For students enrolled in The Immokalee Foundation’s programs, scholarships tied to academic achievements are often an important component of making their post-high school plans possible. Recently, however, “scholarship” took on a new meaning for 16 students who received $500 scholarships with no strings attached and the freedom to spend the money on anything they wish.
During a recognition event at the Community Foundation of Collier County, Dr. Massoud Eghrari of Naples once again provided “fun money” scholarships to first-year college students who completed an application that included an essay about what they would do with the money if they received it. The financial awards are made in honor of Dr. Eghrari’s late wife, Isabella, who understood the importance of maintaining a sense of fun and happiness during the often-challenging transition to college life.
Available only to first-time college students who are pursuing a four-year degree, the fun money scholarships help remind students to carve out time for life experiences and to enjoy life while they are working toward their academic goals. Students are required to spend the money on themselves rather than others.
“Thank you, Dr. Eghrari, for the scholarship,” said Immokalee Foundation student Guadalupe Guzman Rios. “Because of you, I was able to attend my sister’s wedding in Dallas. Not only did I get to see my family, but I enjoyed a mini-vacation before spring break.”
Dr. Eghrari and his late wife understood the hard work involved in pursuing an education and career and know that students from Immokalee usually have limited resources. Their support of The Immokalee Foundation has included both fun money and academic scholarships. Dr. Eghrari also sponsors four new tuition scholarships every year, making him a vital supporter of the foundation’s post-secondary programs.
The $500 scholarships give students the special opportunity to take a well-deserved breather amid their hard work and academic pursuits. “Every year, students surprise and inspire me with their essays to go out and enjoy life,” said Paulina Magana, post-secondary program coordinator at The Immokalee Foundation. “Some students enjoy skydiving, while others attend a musical they’ve wanted to watch since childhood. We appreciate the Eghrari family tremendously, and I am beyond thankful for the generosity of Dr. Eghrari and his team.”
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.