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College-bound: Guadalupe Center celebrates Tutor Corps Class of 2023
By: Guadalupe Center
Since 2004, every Tutor Corps student has completed high school and been accepted to college, with 94% ultimately earning a college degree.
"Our goal is that all students continue their education and ultimately attain a post-secondary education, but it's extraordinary that our graduating class is positioned to earn that degree without incurring significant debt," said Guadalupe Center President and CEO Dawn Montecalvo. "We have strong partnerships with colleges and universities across the country, as well as generous donors, that join forces to remove the biggest obstacle that our talented students face when considering college – money to pay for tuition, books, room and board."
Guadalupe Center's college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program provides Immokalee High School students with college and career readiness programs, ACT and SAT test prep, mentorships, financial literacy and scholarship assistance, as well as wages for tutoring younger students. The nonprofit celebrated its Class of 2023 on April 27, when parents, mentors, community partners and staff gathered to recognize seniors' accomplishments:
Students will be pursuing majors in biology, mechanical and biomedical engineering, business, nursing, criminal justice, economics, psychology, aeronautical science, veterinary medicine, biochemistry, education, political science and other fields. Some are electing to stay close to home, attending Florida Gulf Coast University or Florida SouthWestern State College, while others will attend the University of Florida, Florida State University and other public and private institutions within Florida. In addition to The Ohio State University and Michigan State University, Tutor Corps students will be enrolling at six out-of-state institutions that have formal partnerships with Guadalupe Center: Arcadia University, Augustana College, North Central College, Roberts Wesleyan College, Saint John's University and Villanova University.
Jose Agustin Beltran-Meza will be majoring in civil engineering at FGCU, a dream that seemed impossible before Guadalupe Center staff helped explain everything from selecting a major to choosing a college and completing a financial aid application.
"I was pretty lost, and they guided me," Beltran-Meza said. "If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have known how to start."
"Being a first-generation student, you can get easily confused when filling out financial aid paperwork or applying to different colleges, or thinking about how you're going to pay for it," added Susie Lopez-Trejo, who plans to major in social work or marketing at FGCU. "Guadalupe Center helps steer you in that direction and apply for all of those things."