Pathways Blog

The Pathways Blog features stories and updates from TIF’s students and staff. But this is no fun unless you join the conversation. So please comment on what you find here — and be sure to visit the Pathways Blog regularly.


Philanthropic foursomes from nine of Southwest Florida’s most prestigious communities, golf clubs and The Immokalee Foundation corporate sponsors, along with local club golf pros, recently gathered at The Old Collier Golf Club in Naples to participate in the 2014 Inter-Club Challenge, a lively golf tournament that pits local golf clubs against each other in a friendly rivalry to support a brighter future for the children of Immokalee through The Immokalee Foundation’s education programs. The eighth annual tournament raised $151,268 to benefit Immokalee’s youth.

Kevin Johnson, a TIF board member and member of the Inter-Club committee, was pleased with the event, “The day was awesome. Course conditions were great and we had fun playing.” Most importantly though, was the reason they were all there, “The Inter-Club Challenge provides the unique opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of Immokalee students by giving them the chance to advance themselves socially, civically, economically and academically through TIF programs.”

The Inter-Club Challenge is the first in a series of annual fundraising events aimed to build pathways to success for the children of Immokalee. TIF’s largest fundraiser of the year, the 2014 Charity Classic Celebration, is slated for Nov. 14 at The Ritz Carlton Beach Resort, Naples. The Charity Classic Pro-Am tournament at The Old Collier Golf Club, will take place Monday, Nov. 17.

The Immokalee Foundation provides a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to success through college and post-secondary preparation and support, mentoring and tutoring, opportunities for broadening experiences and life skills development leading to economic independence. 

For the complete story, visit the Press Center.


Thirty high school juniors and seniors participating in TIF’s Career Development Program interacted with some of the area’s top business leaders, sharing their goals and ambitions for the future. The business executives shared stories of their own experiences and provided real-life lessons important in helping students prepare for their own transition to college and beyond.  Prior to the afternoon’s reception, students were treated to an etiquette luncheon and training by Dawn Magaril and Dirga Buwana, at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples. After, students were ready to practice their skills and were prepared to ask questions about their prospective career paths.

Kenia Jean-Pierre, a senior at Immokalee High School (IHS), aims to attend community college to become a paralegal, and then transfer to Florida State University to study criminal justice and international relations. Ultimately, she wants to become a judge at an appellate court.

“TIF has helped opened my eyes,” she explained. “Coming from a small town, I had small views. TIF gives me hope and makes me believe if I work hard, I can achieve my dreams.”  She added that, the training and reception helped highlight the culture differences between her native Haiti and the United States. “In Haiti, looking in the eyes of an adult is disrespectful; yet in America, it is a sign of confidence,” she said.

Jean Alex Baptiste, another IHS senior, hopes to attend Edison State College and major in criminal justice. He said that TIF helps the students learn about different career opportunities and the networking reception provided a better point of view. Maria Sebastion-Jimenez, an Immokalee High School junior, wants to major in nursing at Edison State College. She was happy to be a part of the day’s activities. “Today’s event has allowed me to meet new people and feel more comfortable,” she said. “The business leaders have inspired me to reach for my goals and not give up.”

Manuel Ramirez, an IHS junior, learned how to interview, along with the importance of money and time management — all helpful tips in preparation for his future. He wants to major in business management at University of South Florida. The students also came to realize that impressive social skills make a noticeable difference in the business community. Anita Munoz-Trejo, a senior at IHS, aims to attend Florida Gulf Coast University, majoring in health science. She said she learned the importance of good manners, which will help her confidence when dining at a business event. Edwin Herard, an IHS junior, learned something equally significant, “It’s important to major in something you love, follow your heart, set goals and prioritize yourself.”


On May 22, The Immokalee Foundation will celebrate students from the class of 2014, who are graduating from both Immokalee High School and the Immokalee Foundation programs in which they are enrolled. This event celebrates 62 high school graduates, 12 post-secondary graduates, and 12 graduates of the Heavy Equipment Mechanics program. Many students will receive scholarships for post-secondary education. All graduates will be celebrated during an awards ceremony and dinner to be held at Ave Maria University.


TIF Students attending the University of South Florida’s College Assistance Migrant Program’s 2013 Cohort has started the fall semester.  Already, the CAMP students have participated in a ropes course team building activity.  They also have participated in the CAMP Orientation and met their university mentor. After completing their first week of classes, they appear ready to meet all challenges. 

Along the way, CAMP will support students in their academic support and cultural enrichment.  Students will be provided bi-weekly follow-ups with support staff, tutorial services and a mentor.  

Congratulations to Jose Guzman Ramos, Marisela Marroquin, Jacobo Martinez and Jose Segura!


Immokalee High School teacher Steve Becker will compete in a 12.5 mile open-water swim race Saturday, June 22 in the annual Florida Keys Community College Swim Around Key West. Becker is swimming in support of The Immokalee Foundation, the nonprofit dedicated to building pathways to success for the children of Immokalee through programs focused on education, vocation and life skills. Becker’s goal is to raise $5,000 for the organization.

Steve Becker

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