Guadalupe Center launches ‘Stepping Stones’ campaign

Guadalupe Center launches ‘Stepping Stones’ campaign

Guadalupe Center - van Otterloo Family Campus for LearningGuadalupe Center has announced a new campaign, Stepping Stones to the Future, that allows supporters to help launch an educational journey for students in Immokalee. 

Stepping Stones allows supporters to purchase personalized brick pavers that will be installed in walkways and courtyards at the new van Otterloo Family Campus for Learning, which will open in spring 2022. 

“We want to fill the campus with messages of hope and encouragement so children know they have the full support of this community,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of Guadalupe Center. “Stepping Stones is a campaign that will have a lasting impact for years to come because an investment in education is an investment that transforms lives today, tomorrow and beyond.” 

Three types of personalized brick pavers are available: 

  • 8 inches by 8 inches: taupe engraved brick 
  • 9 inches by 12 inches: taupe engraved brick (includes option for corporate logo) 
  • 12 inches by 12 inches: beige engraved brick (includes option for corporate logo) 

The van Otterloo Family Campus for Learning will feature two academic buildings with multiple classrooms, a library, learning lab, cafeteria and kitchen, playground, administrative offices, mentor lounges, commons areas, a medical and dental suite, outdoor gardens and a student wall of fame. 

For years, Guadalupe Center has maintained a waiting list of more than 500 students for seats in its nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program. In 2020, Guadalupe Center opened the Monaghan Family Early Childhood Education Campus, which accommodates 66 children from infancy through 3 years old. The van Otterloo campus will accommodate up to 154 Early Childhood Education students. It also will become home to Guadalupe Center’s college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program, providing students and staff with access to a learning lab, meeting rooms and spaces for collaboration. 

Both new campuses were funded by philanthropic support secured through Guadalupe Center: 2020 & Beyond, a comprehensive campaign to provide life-changing, transformational programs for additional students in Immokalee. 

For more information or to purchase a Stepping Stone, please contact Nzinga King at NKing@GuadalupeCenter.org or 239-657-7124.  

Class of 2021: Tutor Corps seniors earn $4 million in scholarship offers, grants

All 30 high school seniors graduating from Guadalupe Center’s Tutor Corps Program will be attending college in the fall and have received a collective $4 million in scholarship offers and grants, including $378,400 in scholarship funding by tutoring children in Guadalupe Center’s After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program.

Guadalupe Center honored its Tutor Corps Class of 2021, its largest class to date, on May 4 during a private ceremony held at Immokalee High School, where students were joined by family members and mentors to celebrate their achievements. Notable statistics from the Tutor Corps Class of 2021 include:

– Students earned an average weighted GPA of 4.0

– 17 of 30 students earned college credits while in high school (their average was nearly 21 credits each)

– 12 of 30 students are the first in their family to graduate from high school

– 26 of 30 students are first-generation college students

“The Tutor Corps Class of 2021 overcame disruptions in their education caused by the pandemic, Hurricane Irma and other life challenges, but emerged stronger and more resilient,” said Guadalupe Center President Dawn Montecalvo. “As these young men and women head to college in the fall, I am confident they will continue excelling in the classroom and on campus, like they have done for the past four years during high school.”

Tutor Corps is a college-preparatory program that offers guidance in college and career readiness, ACT and SAT test prep, mentorships, financial literacy and scholarship assistance. Guadalupe Center’s mission is breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee.

The Tutor Corps celebration event featured remarks by Board of Trustees Chairman Joseph Baughman, Montecalvo, Vice President of Programs Bob Spano and Tutor Corps Program Director Sheila Oxx. Three students – Perla Munoz, Jose Reyes and Jean Jocirin – delivered invocations in English, Spanish and Creole, respectively.

Despite missing their junior and senior proms, athletic events, field trips, college visits and many other opportunities because of COVID-19, Spano noted that all 30 students still reached the finish line. Now, they can focus on what’s ahead. “Students, the future is your motivation,” Spano told students during his address. “Learn from the past, but live in the future.”

Graduating senior Lunex Illozier, a self-taught musician and academic scholar who will be majoring in biomedical engineering at Roberts Wesleyan College, delivered the keynote address.

Guadalupe Center’s Tutor Corps Class of 2021 includes Mariana Brito, Ricardo Castillo, Lorve Cherilus, Ashley Decius, Marc Dorcin, Kayla Etienne, Diyanara Galvan, Mariela Galvan, Malaya Hollins, Lunex Illozier, Jean Jocirin, Jazmin Leon, Karina Lopez-Ramirez, Daniela Martinez, Pedro Miguel, Laura Morales-Nito, Esteban Moreno, Perla Munoz, Rosaura Munoz-Luna, Geraldine Pierre, Gierdy Pierre-Paul, Daniela Rafael, Jose Reyes Dubon, Gisel Reyes, Benny Reyna, Ethan Rincon, Veronica Sanchez, Noemy Segura Sanchez, Jaime Sifuentes and Maria Tistoj.