The Immokalee Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to enhancing the lives of Immokalee’s youth by emphasizing education, career development, mentoring and life skills, is welcoming new partnerships for its Career Development program.
Formerly known as Vocational and Career Success, the program focuses on career empowerment and post-secondary readiness for students through experiences that stress leadership, skills development and community service.
“In Immokalee, 70 percent of high school graduates do not go on to college,” said TIF board member Dick Stonesifer. “We recognize that college is not for everyone, so we want to provide alternative career options and help prepare students for the workforce.”
Through Career Development, students participate in career panels, job shadowing/internships, resume writing, interview training, networking, summer camps and more. The career panels feature informative speakers in the fields of technology, law, media, human services, health care, manufacturing and others. The speakers often share personal stories about their educational backgrounds and the struggles they encounter in achieving their goals.
Summer internships with area businesses provide students with real-world experience in particular career fields and help them develop professional skills and knowledge. Local companies, such as Naples Community Hospital and Arthrex, have hosted tours, giving students a firsthand look at the workplace in action.
These partnerships with area firms are essential to the success of the Career Development program; therefore, TIF is actively seeking local companies interested in becoming partners. Companies must be willing to provide speakers and consider TIF students for internships and employment.
“We want our students to know what these companies do, what careers are available and even what kind of income can be expected,” said Skip Hildebrand, TIF board member and chairman of the Career Development Committee. “We want to prepare these students so that when they graduate from high school, they aren’t lost.”
To partner with TIF, learn about sponsorship opportunities or volunteer as a career panel speaker, call 239-430-9122. For more information, visit www.immokaleefoundation.org.