Expressing Gratitude, Appreciation for Unwavering Support

Every Thanksgiving, we pause to count our blessings and express appreciation for those who positively impact our lives. But why limit our thanks to one time each year?

Guadalupe Center is extremely fortunate to have passionate supporters, volunteers and team members who devote their time, talents and treasure to help fulfill our mission of breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee. Simply saying thanks once a year isn’t enough. Saying it every day isn’t enough, either.

These generous individuals, couples, businesses and philanthropic partners are generating hope, creating endless possibilities and transforming lives for students in Immokalee.

Two-year-old Ashley, for example, has gone from a shy, nonverbal toddler to an engaged student who knows the alphabet, numbers, colors and shapes. Three-year-old Gourdon had access to a behavior specialist and special resources to help him grow and thrive. Seven-year-old Alex received academic assistance and homework help, and can now write sentences independently and read at his own grade level.

Jasmin completed a college degree in psychology and is now pursuing a master’s degree in counseling. She ultimately wants to return to Immokalee as a mental health counselor.

There are many more success stories just like theirs… more than 1,500 in fact. During the past year, Guadalupe Center’s supporters have provided:

• 373 students from infancy through age 5 with access to a nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program.

• 600 students in kindergarten, first and second grades with after-school tutors to supplement reading and math instruction.

• 330 students in kindergarten through second grade with summer enrichment programs focusing on reading and math.

• 117 high school students with programs focusing on career readiness, test prep, mentorships, financial literacy and scholarship assistance.

• 135 college students with academic, financial, social and emotional support to help them reach their ultimate goal of earning a college degree.

Beyond the numbers, though, are teachers and tutors who goes the extra mile to make sure students understand a reading or math lesson. There are mentors who guide students as they choose a college major, university and career, as well as volunteers who lend a hand during special events, enrichment activities and at Guadalupe Resale Shop. And, of course, we celebrate the donors and philanthropic organizations whose financial support opens access to high-quality, transformational education programs.

You – our partners – are empowering success for Guadalupe Center students. You are making dreams come true for the 1,500-plus students we serve annually. You are helping fund construction projects that increase access to high-quality educational programs. You are helping break the cycle of poverty for students and families in Immokalee. And for that, we are eternally grateful.

Expressing Gratitude, Appreciation for Unwavering Support

Dawn Montecalvo is president of Guadalupe Center in Immokalee. To join Guadalupe Center’s effort to break the cycle of poverty through education, please visit or call 239-657-7711.

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