Giving Opportunities

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The Big and Little of It

The Big and Little of It

Rose is pictured with her Big Sister Alex. 

My name is Rose and I am a graduating senior. I am a happy, healthy, well adjusted, young woman who excels in school and has a bright future ahead of her.

Growing up, I faced many challenges. I was born into an abusive unhealthy family and placed into foster care. During my time in care I’ve engaged myself in programs to help those without voices. I joined Florida Youth Shine and have worked my way up to be president. Through this organization I have spent countless hours studying laws and attending workshops to inform children in the Foster Care System about their rights and benefits. I also spend time training new caseworkers on how to make an impact on the lives of children in the System.  I’ve had numerous opportunities to speak with many legislators, judges, lawyers and people with power to implement laws. I enjoy this very much and truly love the impact I have been able to make in the lives of these children just like me.

Three and a half years ago I became a Little Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters in their Beyond School Walls program. Thanks to my assistant principal and the program coordinator for selecting me to be a part of this impactful program where I experienced the business world and was matched with my amazing mentor and big sister Alex at Enterprise Holdings. She has always had my back which has made the challenges of high school much easier for me. She knows exactly what I need and has guided me into the strong and amazing woman I am today.

In the 3 years we have been together, Alex and I have experienced a lot and I have to say she is the perfect Big Sister for me. With the help of this program and my big sister Alex, I finally found where I’m destined to be. My dream job is to become a Doctor and work to build many hospitals in Third world countries to help those in need and give back to people less fortunate.

Alex is always there to support me in all of my endeavors. I’ve learned a lot from her in the past and will continue to learn from her for the rest of my life.

As I move on in life to further my education I will never forget how Alex has made an impact on my life and how she has guided me through the college application process. I plan to attend Florida Southwest College in the fall. I will cherish these years forever.  We truly have a special relationship.

Beyond School Walls Program

High school students meet with their mentors in a business setting, giving students the opportunity to experience what it means to work for a corporation, learn business etiquette, and identify educational requirements for professional success.

96% of seniors completing the program are continuing their education, joined the military or entered the work force.


This summer, Florida Weekly has graciously allowed us, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, to spotlight the nonprofit organizations funded through the Foundation’s 2019 competitive grant cycle.  Funds made available for these grants are graciously given by donors through Field of Interest Funds. Many of these donors are deceased and have left instructions to the Foundation on the causes they care about and then rely on the Foundation team to address the communities’ greatest needs within the established criteria by the donor.  We have asked these grantees to share their stories. We are pleased to partner with these change-makers.


The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Foundation partners with individuals, families and corporations who have created more than 400 philanthropic funds. Thanks to them, the Foundation invested $6.8 million in grants and programs to the community. With assets of more than $126 million, it has provided $78.2 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan. The Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s regional headquarters are now located in the historic ACL Train Depot at Collaboratory in downtown Fort Myers, with a satellite office located in LaBelle (Hendry County). For more information, call 239-274-5900 or visit



Southwest Florida Community Foundation
Southwest Florida Community Foundation

Our ambition is a more vibrant community that will continually address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties in Southwest Florida. We invite you to join our family and invest in the community with us!