An anonymous donor with a particular interest in housing in Immokalee has made a $247,500 grant through the Community Foundation of Collier County to The Immokalee Foundation to support the construction of a new home in the foundation’s 18-home Career Pathways Learning Lab subdivision.
The Learning Lab is part of The Immokalee Foundation’s Career Pathways program, which provides the youth of Immokalee with robust after-school and summer programming that prepares them for well-paying, in-demand professional careers.
“We are excited to provide support to The Immokalee Foundation through the generosity of our donors for their Learning Lab project as part of our Your passion. Your Collier. campaign designed to address critical community needs such as education and employment,” said Eileen Connolly-Keesler, Community Foundation President and CEO. “This innovative project will provide an amazing educational opportunity for local students to obtain valuable skills that will prepare them for the workforce.”
Collier Enterprises donated 8.3 acres of land for the Learning Lab subdivision and helped underwrite the cost of the permitting and infrastructure work, an investment of more than $1 million. The Ray Foundation’s $250,000 matching grant provided a significant boost in getting the Learning Lab underway. The Immokalee Foundation also partnered with BCB Homes and Immokalee Technical College (iTECH) to develop a high school curriculum of after-school and summer programs that incorporate on-the-job, experiential learning and paid internships.
The Immokalee Foundation is providing supervision for students during new home construction, and iTECH supports onsite educational instruction. A double-wide trailer provided by Lipman Family Farms serves as a meeting space and on-site classroom for foundation students in the Business Management & Entrepreneurship and Engineering & Construction Management Pathways. Learning about land development, home construction, marketing and sales, coupled with their educational curriculum, is helping students achieve employability upon high school graduation and pursue postsecondary education to attain their chosen professional careers.
With three bedrooms and two baths in 1,680 square feet of air-conditioned living area, plus a lanai and a two-car garage, the subdivision’s single-family homes will be sold at market price to further support The Immokalee Foundation’s Career Pathways Learning Lab project.
Each home requires approximately seven months to complete. The Immokalee Foundation expects to build three homes per year and anticipates completing the Learning Lab in 2027.
The Community Foundation of Collier County is a grant-making public charity that collects donations to fund the work of local nonprofits and supports positive change in the community.
For more than 30 years, The Immokalee Foundation has provided a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to professional careers through support, mentoring and tutoring, and life skills development leading to economic independence. To learn more about The Immokalee Foundation, becoming a mentor, its signature events, volunteering as a career panel speaker or host, making a donation, including the foundation in your estate plans, or for additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit https://immokaleefoundation.org.