“We’re gonna make it bigger, better and more special than it already is.”
~ Marty Quinn, Head football coach, Ave Maria University
The leader of one of the nation’s newest football programs is referring to the relationship between the university and the town of Immokalee when he calls the interaction between college and high school students “awesome” and says the mentorship project, facilitated by 1by1, is a two-way street.
Quinn shares his hopefulness as the programs continue to expand and include more students and more athletes. He’s confident the results will be great as the programs expand and more lives are changed.
“What a pleasant surprise it was to discover 1by1 when I arrived out here in Immokalee.” ~ Ken Fairbanks, Principal, Immokalee High School
A career educator, Ken Fairbanks knows a good thing when he sees it. And, having an organization entirely devoted to helping a generally less fortunate student population get a leg up in the world is definitely a good thing in his eyes.
He has watched his students develop a will to succeed outside their rural community, and also discover the intrinsic value of coming home to help continue the trend, because of the hands-on rewards and incentives provided by can-do 1by1 volunteers.
“My heart is in Immokalee; there are success stories all over place.” ~ Dr. Richard Hailer, Volunteer
Former college professor and world-traveler Richard Hailer believes he has a lot to give as a volunteer with 1by1, and doing so is what makes him human.
Drawing his inspiration from working with kids, Hailer believes few people realize the incredible cultural and natural beauty of the Immokalee area, so he is now focused on creating opportunities for students to practice in the community what they learn in the classroom.
Thus, he is developing an environmental responsibility project at Lake Trafford with the goal turning it into an eco-tourism destination.
“Having them (1by1) on my side is huge.” ~ Letti McConnell, IHS Class of ‘05, Owner The Print Shop
Letti McConnell got to know the people in the 1by1 Leadership Foundation when her business shared a building with the organization.
Even as she watched the group’s accomplishments in Immokalee, she had no inkling they would soon assist her in organizing a girls’ basketball league and youth basketball camp, while fulfilling one of her childhood dreams.
“1by1 wanted to connect with the kids. I thought, ‘What an opportunity!’” ~ Richard Kent – Guidance, Immokalee High School
Giving credit to the foundation for helping his students widen their views of the world, Richard Kent says business owners and volunteers from across south Florida have helped teens set career goals, plan a path to success and overcome all kinds of obstacles.
They tutor, bring in role models, help with immigration issues and I really thank them.
“All I ask is that they come back…and contribute to this beautiful community.” ~ Bernardo Barnhart – President, Immokalee Chamber of Commerce.
For those who live by the credo “pay it forward,” the success stories that Bernardo Barnhart tells about the fledgling 1by1 Immokalee Leadership Foundation’s work in this southwest Florida agricultural community will inspire.
With more than 60 graduates in slightly more than a year, Barnhart believes the organization’s guidance and assistance will be instrumental in keeping multitudes of the area’s teen athletes from becoming a statistic.
On Friday, Aug. 17, representatives from CenturyLink presented 15 new bicycles to the third and fourth grade students who completed a five week summer digital media
course provided by One by One Leadership Foundation of Immokalee.
Sinclaire Williams is the program director of One by One and managed the program. During the computer training program the youth learned to tell their personal stories
using digital media. The children were referred to the program by Immokalee Housing and Family Services, a not for profi t company providing housing, education and other social services in Immokalee for 101 families.
Attending the presentation in addition to parents, students and family members were Jim Lamb, local administrator for CenturyLink, Rob Roache Area Vice President-RMG Business Sales Southern Region, Debbie Gainor, Area Operations Manager for the South Region Andrea C. Dyer Program Manager and Brian Hamman,
Manager Market Development.
John Lawson, executive director of One by One Leadership Foundation thanked them for their interest in helping the youth of Immokalee as did Susan Golden, executive
director of Immokalee Housing and Family Services.
Rob Roache V.P of CenturyLink, spoke about his work in an international telecommunications business and the rapidly changing role of technology in education. He encouraged the youth to use the bikes safely and to keep developing their computer skills.
This message was echoed by the Collier County Sheriff ’s deputies’ community policing unit, Sgt. Pat Lawson and Cpl. Wendell Davis who provided back packs and helmets
to those receiving the back-to-school gifts.
Sinclaire Williams presented the students with certificates of completion and e-readers to students and volunteers. This year’s program was funded in part by Florida Community Bank. Also assisting in the program were; Cristina and Daniel Fernandez. For more information about the program, contact Sinclaire Williams at 239-249-9970.