As high school graduation for Collier County Public Schools approaches, Champions For Learning celebrated the 2023 graduates of the organization in a separate ceremony on May 2nd. This graduation, Countdown to Cap and Gown, was hosted at Artis – Naples and was a fun opportunity for the 80 graduating seniors, their families, and their mentors to come together and celebrate all the success this class has accomplished so far.
The Champions For Learning’s 2023 graduating class has put in countless hours and work to help better themselves as well as our community. Despite the challenging circumstances this class has been faced with over the past four years, a pandemic and a catastrophic hurricane, the graduates of Champions For Learning have persevered and have produced extraordinary results because of it. Collectively, the class of 2023 has accomplished the following to date:
- 297 applications submitted for college or technical programs
- 187 college acceptances
- 67 Industry certifications and counting
- 6 students will be graduating with their associate degree at the same time as graduating from high school because of dual enrollment
On top of these amazing statistics, the Champions For Learning class of 2023 has collectively served over 10,400 hours of community service.
“These accomplishments are no easy feat. All of our programs’ graduates have done an amazing job utilizing opportunities to meet their goals,” shared Jessica Manchette, Chief Programs Officer, Champions For Learning. “Four years ago, when these students were inducted into our program, we could have never predicted all their accomplishments. We commend their hard work toward reaching their goals for the future. Each student brings unique attributes to the collective class. We are so proud of our students and excited to see all that they will accomplish.”
The Champions For Learning’s 2023 graduating class is made up of students enrolled in one of the two programs the organization offers, Take Stock in Children or College and Career Preparation.
The Take Stock in Children program is a mentoring program for students, from families with low incomes, in 8th through 12th grades. Students commit to staying drug and crime free, maintaining their grades and meeting with their mentor regularly.
When Take Stock in Children students enter 11th grade, they are dual enrolled in the College and Career Preparation program as described. Upon graduation, Take Stock in Children students earn a two-year state college scholarship.
“The staff at Champions never failed to make me feel like whatever I was going through was going to be okay,” said Hector R., a 2023 graduate from Champions For Learning’s Take Stock in Children’s program. “Having an organization like Champions For Learning care so much about my future and about my success makes me feel so grateful.”
The College and Career Preparation Program works with 11th and 12th grade students enrolled in Collier County Public Schools, charter, and private schools who are working towards high school graduation and postsecondary education or technical training. These students come from households with low incomes and middle-class gap who cannot afford the full cost of post-secondary education or technical training without help.
The program incorporates college- and career-preparation program components that have been proven to be highly effective: academic support, college and career planning, leadership development, college access and visits, coaching, service learning, and financial literacy. College and Career Preparation students may earn an In-Demand Careers or Project STARS Scholarship in this program.
The impact these programs have on students within our community is made possible through generous donors. Consider making a gift to Champions For Learning to support our student programs.
To view more photos from the Countdown to Cap & Gown event, click HERE.