Guadalupe Center receives $10,000 grant from NaplesNEXT Ideas Festival

The NaplesNEXT Ideas Festival has presented Guadalupe Center, beneficiary of the inaugural 2019 event, with a $10,000 grant to enhance educational programs for students in Immokalee.

The inaugural NaplesNEXT held in March 2019 drew hundreds of guests to rub shoulders with more than 50 thinkers and influencers who took to the stage to share their expertise across a diverse set of topics, including the environment, health and medicine, philanthropy, innovation and beyond. Four chief justices, three former White House chiefs of staff, legendary philanthropists, best-selling authors and esteemed editors of national publications were among the lineup.

Guadalupe Center, a nonprofit organization with a mission of breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee, was one of the 2019 beneficiaries through a FoundationNEXT fund established through the Community Foundation of Collier County.

“We are incredibly grateful that NaplesNEXT chose to partner with Guadalupe Center and understands the potential impact that a strong education can have on the lives of children and their families,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of Guadalupe Center. “This grant will allow us to continue creating endless possibilities for the students of Immokalee.”

Guadalupe Center serves more than 1,300 students through its three primary programs, each of which produces outstanding results. More than 95% of students who complete the Early Childhood Education Program enter school having met or exceeded Florida’s kindergarten readiness standards. An astounding 100% of students in the After-school Tutoring Program show academic gains in reading and math, while 100% of Tutor Corps seniors graduate high school and are admitted into college.

Stacey Vollman Warwick, executive director of NaplesNEXT and senior vice president of Intersport, recently toured Guadalupe Center to see firsthand how the nonprofit is enhancing education for students in Immokalee.

“This is the impact that we envisioned for NaplesNEXT. The important work being done by the Guadalupe Center shows that big ideas can lead to a better future, and we are proud to share that mission with the Guadalupe Center,” said Warwick. “As part of our commitment to making a difference in Collier County, we are adding a State of the Community Summit to the NaplesNEXT 2020 schedule and will discuss the important impact that educational programs like the one at Guadalupe Center have on child wellbeing here in Florida and around the country.”

The NaplesNEXT Ideas Festival recently announced a partnership with the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, that will bring together distinguished members and elected leaders of Collier County, state and local representatives, and national experts to discuss their viewpoints on the current and future state of the landscape of child wellbeing at the second annual NaplesNEXT. Guadalupe Center is a longtime beneficiary of NCEF’s Naples Winter Wine Festival.

Register now to attend NaplesNEXT 2020 at the Naples Grande Beach Resort in Naples on March 2-3 by visiting A portion of each registration fee is tax deductible and will benefit the Naples Children & Education Foundation and other designated nonprofit beneficiaries through a FoundationNEXT fund established through the Community Foundation of Collier County.

Guadalupe Center enhances After-school Tutoring Program through grant from United Way of Collier County

Guadalupe Center is enhancing its successful After-school Tutoring Program through a generous grant from United Way of Collier County.

United Way is providing $46,000 to help fund an After-school Tutoring Program widely regarded as a difference-maker for children in Immokalee. Guadalupe Center’s program operates throughout the school year and serves 840 students in kindergarten, first and second grades who have scored below-level on county and state assessments.

Guadalupe Center’s teachers provide extra attention and support to ensure students reach the academic milestones required for success in school.

“It’s incredibly important to build a strong academic foundation at an early age, and 100% of students enrolled in our After-school Tutoring Program show learning gains in math and reading,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of Guadalupe Center. “The grant from United Way of Collier County will help us reach additional students who just need a little more support to catch up to their peers, and ultimately excel in the classroom and beyond.”

Guadalupe Center is one of 21 partner agencies supported by United Way of Collier County, which directs its assistance to organizations addressing health, education and financial stability. In 2018, United Way of Collier County raised a record $6.1 million, nearly doubling the 2017 total of $3.3 million as more than 3,000 individuals and organizations made donations or pledges.

Guadalupe Center’s After-school Program operates at all five elementary schools in Immokalee: Pinecrest, Highlands, Village Oaks, Lake Trafford and Eden Park.