Press Release: TIF’s Take Stock in Children Students Visit Nation’s Capital
July 7, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TIF’s Take Stock in Children Immokalee program students visit nation’s capital
NAPLES, Fla. (July 7, 2011) – Five students from The Immokalee Foundation’s Take Stock in Children Immokalee program recently made their first trip to Washington, D.C. thanks to proceeds from TIF’s Charity Classic Fund A Dream auction held last November.
The students – Lemuel Sanchez, Efren Corona, Cassandra Banda-Chavez, Linsey Deshommes and Natrone Means – were chosen for the trip based on grades, first time experiences, age, attendance and essays they submitted. The students, plus chaperone and TSIC student advocate, Noemi Perez, departed from Southwest Florida International Airport Sunday, June 12 and arrived in the nation’s capital in preparation for a week of adventure learning and sightseeing.
“From the moment we arrived at the airport, I could see the excitement in their eyes,” said Perez. “Not only was it the first time on an airplane for most of them, but also the first time being away from home.”
The students took part in a high school program offered by Close Up, a nonprofit that educates and inspires young people to become informed and engaged citizens. The program offered a one-of-a-kind opportunity for students to experience their government in action. From visits to Washington’s famous monuments, memorials and institutions, to meetings with their Congressional delegation on Capitol Hill, students got a first-hand look at the American political system.
Throughout the week, TIF students had the opportunity to explore D.C. and interact with other high-school students from all over the country. “It was like a college experience,” said Natrone Means. “There were so many new and different people; we had to use our communication skills to get to know them.”
Perez said that because the group was under a strict itinerary, they were also able to work on their time management and organizational skills.
The students were inspired by the visit, for a variety of reasons. Efren Corona said, “I’m seeing new places and I’m meeting new people. It’s been exciting.”
Lindsey Deshommes commented on all the rich history and education in D.C. “We’ve learned a lot about government on this trip. If politics is your future goal, then this is the place you want to visit.”
With the help of program instructors, students were able to consider how people and events represented in D.C.’s memorials impact their lives today. Students returned home knowing they have key roles to play as informed and engaged participants in the U.S. democracy.
During TIF’s 2010 Charity Classic, which raised a record breaking $1.5 million towards educational programs for the children of Immokalee, guests were invited to be dreammakers by bidding on large packages and getting nothing in return except some very specific opportunities to change a child’s life for the better. This was called the Fund A Dream opportunity. By the end of the evening, Fund A Dream raised more than $550,000 with 100 percent going directly to Immokalee children.
The 2011 Charity Classic is scheduled for Friday, Nov.11 at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples.
Since 1991, The Immokalee Foundation has been building pathways to success for many of the children in Immokalee through a variety of programs that focus on mentorship, after-school activities, college scholarships, the development of vocational skills and incentives for educational growth. The organizations programs focus on building pathways to success though college and vocational scholarships, mentoring and tutoring opportunities for broadening experiences and life skills.
To make dreams come true for Immokalee children through donations or mentoring, visit www.immokaleefoundation.org or call 239-430-9122.
Sharon Arnold, Gravina, Smith, Matte & Arnold Marketing and Public Relations, 239-275-5758, email@example.com
Efren Corona, Linsey Deshommes, Natrone Means, Noemi Perez, Cassandra Banda-Chavez, Lemuel Sanchez at the Capitol