The Immokalee Foundation’s Home Construction Project Comes Full Circle

by Noemi Y. Perez, President and CEO

Life may seem like a linear journey. However, if there is anything that life teaches, a straight line is hardly a good measure of our existence.

After all, much of nature is built in circular shapes and moves in circular patterns. From our planet, to the sun and moon, and all the way down to the structure of our cells and atoms, circular shapes and patterns are everywhere.

The Immokalee Foundation is no exception. These full-circle moments build upon what makes it so special. When we launched our Career Pathways Learning Lab Home Construction Project in 2020, our students gained an exceptional educational opportunity. Still, we couldn’t anticipate this project’s impact on two of our own.

Carlos, a BCB Homes employee, is the Superintendent of The Immokalee Foundation’s Learning Lab, an 18-home subdivision in Immokalee that serves as hands-on professional career experience for Foundation students.

The Immokalee Foundation’s Learning Lab Home Construction Project 4.

In this role, he provides hands-on training for our Engineering & Construction Management and Business Management & Entrepreneurship Pathway students, helping these motivated young people with the tools required to succeed in the construction industry.

At age 16, Carlos joined The Immokalee Foundation with the support of his farmworker father and mother. After graduating from Immokalee High School in 2008, he secured a summer internship with BCB Homes, eventually leading to his full-time position and current role overseeing The Learning Lab.

Just look at what Carlos and our students are creating. Eight of the 18 planned houses in the neighborhood have been completed, and seven are already home to exceptional families, each contributing to the local economy as they make Immokalee an even better place to live and work.

The growing neighborhood serves as an educational experience for students getting ready to meet the construction and engineering needs of a growing Southwest Florida. It is also a haven for Immokalee’s hardworking, dedicated middle class. Its residents work for Healthcare Network, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Seminole Tribe, The Shelter for Abused Women & Children, and yes, The Immokalee Foundation— companies based out of Immokalee, with local and national impact.

Everyone who has known the joy of purchasing their first home will undoubtedly understand the excitement of this accomplishment. And everyone in our community can help keep this dream alive. You can underwrite the cost of an entire home—or even a percentage of a home.

Perhaps you prefer to cover the costs for a specific aspect of a home. Everything from kitchen appliances, ceiling fans, sliding glass doors, and HVAC systems can be sponsored by big-hearted members of the public. For example, Verizon recently paid for the kitchen cabinetry for one new home.

For Immokalee Foundation alum, staffer and Learning Lab neighborhood homeowner Amy, every work day represents a full-circle moment. “It’s amazing to go home and see our students working on homes in my community. Not only do these students get hands-on experience, but it will set them apart from their peers when applying for colleges and scholarships.”

Initially, Amy was happy just living in a beautifully constructed home. “Now, I really get it. I am proud of the work—the heart—that it took to make it all happen. Everyone who has had a hand in the Learning Lab should be proud of themselves. They have made history in Immokalee.”

About The Immokalee Foundation

For more than 32 years, The Immokalee Foundation has been preparing the next generation of leaders through a 100% focus on education, career readiness, and professional development for students in Immokalee—from kindergarten through postsecondary education.

To learn more about The Immokalee Foundation, call 239-430-9122 or visit

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