Students First – Celebrate the Class of 2020 with virtual graduation

School is out for Immokalee High School’s (IHS) Class of 2020! While the current pandemic has prevented its students from celebrating some of the time-honored traditions, it does not diminish the significance of their accomplishments. We are #CCPSProud of all that our graduating Indians have achieved!

Students, parents, extended family members, and guests will have the opportunity to celebrate the Class of 2020 through a Virtual Graduation Ceremony video that will stream online June 3 at 7:00 p.m. More information may be found at Then, should CDC guidelines allow, we plan to celebrate the Class of 2020 again – live and in person – on July 24 at 8:00 a.m. on Immokalee High School’s athletic field (rain contingency on July 25, at 8:00 a.m.).

With graduation just around the corner, we thought it would be nice to highlight a few of our top seniors:

Claudio Ortega-Franco

Claudio Ortega-Franco is in the top 5 percent of the class. Dual enrolled with Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW), Claudio is also NAF (National Academy Foundation) Track Certified in three academies—Engineering, Information Technology, and Finance—and holds several industry certifications. Outside the classroom, Claudio played tennis and was involved in the Robotics team, BETA Club, and Solar Go-Kart. Claudio also volunteers in the community, helping younger children at the Boys and Girls Club of Immokalee and supporting some of Immokalee’s annual events such as the local Christmas Parade and Lipman 5K. We are excited to announce that Claudio has been accepted to the University of Florida!

Ruth Bellevue

Ruth Bellevue is ranked in the top 10 of the class. She is also dual enrolled with FSW and was inducted into its Honors Scholar Program. Ruth is involved in several clubs and activities in and out of school. She is President of the National Honor Society, Secretary of the College Reach Out Program, and Secretary of the International Club. In addition to tutoring elementary students through the Immokalee Readers program, Ruth volunteers at the Immokalee Branch of the Collier County Public Library and the Buddy Break program, which provides activities for special needs children so their caregivers can have a break. She also completed an internship in the finance department at Lipman Family Farms. Last year Ruth was a QuestBridge College Prep Scholar, and this year, Ruth is IHS’s first female to be a QuestBridge Scholarship winner! Following graduation, Ruth will be heading to Vanderbilt University on a full-ride scholarship.

Cindy Velazquez

Cindy Velazquez is the Valedictorian of IHS’s Class of 2020. Originally dual enrolled with FSW, Cindy was accepted into the Accelerated Collegiate Experience (ACE) Honors program at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) where she has been for the past two years. Cindy was involved in SSTRIDE (Science Students Together Reaching Instructional Diversity & Excellence) and was a member of the IHS Security team. Outside the classroom, Cindy played soccer, tutored elementary students through the Immokalee Readers program, and volunteered at different community events. Cindy also completed an internship in Taste of Immokalee’s marketing division and participated in a summer STEM Academy at FGCU which allowed her to experience different fields of study. After graduation, Cindy plans to stay at FGCU to continue working toward her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.

The Class of 2020 will forever be known for its resiliency. We wish our seniors nothing but the best as they advance to the next chapter and look forward to seeing and hearing all of the amazing things they will accomplish. Congratulations, Indians! #CCPSSeniorStrong

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