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Guadalupe Center program coordinator to speak at Florida education conference about overcoming Hurricane Irma

Helen Midney, Guadalupe Center’s Tutor Corps high school coordinator, has been invited to speak at a statewide higher education conference about mitigating the impacts of Hurricane Irma on this year’s graduating class.

Midney will participate in a panel discussion at the Florida College Access Network Summit on Friday, May 11 to address how a contingent of Collier County groups worked together to ensure the Class of 2018 did not have their dreams dashed by Hurricane Irma. Many Collier families, particularly those in Immokalee served by the Guadalupe Center, experienced significant property damage and job loss because of the storm.

“This is an incredible opportunity to share with my colleagues about how we were able to keep high school graduation, and college admission, a priority when students and their families were dealing with enormous stresses at home,” Midney said. “The FCAN Summit will be attended by more than 300 college administrators and advocates from around Florida, so I hope we can provide them with valuable lessons if they should ever have to overcome a similar situation.”

FCAN is a collaborative network of education leaders that aims to improve college and career readiness, access to higher education and degree completion for all Florida students. Members include public, private and not-for-profit institutions, foundations and organizations.

Also on the Irma panel are Peggy Aune, associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction for Collier County Public Schools; Lisa Church, vice president for Champions for Learning; and Jessica Manchette, senior director of programs for Champions for Learning.

Despite the hurdle posed by Hurricane Irma, all 29 seniors in Guadalupe Center’s Tutor Corps program will be graduating in May from Immokalee High School and attending college in the summer or fall. This marks the 13th consecutive year that 100 percent of Tutor Corps seniors have been accepted into colleges and universities.

Tutor Corps is a college preparatory program that offers scholarship money as well as a wage for tutoring elementary school students in Guadalupe Center’s After-School and Summer Enrichment Program. Tutor Corps participants must maintain a 3.0 grade point average, and each is matched with an adult mentor to offer guidance and support. The Guadalupe Center Tutor Corps team members also offer guidance on the college application, scholarship and financial aid processes, as well as SAT and ACT prep.

About Guadalupe Center
Guadalupe Center is a purpose-driven, nonprofit organization with proven results in creating endless possibilities for the students of Immokalee through education and fostering personal and academic success that leads to economic independence. With a focus on breaking the cycle of poverty through education, Guadalupe Center is proud of the children’s accomplishments: 94 percent exceed kindergarten readiness measures, 100 percent of Tutor Corps high school seniors graduate high school and are accepted into college, and more than 90 percent graduated with a post-secondary degree.

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