The nonprofit Guadalupe Center in Collier County is recruiting more mentors for Immokalee high school students next week. And as part of a dual-mentorship program, the high schoolers then tutor “at risk” elementary school kids in their community.
The organization is doing its annual fall scouting for mentors to help Immokalee high schoolers who are on track for college. Through the center, these teenagers also have paid part-time jobs tutoring kids between kindergarten and second grade after school.
Collier County considers these specific elementary school kids as “at risk” because they’re about a grade level below where they need to be. Kelly Hammer with the Guadalupe Center says that’s usually because the children don’t speak English.
“The little kids really look up to their tutors and they hear them talking about college and they know that they're going to college," she says. "They don't have that role model at home.”
The Immokalee high school students can earn up to $4,000 in college scholarship money every year they tutor the children in their community. Hammer says the center has been hosting this program for about a decade. She says anyone interested in participating can hear stories from past mentors and mentees Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 5 pm in Fiddler’s Creek.