Grant enables TIF to purchase computers for students’ use

(Submitted photo) The Immokalee Foundation students Marco Garza, Sandra Soto, Arline Martinez and Dulce Chavarria.

NAPLES – The Immokalee Foundation (TIF) recently received a $14,800 grant from The League Club that will help 1,300 Immokalee students in various foundation programs.

The Community Trust Fund of The League Club Inc. awarded $343,743 to 35 area charities during an April 4 event made on behalf of its 600 members, enabled The Immokalee Foundation to purchase 46 laptop computers and rechargeable storage for the computer lab used by sixth-grade and post-secondary students. These students will use the laptops at the foundation offices in lessons and exercises that serve its programs’ goals.

Many older students – including Vladimir Colas and Ofelia Carrillo – use the computers to prepare for the SAT and ACT college entrance exams.

Carrillo, a recent graduate of Immokalee High School, was accepted into the Take Stock in Children scholarship program while in eighth grade. She also is involved in the foundation’s Career Development program and, as an Immokalee Readers tutor, Carrillo helps younger children who are behind in reading ability come up to grade level. She and other high school students tutor under the supervision of a certified teacher.

As an Immokalee Foundation student, Carrillo provides help – while receiving assistance. She recently finished an SAT preparatory course. Through an online program, students prepare for the test by taking practice tests and doing “homework” that boosts their weaker areas, improving their scores on the actual tests.

“Our instructor not only gave us guidance in answering questions, he also gave us tips and tricks on how to manage time and still complete all the questions,” Carrillo said.

Carrillo was accepted to the University of North Florida for the summer term and plans to study nursing.

Colas also has been involved with The Immokalee Foundation since his acceptance into Take Stock in Children in eighth grade. Now he is a sophomore and has already started preparing for the SAT by taking the online course on the foundation’s new computers.

Like Carrillo, he spends three hours a day after school, twice a week, preparing for the SAT. “We can look up model tests and also compare the answers,” Colas said. “Every week, we are memorizing vocabulary words and working on a reading or a writing section.”

Colas would love to attend Duke University. His sister, Gaelle Colas, who was admitted to The Florida Bar last year, also was an Immokalee Foundation Take Stock in Children student. Currently employed as a lawyer, she earned her law degree from University of Notre Dame Law School and graduated from Duke with a bachelor’s degree in International Comparative Studies.

The grant from The League Club Inc. – a 501(c)(3) organization of women in Southwest Florida strengthening communities through fellowship, education, volunteerism and philanthropy – is an example of the community support for which The Immokalee Foundation is grateful.

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, 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 https://immokaleefoundation.org.

The Immokalee Bulletin is published every Thursday.

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