided 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 immokaleefoundation.org.