Guadalupe Center to honor 29 college-bound Tutor Corps graduates from Immokalee High School

The 2018 Guadalupe Center’s Tutor Corps seniors. (submitted photo)

Guadalupe Center is proud to announce that 29 Immokalee High School seniors have completed the rigorous Tutor Corps program and will be attending college in the fall. This marks the 13th consecutive year that 100 percent of Tutor Corps seniors have been accepted into colleges and universities.

Students will be recognized on Tuesday, April 17 during a celebration dinner at Grey Oaks Country Club in East Naples, and will be accompanied by their parents, mentors and Guadalupe Center supporters.

Tutor Corps is a college preparatory program that offers scholarship money as well as a wage for tutoring elementary school students in Guadalupe Center’s After-School and Summer Enrichment Program. Tutor Corps participants must maintain a 3.0 grade point average, and each is matched with an adult mentor to offer guidance and support. The Guadalupe Center Tutor Corps team members also offer guidance on the college application, scholarship and financial aid processes, as well as SAT and ACT prep.

“At one point in their lives, these Immokalee High students were deemed ‘at-risk of failure’ academically, and many struggled with economic and environmental barriers beyond their control,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of the Guadalupe Center. “Years of hard work, persistence and determination have paid off, and I’m thrilled to see 100 percent of them graduate from high school and move on to college.”

Through generous donors, Guadalupe Center – a nonprofit organization focused on breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee – is providing more than $400,000 in scholarships to this year’s Tutor Corps graduates. Many seniors have earned additional scholarships, grants and financial aid from colleges and organizations, and their financial aid total is expected to exceed last year’s amount of $1.5 million.

The celebration dinner begins at 6 p.m. on April 17 at Grey Oaks Country Club, 2400 Grey Oaks Drive North in Naples. At the dinner, Tutor Corps senior Marie Claire Andris will share her inspirational story of overcoming the odds despite the challenges faced by many youth in Immokalee. The daughter of immigrants from Haiti who never graduated from high school, Andris has managed to excel in advanced classes at Immokalee High and is poised to begin at the University of South Florida this summer.

“I plan to go on to college so that my mother can be proud and I can thank her for pushing as hard as she did to get me where I am now,” Andris said.

A majority of Tutor Corps graduates are first-generation high school graduates, and the list of college commitments is impressive: Arcadia University, Michigan State University, St. John’s University, University of Toledo, University of Missouri, Wartburg College and other well-respected institutions.

Tutor Corps has a 100 percent high school graduation rate and college acceptance rate for its seniors, and more than 90 percent of Tutor Corps graduates earn a college degree.

The Immokalee Bulletin is published every Thursday.

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