Lipman Family Farms – North America’s largest open field tomato grower – recently partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast and the District School Board of Collier County to create “Beyond School Walls,” a first-of-its-kind mentorship program for local high school students. The program is being sponsored through the generosity of Volunteer Florida.
The 12-week internship allows six students to shadow Lipman executives while working at the company. The students experience what it is like to work for a corporation, learn business etiquette, and identify educational requirements for professional success – all under the guidance of experienced mentors.
The program launched at the beginning of March and will run through May 31. By the end of the program each student will have completed 150 hours of work at Lipman, received one high school credit and be eligible for an interview with a Fortune 500 company, set up by the National Academy Foundation.
“We are thrilled to partner with such great organizations for the Beyond School Walls program,” said Jaime Weisinger, community relations director for Lipman and board chairman for Lipman Family Foundation. “The skills that students will gain through this program will be unmatched, and the mentorship program will help guide them to the next steps in their lives and careers.”
The program is designed to introduce local youth to the variety of career opportunities that Immokalee has to offer, and show them that moving to a big city is not the only choice for those looking for executive positions. Companies like Lipman are viable options for those who wish to advance their careers close to home.
“The Beyond School Walls program is a great avenue for vulnerable youth in our community to learn professional skills from local mentors who are committed to seeing them succeed,” said Marianne Weiss, vice president of programs for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast. “It is important for young people to be exposed to local employers and see the opportunities for growth right here in Collier County.”
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