NEWS

Grassroots Support for Local Food Deserts

Grassroots Support for Local Food Deserts

by Fred Richards
Vice President of Community Support Services
Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida

2015 head shot CR

It is going to be a hot and hungry summer for many of our neighbors. Combining hunger with a lack of inaccessible job training opportunities leaves our community members feeling hopeless and uncertain about their future.

How can we work together to creatively address hunger in low income neighborhoods that have been identified by the USDA as food deserts? Goodwill’s Dorothy Browning, community education program manager, and others have been addressing that question. They have been pouring over statistics and solutions since April and are unveiling the “Food Security through Community Action” program funded by the Southwest Florida Community Foundation.

This summer, the Goodwill Industries team will expand upon their work at the Pine Manor, Page Park, Suncoast Estates, and Charleston Park neighborhoods to fight hunger and find solutions to feed families in these food deserts or areas without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. Fortunately, through the collaborative partnership with the Harry Chapin Food Bank our families can access food at one of our four neighborhood food pantries.

We are planning to take food security to the next level by expanding upon the community garden and culinary training program which was initiated in Pine Manor over a year ago. We want to permanently change lives within the community by creating job opportunities through culinary certification training, offering microenterprise opportunities, and through the collective community collaboration that can be achieved from multiple families working together to grow food in community gardens.

Ashley, a single mother, lost her job and arrived at the Pine Manor center last year to utilize Job-Link services to search for a job. Having feelings of uncertainty and how she would support her family she noticed a flyer on the wall for a culinary training program and without hesitation signed up for the class. The culinary instructor was so impressed with her abilities that she was offered a position in his catering businesses. Recently, she accepted a position with the runner up on Season 6 of the MasterChef show and who is opening a restaurant in Downtown Fort Myers. Ashley now has a career for which she has a talent, passion and dedication which all began with an opportunity in the form of a flyer about a culinary class.

Other successes relate to Pine Manor’s community garden in which there are 20 families growing food. It has changed the way they feed their family and in how the community feels about the place they call home. There have been reports that crime is down and that families have a sense of connectivity to their community and community pride. Some of the food is being sold at local farmer markets.

Our expanding project is taking a “grass roots” approach by working with neighborhood leaders to find solutions to hunger and self-sufficiency. The goal is to create sustainable solutions to end hunger, instill hope, provide opportunities and to ultimately create a multigenerational change in the way we eat, work and live in these struggling neighborhoods.

This summer, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is spotlighting the nonprofit organizations funded through the 2016 competitive grant cycle. We have asked our 2016 grantees to send us their stories. The Foundation is pleased to partner with these change-makers.

About the Southwest Florida Community Foundation
As leaders, conveners, grant makers and concierges of philanthropy, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is a foundation built on community leadership with an inspired history of fostering regional change for the common good in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Community Foundation, founded in 1976, connects donors and their philanthropic aspirations with evolving community needs. With assets of more than $93 million, the Community Foundation has provided more than $63 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves. Last year, it granted more than $3.2 million to nonprofit organizations supporting education, animal welfare, arts, healthcare and human services, as well as provided regional community impact grants and scholarship grants.

Schulze Family Foundation funds iWill Mentorship Foundation  as part of FutureMakers Coalition

Schulze Family Foundation funds iWill Mentorship Foundation as part of FutureMakers Coalition

Trailer enables mentoring through community bike repair clinics and rides in Dunbar, bringing together law enforcement, community and at-risk youth to build mutual respect and understanding

As part of its $300,000 grant to the FutureMakers Coalition, the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation has funded $5,890 to the iWill Mentorship Foundation, a FutureMakers Coalition partner, for the purchase of an industrial trailer for transportation of youth bikes for neighborhood bike rides and bike repair clinics within the Fort Myers’ communities with at-risk youth.

IWMF is teaming up with the Fort Myers Police Department, community youth organizations and local churches to promote prevention of violence and unity of the community.

Under community bike ride and bike repair clinics scheduled throughout the end of the year, IWMF is reconditioning used bicycles for local youth to ride along with the Fort Myers police on bike patrols in their neighborhoods.

“The highly visible but friendly law enforcement presence in at-risk communities provides a healthy atmosphere where youth can spend evening hours with officers, building positive relationships and respect,” said Jesse Bryson, president of IWMF.

According to Bryson, the trailer was an essential piece to IWMF’s plan so that it can secure the bicycles and easily transport them to the neighborhoods, helping to better engage with the youth.

During the clinics, teens will work alongside mentors, learning how to recondition the used bikes as well as be exposed to several career opportunities. Unbeknownst to the teens, at the end of the program, the repaired bikes will be given as gifts to those youth in need.

“This trailer donation was an easy decision for us,” said Mary Beth Geier, Florida region coordinator of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. “It’s not about the trailer but about what the trailer does – it helps this group of mentors get to work impacting the neighborhoods and communities they wish to serve.”

The iWill Mentorship is working in the Dunbar community to build skills, aspirations, community trust and engagement among the youth residing there in hopes of connecting the them with mentors and law enforcement who will provide STEM skills and career exposure, according to Tessa LeSage, director of social innovation and sustainability for the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, the backbone organization for FutureMakers Coalition.

“This is grassroots FutureMakers work at its very finest,” LeSage said of the iWill Mentorship Foundation. “These FutureMakers partners saw the need and found a creative and effective way to fill it with high hopes of changing lives, reducing crime and establishing an opportunity to meet shared goals in their neighborhoods.”

LeSage said the program hopes additional parties will contribute to the effort by volunteering to assist with bike repairs, participating in ride or becoming a sponsor.

“One-thousand dollars will sponsor bikes for 10 youth, and $3,000 will sponsor 30 bikes,” added Bryson.

Upcoming bike repair clinics are scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 20 and Dec. 10. All clinics will take place at Fort Myers Schwinn Cyclery, located at 3630 S. Cleveland Avenue in Fort Myers.

All community bike rides will take place on Wednesdays from 5 to 6 p.m. Upcoming rides are scheduled for May 25 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, located 3105 Broadway in Fort Myers; Aug. 24 at Rosa De Saron Assembly of God, located at 13235 Palm Beach Boulevard in Fort Myers; and Dec. 14 at Good News Baptist Church of Pine Manor, located at 1650 Oak Drive in Fort Myers.

Last fall, the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation granted the FutureMakers Coalition $300,000. The grant, which is payable during the next three years, will help fund emerging programs and projects like iWill developed by the Coalition’s Regional Action Teams focused on the FutureMakers’ goal of increasing the number of Southwest Florida residents with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 40 percent by the year 2025.

The Schulze Family Foundation was created in 2004 by Best Buy founder Dick Schulze, a Southwest Florida resident. It supports education, human services, health and medical research, and transformational entrepreneurship.

The FutureMakers Coalition is one of Lumina Foundation’s 75 national Community Partners in Attainment. Residents are encouraged to join and support this community-changing initiative. For more information, visit www.FutureMakersCoalition.com, call 239-274-5900 or email Tessa LeSage at [email protected].

-30-

Southwest Florida Community Foundation awards scholarships

Southwest Florida Community Foundation awards scholarships

More than $675,000 awarded to 107 students through 82 scholarships funds for high-school seniors,
and undergraduate and graduate students

FORT MYERS, Fla. (May 20, 2016) –The Southwest Florida Community Foundation recently granted $550,550 in scholarships through a competitive process to local high-school students, and undergraduate and graduate students from Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties. An additional $129,350 in scholarships was awarded by outside committee and/or designated by school. A total of 107 students were awarded funds through 82 scholarships for high-school seniors, and undergraduate and graduate students.

During the 2016 scholarship season, more than 1,000 eligible applications were received and reviewed by more than 70 volunteer reviewers.

“Thanks to the generous donors who established and continue to support scholarship funds, we are able to assist students entering college or training programs, and adults returning to school,” said Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation.

Through the Community Foundation’s online portal, students were able to apply for multiple scholarships, while the the Foundation’s volunteer reviewers could log on to review and score the submitted applications based on the criteria set by the scholarship fund donor.

Ten new scholarships were awarded this year and included the Patricia Means Scholarship Fund for ‘B’ or ‘C’ students from Southwest Florida who will enroll full time at a technical school, community college or four-year college or university. Five local students were awarded this scholarship in 2016 and will each receive a total award of $40,000 payable at $10,000 annually up to four years with satisfactory progress reports and continued enrollment at a post-secondary school.

Patricia Means passed away in March 2014 at 88 years old at her home in Shell Point Retirement Community. Originally from Fort Wayne, Ind., she raised five children with her husband Richard Means and moved to Cape Coral in 1982.

According to the Foundation, Patricia felt there was a need in the community for individuals who were not ‘A’ students but were still motivated to go to school and showed promise in receiving a post-secondary education. She directed the Foundation about her wishes in her estate documents to set up the Patricia Means Scholarship Fund in this way.
“Scholarships like the ones honoring Patricia Means are important and signify our work with our donors and the FutureMakers Coalition,” added Owen. “We have been able to shift the way scholarships are granted to better benefit the students’ ability to not only access schooling but to complete it through vocational college; these scholarships are not just for attendance at colleges and universities.”

According to Owen, examples of some of the more unique scholarships not as highly sought after included scholarships for students with disabilities, student athletes, students pursuing a specific field of study such as teaching deaf or blind individuals, students with specific church membership or community service hours in a particular facility such as a veterans hospital, adult students going back to school, students from particular schools or communities, and students pursuing a graduate or professional degree.

As leaders, conveners, grant makers and concierges of philanthropy, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is a foundation built on community leadership with an inspired history of fostering regional change for the common good in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the Community Foundation connects donors and their philanthropic aspirations with evolving community needs. With assets of more than $93 million, it has provided more than $63 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves. Last year, it granted more than $3.2 million to nonprofit organizations supporting education, animal welfare, arts, healthcare and human services, as well as provided regional community impact grants and scholarship grants.

For more information about the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, call 239-274-5900 or visit www.floridacommunity.com.

Scholarship Funds and 2016 Student Recipients

Also found at: http://floridacommunity.com/2016scholarships/

Allen B. and Elizabeth Shevach UF College of Medicine Scholarship Fund
Leslie Boucherle, University of Florida

Allen B. and Elizabeth Shevach Lee High School Graduate Scholarship Fund
Enessa Guerra, North Fort Myers High School

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Sue Gottcent Memorial Scholarship Fund
Erol Brenes, Florida Gulf Coast University (Nurse Anesthesia Program)

Anne M. Fassett Scholarship Fund
Tony Peterson, Florida Gulf Coast University

Anne Sturrock Nursing Scholarship Fund
Krista Sciulla, Bishop Verot High School

Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce/Ralph A. Richardson Fund
Erin Reedy, Estero High School
Paul Duguay, Estero High School

Bruce T. Gora Scholarship
Gillian Marino, Cypress Lake High School

Carl E. Brooks Scholarship Fund
Maria Valladares, Florida SouthWestern Collegiate High School
Isis Porta, King’s Academy in Clewiston

Carol Patti McLaughlin Scholarship Fund
Christina Calderon, Lemon Bay High School

Charles and Margaret Foster Scholarship Fund
Katie Thorp, Fort Myers High School
Josiah Vega, Florida State University

Chet and Janett Perry Rotary Club of Fort Myers Scholarship Fund
Anica Adzievska, Barron Collier High School

Chip Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund
Jeffrey St. Firmin, Florida Gulf Coast University
Victoria DeLaney, Florida Gulf Coast University
Iman Zekri, Florida Gulf Coast University

Couse-Gram Scholarship Fund
Brittney Drayton, Moore Haven High School

David G. Robinson Arts Scholarship Fund
Jessica Hill, North Fort Myers High School

Doc Keen Memorial Scholarship Fund
Payton Lawson, King’s Academy in Clewiston

Drs. Ira and Udaya Dash Nursing Scholarship Fund
Judith Galindo, Florida SouthWestern State College

Doris W. Frey Memorial Scholarship Fund
Emily Hendry, Fort Myers High School
Isis Porta, King’s Academy in Clewiston
Isabella Quintero, Naples High School

Dunbar Heritage Scholarship Fund
Nahisha Alabre, Dunbar High School
Javonta Graham, Dunbar High School

Edna and Felix Swain Scholarship Fund
Aliyah Mason, Fort Myers High School
Tyler Mouzon, Dunbar High School
Dominique De Loach, Florida Gulf Coast University

Ellen Sheppard Scholarship Fund
Chelled Crespo, Florida SouthWestern State College

Faye Lynn Roberts Education Scholarship Fund
Andrea Bruno, Florida Gulf Coast University

Former Everglades City High School Graduate Scholarship Fund
Lucas Parson, Palmetto Ridge High School

Frances Harris Gresham Scholarship Fund
Ariana Allen, Fort Myers High School

Frances H. Waldron Scholarship Fund
Maria Augilar, Immokalee High School
Marycruz Mendoza, Immokalee High School

G. Napier and Ellen T. Wilson Scholarship Fund
Olivia Morales, Fort Myers High School

George E. Judd Scholarship Fund
Sara Bryce, Oasis Charter High School
Dahlia Lilleslatten, Cypress Lake High School

Gerard C. Mehr Scholarship Fund
Duneshka Cruz, Marco Island

Howard P. and Magdalen K. Breitenbach Scholarship Fund
Aubrielle Curccuini, Gulf Coast High School
Thomas Salyer, Gulf Coast High School
Jason Tillotson, Cape Coral High School

Immokalee Achievement Award Scholarship Fund
Nyla Reyna, Immokalee High School

Isabel Mayer Kirkpatrick Scholarship Fund
Karlie Olmstead, Canterbury School

James Bilder Scholarship Fund
Jennifer Rose, North Fort Myers High School
Austin Knipper, North Fort Myers High School
Dedrick Douglas, Fort Myers High School

Jane H. Berktold Scholarship
Aubrey Walker, South Fort Myers High School
Luke Turner, Cypress Lake High School
Ian Sanders, Florida SouthWestern Collegiate High School

John and Ruth Childe Scholarship Fund
Rachel Barnes, Mariner High School

John and Ellen Sheppard Humane Student Scholarship Fund
Michael Chesnover, Fort Myers High School
Emily Hendry, Fort Myers High School

John I. and Madeleine R. Taeni Scholarship Fund
Erol Brenes, Florida Gulf Coast University (Nurse Anesthesia Program)
Shauna Sciancalepore, Florida Gulf Coast University (Nurse Anesthesia Program)

John M. and Mary A. Shanley Memorial Scholarship
Maria Valladares, Florida SouthWestern Collegiate High School
David Victoria, Oasis Charter High School
Austin Knipper, North Fort Myers High School
Megan Wagner, Mariner High School

Jordan Abdo Memorial Scholarship Fund
Payton Denny, North Fort Myers High School

Judge Isaac Anderson, Jr. Scholarship Fund
Dedrick Douglas, Fort Myers High School

Judge William J. Nelson Scholarship Fund
Kara Lefebvre, Lemon Bay High School
Julie Willard Mikell Fund
Taylor Kerr, Dunbar High School

Lewis B. Barber Memorial Scholarship Fund
Jannai Maxwell, Ida S. Baker High School

Love of Bonita Empowerment Scholarship Fund
Conni Leonessa, Hodges University

Mary Ann Elder Scholarship Fund
Ashley Jones, University of Central Florida

Patricia Means Scholarship Fund
Javonta Graham, Dunbar High School
Kyle Dennison, Riverdale High School
Aline Dort, Immokalee High School
Jeremy Jennings, Florida SouthWestern Collegiate High School
Ansley Blackwell, Cypress Lake High School

Paul B. and Aline Flynn Scholarship Fund
Emily Minoui, Fort Myers High School
Taylor Girtman, Riverdale High School

Richard S. Thompson and Marion L. Thompson Memorial Fund
Megan Galbreath, Cape Coral High School
David Victoria, Oasis Charter High School
Shelbi Erp, University of South Florida
Leah Colucci, University of Miami
Spencer Ellis, Mariner High School

Robert A. Kleckner Scholarship Fund
Summer Chrzescian, Naples High School

Robert B. and Dorothy Pence Scholarship Fund
Emma Pachiva, Fort Myers High School

Robert C. and Margaret A. Schikora Scholarship Fund
Judith Galindo, Florida SouthWestern State College

Ruth Messmer Scholarship Fund
Riley Marshall, Fort Myers High School

Sanibel Community Church Scholarship Fund: Next Generation Fund Trust
Samuel Owen, Ozark Christian College

Southwest Florida Deputy Sheriffs Association Fund
Adriel Alexander, Lorenzo Walker Technical High School
Dylan Caparo, Port Charlotte High School

The William R. Shevach Scholarship Fund
Jarod Maier, Fort Myers High School

William L. Graddy Law Scholarship Fund
Andrew Stoquert, University of Miami

-30-

Math Problem

Math Problem

Recently I was asked about my experience navigating my way into college.  I graduated from high school in 1981 which was a very long time ago but I distinctly remember my guidance counselor as being the catalytic force in getting me into college.

I was not a first generation college student and my family had some resources to assist me, but the guidance counselor walked beside me through the process of preparing for, applying to and getting in college.  She met with me on a regular basis throughout high school and more intentionally and frequently in my Junior and Senior years.  She made sure I had registered for the SATs, filled out applications and followed up on letters of recommendation.  Additionally she counseled me on degrees that matched my interests and aptitude.

I actually learned from her rather than a letter in the mail that I had been accepted early admission into my dream school.   We celebrated in her office and I felt as if I was the only student she had assisted when in reality she was repeating this same process with a full case load.  She was also there to pick up the pieces over the summer when my father broke the news that I couldn’t actually go because the family couldn’t afford it and helped me get quickly accepted to a college nearby.

I hear similar stories from friends and colleagues from my generation.  But times have changed and so has the role of the high school guidance counselor.

Through the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s involvement in providing scholarships and work in increasing college degree attainment in our region, I have learned that in the world of high school counseling our country and our region has a math problem and possibly a moral problem.

The national average of the ratio of guidance counselors to high school students is 1 counselor to every 417 students.  In California the ration is 1:1,000 and in some local schools the ratio is 1:600.

With those numbers there is no possible way the students of today are having the same experience I did back in the class of ‘81.

Last week at a state wide conference on college access I heard from caring professional guidance counselors who entered the field to impact students’ lives.  The desire is there but the ratios are crippling.  Many counselors are called to bus duty, lunch duty and other administrative tasks which further reduces their ability to spend critical one on one time with students.

Each year when the Foundation is reviewing our scholarship program, our volunteer readers ask if guidance counselors can point more students our direction- they were also in high school in the 1980s.

There are efforts underway at the national, state and local levels to address this math problem but in the meantime the community has a great opportunity to help close the gap.  Mentoring a middle school or high school student can make a big difference, particularly as it relates to guiding them to their next steps after high school.

Over the next few weeks you will see quite a bit of coverage of joyous seniors graduating high school, and heading out into the world.  Take a moment to consider where they might be going next and who helped guide them there.

Also consider the students coming right behind them that could use the same support the class of ‘81 received.  It could a great way to pay it forward and honor the guidance counselors that made it possible for us.  I am committing to mentoring a high school senior next year.  Anyone want to join me?  Contact me at [email protected] and we can do it together!

Note: Please check out our website or Facebook page and watch Nahisha’s story on how mentoring in middle school with a promise of a scholarship got her to graduation day with her sights on Cornell.

As leaders, conveners, grant makers and concierges of philanthropy, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is a foundation built on community leadership with an inspired history of fostering regional change for the common good in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Community Foundation, founded in 1976, connects donors and their philanthropic aspirations with evolving community needs. With assets of more than $93 million, the Community Foundation has provided more than $63 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves. Last year, it granted more than $3.2 million to nonprofit organizations supporting education, animal welfare, arts, healthcare and human services, as well as provided regional community impact grants and scholarship grants.

 

 

 

 

Community Foundation’s Women’s Legacy Fund holds spring luncheon

Community Foundation’s Women’s Legacy Fund holds spring luncheon

The Women’s Legacy Fund recently hosted its spring luncheon on May 12 at Gulf Harbour Yacht & Country Club exclusively for its WLF contributors and Prima Donors.

The “working” luncheon featured table discussions exploring cause areas identified and researched in our region to determine the Fund’s next cause area for grants benefiting women and girls in Southwest Florida. Discussions focused on intergenerational activities, career exploration and youth activities for women, young women and girls.

“Our contributors are interested in taking a deeper dive into the WLF grant focus areas before making their votes on what to fund, so we formatted the luncheon to be a more intimate gathering in order for everyone to explore and discuss cause areas as a group of collective philanthropists,” said Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. “This type of thinking and talking together further proves that we can do so much more together than we could ever do alone.”

The feedback and votes will be used to determine the next area of funding for the WLF’s 2016 grant recipient.

A fund of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, the Women’s Legacy Fund is a group of women who foster the immersion of women in philanthropy and develop the region’s next philanthropic leaders. Since 2008, the WLF has provided more than $120,000 in grants to benefit people and communities in Southwest Florida. Currently, it has more than $500,000 in endowment that will continue to help fund local issues now and in the future.

Contributors to the WLF give a minimum of $250 each year ($100 for women younger than 25). The first half of contributions is pooled for the purpose of immediate annual grants, while the second half is pooled into the WLF’s endowment fund, which provides additional grants to be made both now and in years to come. Prima Donors are local women who have contributed $10,000 or more to the WLF endowment and are committed to making an impact in their community through charitable giving.

As leaders, conveners, grant makers and concierges of philanthropy, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is a foundation built on community leadership with an inspired history of fostering regional change for the common good in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the Community Foundation connects donors and their philanthropic aspirations with evolving community needs. With assets of more than $93 million, it has provided more than $63 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves. Last year, it granted more than $3.2 million to nonprofit organizations supporting education, animal welfare, arts, healthcare and human services, as well as provided regional community impact grants and scholarship grants.

For more information about the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, call 239-274-5900 or visit www.floridacommunity.com.

-30-

 

Women’s Legacy Fund holds Spring luncheon

Women’s Legacy Fund holds Spring luncheon

The Women’s Legacy Fund hosted its Spring luncheon on Thursday, May 12 at Gulf Harbour Yacht & Country Club exclusively for its WLF contributors and Prima Donors.

The “working” luncheon featured table discussions exploring cause areas identified and researched in our region to determine the fund’s next cause area for grants benefitting women and girls in Southwest Florida. Discussions focused on intergenerational activities, career exploration and youth activities for young women, women and girls.

“Our contributors are interested in taking a deeper dive into the WLF grant focus areas before making their votes on what to fund, so we formatted the luncheon to be a more intimate gathering in order for everyone to explore and discuss cause areas as a group of collective philanthropists,” said Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. “This type of thinking and talking together further proves that we can do so much more together than we could ever do alone.”

The feedback and votes will be used to determine the next area of funding for the WLF’s 2016 grant recipient.

A fund of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, the Women’s Legacy Fund is a group of women who foster the immersion of women in philanthropy and develop the region’s next philanthropic leaders.

Here are some photos from the event:

Glades Education Foundation receives $15,000 grant

Glades Education Foundation receives $15,000 grant

FORT MYERS, Fla. (May 2, 2016) – The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, a FutureMakers Coalition partner along with Lumina Foundation, has awarded the Glades Education Foundation a $15,000 grant.

The grant will be used to support the Glades Education Foundation’s AVID About Success mentoring program to increase the number of students receiving mentoring and skill advancement for academic success.

AVID, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a research-based program that brings strategies and curriculum to classrooms to prepare students, grades 6 through 12, for success in middle and high school.

According to Glades Education Foundation’s Executive Director Laura Perry, the foundation plans to establish the program in grades 7 through 9 in the initial startup year at Moore Haven Middle-Senior High School and grades 6 through 8 in West Glades School, while Pemayetv Emahakv Charter Middle School will be a planning site.

“We expect to see improved enrollment in school mentoring programs within Glades County middle and high schools resulting in improved teacher-student relationships, peer support, increased knowledge of personal achievement strategies, increased knowledge of important study and test-taking skills, and increased inquiry and communication skills,” said Perry. “We also hope to see an increase in the number of first-generation students matched with mentors.”
Perry added that the goal is to see an increase in the number of middle school student enrollment in advanced coursework such as algebra I honors, geometry honors and biology I honors as well as honors and dual enrollment classes at the high school level.

“We expect students will continue in the AVID program through 12th grade and be accepted into a college, university or career academy,” she said.
AVID students will also learn how to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as well as other scholarship and financial aid applications, resulting in an increased number of FAFSA completions.

The mission of AVID is for students to be focused on post-secondary education.

Glades Education Foundation grant April 2016

About the Southwest Florida Community Foundation

As leaders, conveners, grant makers and concierges of philanthropy, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is a foundation built on community leadership with an inspired history of fostering regional change for the common good in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Community Foundation, founded in 1976, connects donors and their philanthropic aspirations with evolving community needs. With assets of more than $93 million, the it has provided more than $63 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves. Last year, it granted more than $3.2 million to nonprofit organizations supporting education, animal welfare, arts, healthcare and human services, as well as provided regional community impact grants and scholarship grants.


About FutureMakers Coalition

The FutureMakers Coalition is working to increase post-secondary certification completion in Southwest Florida and promote the knowledge and skills needed for success in the workplace and in life. Formed in 2015 around existing regional collaborations, the Coalition’s goal is to transform the workforce by increasing the number of college degrees and post-secondary certifications from 27 percent to 40 percent by 2025 throughout Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties.

As one of Lumina Foundation’s 75 national Community Partners in Attainment, the FutureMakers Coalition is a regional partnership involving education, government, business, nonprofit and citizen stakeholders, and advocates committed to creating a cradle-to-career pathway to ensure success for traditional students and adult learners. The Lumina Foundation is an independent private foundation committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025.

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation serves as the anchor organization for the Coalition. The FutureMakers Coalition’s collective effort encourages residents to join and support this community-changing initiative. It is looking for partners from all sectors to invest resources, including time, expertise, funding and more. For more information, visit www.FutureMakersCoalition.com, call 239-274-5900 or email Tessa LeSage at [email protected].