NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodImmokalee


Microsoft Tech Spark ignites technology opportunities for the Immokalee Foundation students

Posted at 6:51 PM, Jan 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-26 13:33:59-05

IMMOKALEE, Fla. — 40 students in the Immokalee Foundation's Career Pathways program are learning what their future can look like.

For the next four weeks, they'll hear from Florida Gulf Coast University professors about AI, drones, data and more in a new part of their program.

This part of the program is funded through a Microsoft Tech Spark grant, which awarded the non-profit $50,000.

The Immokalee Foundation CEO Noemi Perez said, "[it] really bridges the gap between educational opportunities and digital skills."

She believes as the digital landscape grows, so should the student's exposure to it.

"Immokalee is an agricultural, rural community where they don't have a lot of opportunities to exposure and different things," Perez said.

The grant allows the non-profit to provide the students innovative, hands-on learning opportunities from FGCU experts.

"Every student deserves to have these opportunities, and the students here in Immokalee are no different," said Microsoft Progam Manager Michelle Schuler. "We know how important it is for our youth in every community to have that innovative excitement, just to see technology, play with technology to advance their future."

She believes technology is no longer a gap for the kids, but it's now the bridge to spark their future.

"We hope to see that light bulb light up and ask different questions that maybe they wouldn't be exposed to," Schuler said.

The Microsoft Tech Spark program lasts two years, but the Immokalee Foundation hopes to continue it in the future.