FORT MYERS, Fla. (May 23, 2017) – Local high school students gathered at Hodges University to participate in the FutureMakers Coalition’s second annual Regional Student Summit earlier this month.

The summit engaged and involved students in the progression of Southwest Florida’s regional initiative to develop a more skilled workforce. The annual event was geared toward listening to students to better understand educational and career aspirations as well as challenges from their perspective while developing student leaders to participate in the FutureMakers Coalition. Activities included sharing regional data and facilitating discussions to understand students’ insights, including regional data reflecting inequities in graduation rates; engaging in meaningful discussions with peers about their communities, schools and futures; and documenting findings through pictures with the use of graphic facilitators.

The goal of the FutureMakers Coalition is to transform the workforce by increasing the number of Southwest Florida residents with degrees, certificates and other high-quality credentials by the year 2025.  Southwest Florida was one of 75 metropolitan areas selected as part of Lumina Foundation’s Community Partnership for Attainment to increase post-secondary attainment nationwide. 

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation serves as the anchor organization for the FutureMakers Coalition. The Coalition encourages residents to join and support this community-changing initiative. It is looking for partners from all sectors to invest resources, including time, expertise, funding and more. For more information, visit, call 239-274-5900 or email Tessa LeSage at