IMG_2552The goal for Immokalee Day was to inform Class XX about relevant social and economic trends, critical issues and needs in that community. The day began with a bus ride from Naples, where class members got an overview of Immokalee’s demographics and an outline of major issues that face its residents.

First stop was the Guadalupe Center, where the class had a brief guided tour of the center and heard an overview of issues that face families with children, programs available to help, and collaborations that exist to maximize services.

Then they got back on the bus for a town tour. Residents of Immokalee narrated, pointing out key points of interest, including the story of Habitat for Humanity and its importance to this community.

Next stop was the Immokalee Technical College to hear a discussion of economic development in Immokalee. Over a wonderful lunch, which was prepared by the iTech Culinary Department, the class heard remarks from one of many very enthusiastic residents of Immokalee. There were several opportunities during this day to hear from residents of Immokalee and to interact with them. After lunch, another panel provided perspectives on agricultural business and labor.

To close the day at Immokalee High School, the class did a service project alongside students from the school, helping to pack 25,000 Meals of Hope.

Several key points summarized the day. Immokalee has many significant needs, as well as some great success stories. Immokalee is not only about programs. It is also about relationships, about community pride, about providing children and young adults with opportunities to learn and grow. And it is about resilience.

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