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Leadership Day showcases career opportunities for students in Guadalupe Center’s Tutor Corps program

Fifty sophomores, juniors and seniors from Immokalee High School had an opportunity to network with and learn from successful business leaders during Guadalupe Center’s inaugural Leadership Day on Feb. 12.

Leadership Day featured a dozen professionals and entrepreneurs offering insight into their occupations and inspiration to pursue a college education and a career, both key components of Guadalupe Center’s Tutor Corps program.

“Students dressed in business attire and treated Leadership Day as a true opportunity to help guide them as they consider potential college majors and career paths,” said Bob Spano, Guadalupe Center’s vice president of programs. “It’s one thing to have a guidance counselor at school help them map out their futures, but not too many teens can sit down at a table and chat with an engineer, doctor or nurse about what their jobs are really like and how they got there.”

Roundtable discussions were led by Guadalupe Center volunteers Mark Nagan (engineering), Rick Lane (information technology), Meredith Dee (psychology), Tom White (business/accounting), Carlton Cleveland (business/finance), Gene Renna (business/engineering), Melissa Cofta (business/marketing), Kristin Ryan (nursing), Joe Vento (physician), Dr. Murray Yost (physician), Dick Munro (media) and Jim Ragusa (education). In addition to learning about a variety of careers, students also had a chance to hear about the various twists and turns one’s career path often takes.

Following the discussions, Nancy Carlson, former vice president of aviation and marine at ExxonMobil Fuels and Lubricants, delivered a keynote address during which she encouraged students to “step out of your comfort zone and be open to any and all possibilities.” Students then had an opportunity to practice their networking and business conversation skills during a reception.

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 meet or exceed kindergarten readiness measures, 100 percent of Tutor Corps high school seniors graduate high school and are accepted into college, and more than 92 percent graduate with a post-secondary degree.

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