Posted on February 19, 2019
Prisca Paul recalls being known as the “family hustler” growing up. The youngest of five siblings, “I was always looking for ways to get my family to buy things from me or looking for odd-jobs to earn money.” Now at 14, Prisca has found the perfect environment to nurture her entrepreneurial nature with Taste of Immokalee.
Prisca is part of the marketing team, where she uses her creativity and outgoing personality to find new ways to promote the Taste of Immokalee brand. She and her teammates are involved with social media, event marketing, sales promotions, communications and more.
“There is nowhere else that kids my age could get this kind of hands-on experience. I don’t just show up for work every day. I get to use my ideas, learn how to make them better, and watch a real business grow because of them.”
Prisca’s hard work paid off when she learned that she was among the select group of Taste of Immokalee participants who were selected for a paid internship program. “The money I earn and the scholarships I hope to receive one day will make it possible for me to achieve my dream of going to college. I am so thankful to have this experience!” (See how excited Prisca was to receive her first paycheck in this video.)
Taste of Immokalee has also fueled Prisca’s passion for helping others. Her future goals include not only working for or owning a successful business, but also creating a nonprofit that addresses needs in the community.
“One of the things I’m already thinking about is providing transportation for after-school programs. I see so many students from working families who are left at the end of the day without a ride home. They must either walk a long distance (in areas that aren’t always safe), or their families must pay the high cost of a taxi (which usually isn’t an option in areas like Immokalee where poverty levels are so high.”
This greater awareness of social challenges and the personal drive to create solutions is one of the many benefits that come from the Taste of Immokalee program. High school students are given the opportunity to learn to operate a successful business while being socially responsible. Profits from the sale of Taste of Immokalee products are returned to the community to support youth programs and alleviate the extreme poverty in the area.
For Prisca, it’s hard to narrow down her favorite parts of the program, but some of the highlights include:
What’s the best “secret for success” she’d pass on to other interns? “Use your mentors. The skills they teach you will help you learn and grow, and you will always have something you’re proud of to look back on.”
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