Taste X UF Experimental Program: A Taste of Immokalee and University of Florida Collaboration

Posted on May 18, 2022


Taste of Immokalee announces a new collaboration with the University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), Food Science, and Human Nutrition (FSHN) department, called Taste X UF Experimental Program. This partnership is a first of its kind, enabling high school and college students to collaborate and jointly learn, ideate, create and bring new products to market under the guidance of professors and business mentors.

Both partners bring tremendous benefits to the students that will participate in this highly selective Program:

Taste of Immokalee provides the framework that teaches young entrepreneurs how to successfully create and operate a business using local resources to create new products. The Taste of Immokalee business – created and operated by high school students – currently sells its brand of salsa and sauce products online and in select grocery stores, including over 200 Publix stores in the State of Florida.

CALS provides students with an awareness of career opportunities in food sciences and experiences to help them build successful career paths in an industry where innovative talent is needed worldwide. UF’s FSHN program is one of the world’s most extensive combined academic programs where food science, nutritional sciences, and dietetics are all studied within one department.

Applications are now open for the approximately 20 high school students from Collier County who will be selected to participate. The Program will kick off with a trip to meet UF faculty and students at the end of July 2022. Then, beginning in September, the Collier County the cohort will join UF students in bi-weekly virtual workshops and occasional on-site meetings at both Collier County and Gainesville locations.

The Program is geared toward 9th to 12th-grade high school students interested in entrepreneurship, food science, or those wanting to learn more about the University of Florida. While there is no GPA requirement to apply, the applicant must be on track to graduate on time. Taste X UF Experimental program is looking for applicants that exhibit (but are not limited to) the following characteristics:

  • Innovative
  • Punctual
  • Responsible
  • Adaptable
  • Professional

Those picked to join the Program’s first cohort will have the opportunity at a summer internship within the collier county area pertaining to either food science or entrepreneurship. In addition, those who are selected will be mentored by the University of Florida’s faculty and students, a top-five nationally-ranked public school.

If you are interested in applying for Taste X UF Experimental Program, applications can be found here. All applications are due no later than June 10, 2022, at 11:59.

To learn more about our exciting new initiative, Taste X UF Experimental Program, check out our F&Q sheet. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact Executive Director Marie Capita at marie@tasteofimmokalee.com or (239) 297-6814.

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