The Ray and Wasie Foundations recently made history for The Immokalee Foundation.
The Minnesota-based Wasie Foundation pledged a $1 million matching grant to help support The Immokalee Foundation’s student programs. The Naples-based Ray Foundation met the match with an additional $1 million.
The pledge by The Wasie Foundation was the first-ever million-dollar match challenge in The Immokalee Foundation’s history.
Combined, the contributions were expected to make a significant impact on The Immokalee Foundation’s Career Pathways Program, which prepares students for in-demand careers in business management and entrepreneurship, education and human services, engineering and construction management and health care.
The Ray and Wasie Foundations have a strong history with The Immokalee Foundation, having previously supported The Immokalee Foundation’s innovative Career Pathways Learning Lab — a hands-on professional training hub and home to a future 18-home subdivision located in the heart of Immokalee.
The Wasie Foundation donated $250,000 to underwrite the entire first home constructed as part of the Learning Lab, which helped provide the necessary funds to begin building additional homes.
The Ray Foundation established a $250,000 matching grant at the beginning of the project to help cover the cost of preparing the land for construction. The Ray Foundation’s support of The Immokalee Foundation aligns with the Ray Foundation’s mission to uplift the youth of America by enabling them to develop life skills such as self-discipline, self-confidence, and self-reliance.
“The scope, scale, and quality of services provided to the youth of Immokalee by The Immokalee Foundation is truly inspirational,” said Charles J. Ahearn, director and president of the Ray Foundation, in a news release.
“The Career Pathways Learning Lab provides development opportunities for students interested in the engineering and construction management fields.”
Stanley Wasie, a pioneer in the American trucking industry, established The Wasie Foundation in 1966 with a mission to offer needed financial support to those motivated to succeed. Over its more than 50 years, the foundation has provided tens of millions of dollars in grants and scholarship funding.
“Mr. and Mrs. Wasie believed that America was the land of opportunity for anyone who was willing to get an education and work hard,” said Gregg D. Sjoquist, chairman of The Wasie Foundation, in the news release.
“They were strong and early believers in the concept of technical training and major financial supporters in the arena of technical education. Through hard work, the Wasies rose from poverty to become one of the most well-known and successful families in Minneapolis. They demonstrated, firsthand, that in America, anything is possible.”
The Immokalee Foundation for more than 30 years has focused on education and professional development for students in Immokalee, from kindergarten to postsecondary education.
Last year, the Immokalee Foundation began building 18 homes through its partnerships with Immokalee Technical College, BCB Homes and Collier Enterprises.
The goal of the project was to expand the hands-on experience for students.
The foundation’s Career Pathways is a project allowing students to explore different career options such as health care, business management and entrepreneurship, education and human services.
The nonprofit foundation, which started 30 years ago, focuses on student educational success in the area.
For more, visit immokaleefoundation.org.