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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Immokalee Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Foundations, Philanthropy

Mission: The lives of the children of Immokalee are deeply rooted in poverty. The community largely consists of migrant workers who work long hours in the fields, harvesting much of the nation's fresh produce. Since 1991, The Immokalee Foundation has been building pathways to success for the children of Immokalee. We empower these students (from kindergarten to career) through programs focused on education, vocation, and life skills, offering them the tools, opportunities, support and encouragement they need at each level of their education which will lead to economic independence.

Results: The Immokalee Foundation now serves over 1,400 students each year. 100% of our students graduate from high school- in sharp contrast to the 39% high school graduation rate amongst adults over the age of 25 in Immokalee. 100% of our students pursue a college or vocational pathway. 91% of our students graduate from college or a post-secondary vocational program- in sharp contrast to the 5% college graduation rate in Immokalee and the 28% rate in the the state of Florida. Our early literacy program, which serves over 700 at-risk readers every year, produces measurable gains for 94% - 100% of its students.

Target demographics: Immokalee's children from kindergarten to career

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,359 students

Geographic areas served: Immokalee Florida

Programs: Immokalee Readers: The Immokalee Readers program is an intensive reading intervention program, targeting the lower 25% of readers from kindergarten through third grade. This after-school program matches elementary students with high-school age tutors for productive, enjoyable reading lessons. While elementary students are making reading gains, the tutors themselves improve their overall reading proficiency and develop new skills and confidence mentoring early readers. The high school tutors are paid a stipend and gain valuable professional experience. Many choose to become teachers and return to Immokalee after college to serve future generations.
Take Stock In Children: scholarships are awarded to qualified students who successfully fulfill their pledge to earn good grades, exhibit good behavior, volunteer community service time and meet weekly with a mentor. Students are awarded a college scholarship to any Florida state college, university or vocational school upon high school graduation.
Career development and leadership activities include: participation by students in vocational and on-the-job training, as well as summer internships with area businesses - experiences that emphasize leadership, skills development, and community service. The program enhances the students' professional skills necessary to become confident, productive and successful citizens. The program also provides tuition, scholarships and after-school tutoring. The immokalee Foundation also provides support for experiences that provide leadership, life skills opportunities and opportunities to attend camps, college programs and workshops.
College Success: provides ongoing academic advisement and mentorship for students, helping them to set up individual academic plans that allow them to excel and graduate from college. The program assists students as they navigate the complex world of financial aid and helps them to optimize their college experience.

Community Stories

53 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a highly focused and dedicated organization that has achieved remarkable success graduating its students at all levels. i have met many of the students from underpriveleged backgrounds and all have succeeded or on a path to succeed.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a board member, a mentor and a donor with The Immokalee Foundation for many years. I have seen first hand the tremendous impact that this organization has had on hundreds of Immokalee students every year. All the kids graduate from high school and almost 100% complete college or other post secondary education. With the support of the wonderful staff and volunteers, they are prepared to be successful in life.
John Costigan

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Everyone at the Immokalee Foundation is extremely dedicated, professional and passionate. They truly care for the cause and take care of the children as they were their own. As a mentor I saw the support network they provide. Their dedication goes above and beyond anything I have seen and they all do it with a constant smile on their faces. Kudos!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Everyone involved with the foundation is extremely dedicated to all the children in their program. As a Mentor I have countless resources they provide. The staff is always very friendly and accommodating. The children (and young adults) are made to feel as an important part of the organization, which they truly appreciate and feel drawn to. Every boy and girl I have spoken to, has the desire to achieve big things and then return to the community to give back. The impact on the people and community are priceless and will make an even bigger difference in the future. I am proud to part of The Immokalee Foundation.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

Being a past educator, I became interested in The Immokalee Foundation because of their educational opportunities for the students of Immokalee. Because of the students' personal dedication, along with help from mentors, tutors, educators, and staff, they are able to realize their academic goals. The Foundation provides a great team effort that gets results!

Board Member

Rating: 5

There are many worthy charitable organizations each with their own cause that requires attention and support. The Immokalee Foundation (TIF) is certainly one of these as it not only changes the lives of the students on which it is focused, but also of the volunteers and mentors who lend their expertise and care. What it is able to accomplish with the limited amount of funds is truly a testament to the leadership and creativity of the organization and its community partners. I am proud to be affiliated and believe TIF will become a model for other education / mentorship based entities.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.
One of the supporting activities is a Networking Event at which students are provided the opportunity to meet and "interview with" successful adults representing various careers. The students ask questions about careers of potential interest to them and also gain experience in a face-to-face interviewing environment.
This is only one of a wide range of support activities that are aligned with the signature groundbreaking program, "Career Pathways, Empowering Students to Succeed." Career Pathways is an innovative, career readiness program that introduces students to well-paying career opportunities in specific high-demand employment sectors and guides them to the industry recognized certifications that provide entry into these sectors.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

The best kept secret in Collier County! TIF is on the cutting edge of providing support for students in Immokalee, focusing not just on college prep, but also on high paying, rewarding careers that do not require a college education. TIF has spent more than a year developing a new model that captures the best of the Take Stock in Children scholarship program and applies it to professional careers across the spectrum, including careers that do not require a college degree. Four "pathways" are the focus: Engineering / Construction Management, Business Management, Education and Human Services, and Healthcare. Collaboration with industry professionals and institutions of higher learning has already demonstrated the potential for this new approach to career preparation.

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Donor

Rating: 5

Had very good experience with the Immokalee foundation as a donor and interacting with students.

Joseph S.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a mentor for The Immokalee Foundation for 7 years and being involved with this Foundation has been AMAZING. The individuals working at the Foundation are the most caring, passionate, kindest and professional individuals I have worked with in my lifetime. To date I have had 3 Mentees and the support the Foundation provides the Mentees and you as a Mentor is outstanding. Because of this Foundation, mentoring has become like a drug for me. It is addictive and I can not stop being part of this Program. GREAT PEOPLE! GREAT PROGRAM! GREAT REWARDS!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a Mentor for The Immokalee Foundation for 5 years and working with this foundation is like taking a drug. I am addicted. The people that work at TIF are the most hard working, passionate and unselfish group I have ever worked with. They care ONLY about the success of each student. I am very proud to be a part of this organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hooked up two years ago and have had no problem connecting with my mentee

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am both a donor, a friend, and a close observer of this fabulous organization. I've never seen such hard-working, mission-focused folks. I'm so proud to be connected with them.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Immokalee Foundation has helped many youth overcome their educational challenges by providing them with the means and tools necessary to combat the obstacles we sometimes face, while pursuing educational goals. More so, when we do not have the proper resources or an adequate support system to help us along the way.

"I wish that I had an organization like the Immokalee Foundation to guide and support me through-out my educational career."

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The best organization for all scholars, with plenty of resources to continue with their education to succeed in every students endeavors!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Immokalee Foundation provides college scholarships to deserving students who work hard to maintain good grades and contribute to their community and school. I have mentored 7 high schoolers over the years and have been humbled by their resolve and ambition. This organization has made a successful career path available to hundreds of deserving young people.
Emily Costigan

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Everyone who works at the foundation plays an equal role. That role is to ensure a better future for the students as well as for the community.

Randall Kenneth J.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Working with The Immokalee Foundation has been PURE JOY. Just knowing that I'm helping young men and women advance their education and maximize career potential is amazing.

Patricia S.9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization does a great job ! As a volunteer I am impressed with the value they bring to our community.

Dee Z.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a mentor for The Immokalee Foundation for over 11 years now & I can't say enough about how special this organization is. This is an organization that truly makes a difference, enabling young people to escape poverty & build success through education & the careers that education offers. This is made possible through scholarships to post secondary education, whether college or vocational. The organization does far more than offer scholarships - they offer mentoring, and many career pathway programs to help prepare the students for post-secondary opportunities. I have worked with 5 different students now, & I get continuous pride in their accomplishments!

Board Member

Rating: 5

This Charity does a great job of using the money they raise to directly help kids in need.
They do not give handouts, they change lives thru opportunity and hard work.
So blessed to have the time and resources to help make a difference in so many peoples lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my second year as a mentor (same student). The Foundation staff is very supportive - my emailed questions are answered within one business day. Josica and I worked through the provided materials last year. This year I asked her to identify 15 women in her community or in the wider world - these women made a positive impact in their time. Josica writes a paragraph or two on these women each month. We watched an American Experience PBS DVD last week the title of which is "One Woman One Vote". Thanks to the Foundation for offering me this opportunity to work with a high school student.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I work as a mentor with the Immokalee Foundation and so admire the work they do to inspire our students to achieve their potential. Great leadership. Our mentors drive an hour each way every week to meet with their students which shows their commitment

Board Member

Rating: 5

My first trip to research the work of the Immokalee Foundation was several years ago and I still recall my impressions. We observed elementary school students receiving training from volunteers and most importantly - from high school students who were getting a small stipeend from The Immokalee Foundation. My instant thought - one gift to this Foundation - helps both the younger students - but also the high school student - with both experience and compensation. A great investment. I still feel the same way - four years later!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with the Immokalee Foundation as a mentor for four years During that time I have seen what a powerful change agent the Foundation is in helping young people achieve acedemic success and progress into college.
The staff, students and management team are a treat to work with.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Through The Immokalee Foundation many dedicated people are substantially committing their talents and resources toward giving the children of this community the opportunity to attain higher learning, or vocational opportunities, through scholarships and tutoring. It continues to be a rewarding experience and privilege to work with the very talented and dedicated Board of Directors and staff who are helping these children see their dreams come true. The Immokalee Foundation is making a HUGE difference in the Immokalee community.

Karen L. H.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a mentor, a donor, and a relatively new board member of this organization. I have been on at least 7 other not- for- profit organizations in my life, and this is the best one.

Why? Because they produce the results they promise and exceed expectations. They have vision for their future, continuing to re-invent themselves, and are not afraid to think BIG. Their mission is admirable with the children of Immokalee and their passion for the mission shows in their staff, in their Boord, and their donors.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a new volunteer I have been impressed with the right minded attitude and work ethic of the Immokalee Foundation. Their directive and goal is clear. Their plan is straight forward, and their outcomes are consistently measurable. Direct, hard working and not fancy! This is my kind of volunteer foundation.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Immokalee foundation is a phenomenally well run Organization which sole purpose is the betterment of the students whom they serve. Our commitment as mentors to each student through the foundation can be as long as four years mentoring the same high school student in preparation for college. My new student recently emailed me a link to an article describing the use of iridium found in pieces of astroid to the development of a new therapy for advanced cancers using this rare element in photodynamic therapy. I would highly recommend the Immokalee foundation. This is highly gratifying.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I feel so fortunate and am humbled to be part of the initiatives driven by the Immokalee Foundation. As a volunteer and mentor, I have experienced the hard work and dedication of the staff members, all in support of the Immokalee youth and community. It is extremely rewarding to know you are part of a greater something that is making a difference in our youths lives. Amazing work being done by the Immokalee Foundation!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Immokalee Foundation was started to help students in Immokalee improve their abilities for a better education. Over the last 29 years they have done just that. Helped students improve their test scores by having workshops and tutors to help students improve also providing scholarships for colleges

Betty Brookes D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Immokalee Foundation supports In many ways the underprivileged community of field workers and migrant laborers in Immokalee. It focuses on better education for the students, helping them from early grades through high school. There are many after school programs and study rooms, classes for college testing review and career oriented classes. Another asset in the mentor program where volunteers meet one on one with students to be a friend who can widen their horizons and give advice when needed.

Board Member

Rating: 5

have been involved with the Foundation for about 13 years. Initially as a volunteer, then co-chairing events, as a board member, donor and, along with my wife who has served as a mentor continue to support the Foundation. I have not come across an organization that has made more of a difference in the lives of so many young people. Truly remarkable!!

Donor

Rating: 5

The Immokalee Foundation has an excellent track record of building pathways to success with 100 percent of their students graduating from high school, 100 percent placed in post-secondary education at colleges, universities and technical programs and 91 percent graduating with a post-secondary certificate or degree.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Immokalee Foundation is setting the bar for Empowering students to succeed in the new economy. We work with middle school students to explore and experience their career interest with assessments and aptitude measurements. They will declare a career pathway that is in high demand in Southwesr Florida and than for 4 years they will be exposed to summer camps field trips and pathway expos to further their information and real life experiences.
Career pathways meet once a week and on some weekends to learn industry certifications that will enhance their skill levels in their chosen pathway. We partner with FGCU, ITEC and their high school to continue learning the pathway career ladder to help them plan their future post-secondary education in their career interests. Internships will be provided the summer of their junior year in high school and their junior year of college. Students at TIF will enter their post-secondary years of education knowing why they are there and how much education is needed to complete their career goal. I have been a career counselor and counselor for many years and I must admit The Immokalee Foundation allows me the time and resources to make this the best job I have ever had.

Previous Stories
1

Advisor

Rating: 5

The Immokalee Foundation is a top notched career and education focused organization helping the students in Immokalee to gain hope for the future through academic achievement and career exploration. With the guidance of staff and adult community mentors, I have seen students redirect themselves toward the potential of their future. Student's hard work and scholarship support has helped families look to the future and new beginnings. I've been involved with the non- profit world for sometime and consider The Immokalee Foundation to be the "leader of the pack'.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a highly impactful organization that reaches more needy students year over year. It is continually adding needed programming and has recently implemented an early intervention, career centric program to ensure that Immokalee students are prepared for rewarding careers, instead of lives in the fields. I have been so impressed with its students and their accomplishments.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer for the Immokalee Foundation. I mentor a High School Sophomore. This Organization is well run and very organized . Over the course of time, I offer my time and talents to many groups. This is one of the best! If your not part of this worthy cause, you should.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Foundation provides essential services to the local community. The service that I am involved in is mentoring a promising student. It’s important work, and one that I find very rewarding. The Foundation provides excellent direction and support for what we do. The staff is well-qualified and always welling to assist in our efforts.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a parent of a high school student in The Immokalee Foundation, I am pleased with how the program is working to ensure that she is really ready for her first year of college. The support she gets from her student advocate and from the college and career counselor has had such a tremendous impact on the outlook of her career choices and her future.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Immokalee Foundation is truly committed to the community and is providing important and engaging educational opportunities to the students of Immokalee in terms of their future success and quality of life. Many of these students are not aware of the many possibilities that exist within a variety of careers, and this information is necessary and exciting for their growth and in defining their passion for learning about their educational goals and career aspirations. It is very rewarding to work with the students and assist them in developing a vision for their future endeavors. These students have such extraordinary talent and I am blessed to have found an organization that I can contribute to and possibly help in regard to positive future educational outcomes.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a board member for twelve years and a mentor for five years. The Immokalee Foundation is a superb organization that meets the needs of low income students by providing scholarships, mentoring and career advice, as well as tutoring for the younger students. The staff is completely dedicated to the kids of Immokalee and fulfill the organization's mission with the highest level of professional competence and personal caring.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've worked with a multitude of nonprofits focused in education management in my past, and The Immokalee Foundation is by far the most organized, goal-oriented organization I've come across. They use their resources strategically to get the most beneficial outcomes for their students. The foundation does an excellent job of cultivating strong relationships with their students, that ultimately aid the student in making life decisions.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered as a mentor working with an 8th-grade girl last year through the Immokalee Foundation. I will continue this relationship with her this year and throughout high school. Our goal is to make certain that we encourage these young people to reach their full potential, to dream big! I believe that with the help of The Immokalee Foundation, there are folks that never thought they could go to college, now know that they can!

2 Gail R.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Immokalee Foundation is an outstanding organization with a very knowledgeable and caring staff. I became a mentor three years ago. My friend and I have four girls whom we met as freshman. We have made special friendships with each of them, and they have become friends with each other. It has been interesting to see them grow as individuals and to watch their progress in school. We hope to guide them to a college experience with a full scholarship. The Immokalee Foundation has provided many resources to make their dreams a reality. It has been a rewarding volunteer experience.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a mentor for TIF. It is stunning to see the effects that it has on young lives.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for about three years and have found the experience to be incredibly rewarding . The foundation helps disadvantaged children to pursue their dreams . The batting average is very high and I encourage others to join in and make a difference in this world

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a mentor with TIF and the people envolved with the Foundation are passionate and truly believe in helping students whatever it takes. This is a great organization.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Immokalee Foundation is a top-notch organization. Their sole purpose is to help the students of Immokalee reach their goal. The staff are amazing and truly care about the children as well as what is going on in their lives. I became a mentor about 4 years ago and the experience has been amazing. The resources that are provided to each child is exceptional, and they are always looking for ways to do more. The Immokalee Foundation far exceeds my expectations.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with this organization as a volunteer, mentor & donor for 10 years. What they do in providing pathways to success through post secondary educational opportunities & scholarships is phenomenal!! So proud to be working with this wonderful organization . It is truly heartwarming to be able to help young people go to college & achieve their dreams - dreams that could never be realized without the Immokalee Foundation!

Dee

2 nickaboo012309

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learned about this amazing organization several years ago when I was researching educational issues in the area. I was so impressed by the philosophy and goals of the organization and of the students whose stories I read. I recently began serving as a volunteer mentor and am so glad that I did.