An organization that teaches thousands of migrant children throughout Florida turns 40 this year. Through charter schools and childcare, Immokalee-based “Redlands Christian Migrant Association” serves youngsters in 20 Florida counties – including Collier, Lee, DeSoto, Glades and Hendry. Project Director of school-aged programs in Immokalee - Josh Rincon– grew up in an RCMA program before eventually getting a college degree and working for the organization.
He says his goal is to instill in kids—even their parents—the idea that anything is possible…
“We tell them…there’s more than just picking tomatoes or being a crew leader. You can talk to your kids about becoming a better person…that’s one of the things we tell them. You know, your grandfather was a tomato picker…your dad was a tomato picker…you don’t have to be a tomato picker. You don’t have to be a field worker. There’s more to life than being out in the fields…you can be a lawyer, a doctor…you know, it’s all in you.”
Redlands Christian Migrant Association doesn’t just work with children. Many of the educators and administrators who work there are former field workers. The non-profit, non-sectarian organization depends on grant money and charitable donations. RCMA recently received a half million dollars from the Naples Winter Wine Festival. But, to get the money… leaders must match it dollar for dollar.
Wednesday, 04 May 2005 01:00