Scholarship Student Maria Munguia-Cortes Receives “40 Under 40” Award

Maria Munguia-Cortes

Please join us in congratulating former press club scholarship student Maria Munguia-Cortes for being honored by Gulfshore Business magazine as one of 40 winners of the “40 Under 40” award for making a significant difference in the Southwest Florida community through her years of volunteer and professional service. The 25-year-old currently works as Community Relations Coordinator for Lipman Family Farms.

As Gulfshore Business writes:

A lifelong resident of Immokalee, Maria’s community involvement started in high school, when she was a reading and math tutor for at-risk elementary-age students. After becoming the first member of her family to graduate from college, she began working for Lipman Family Farms, North America’s largest open-field tomato grower and distributor. Serving as a connection point between the company and the community, Maria says she wants to continue giving back.

“I would not be where I am today had it not been for all the incredible mentors in my life. I credit the Guadalupe Center for providing me with my first mentors,” she says. “My experience in development programs like the Guadalupe Tutor Corps, Redlands Christian Migrant Association’s daycare and The Immokalee Foundation have all shaped my desire to give the same opportunities I received to the generation coming up behind me.”

In 2021, Maria was elected to the Guadalupe Center Board of Trustees, becoming its youngest member and the first Tutor Corps alumna to join its governance board.

In 2022, she was selected for Associate Leadership Collier, a program of the Leadership Collier Foundation of the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce.

Connie Kindsvater, Chair of the Scholarship Program for the Press Club of Southwest Florida, says that in 2017, Maria, a DACA student, graduated from Immokalee High School and was awarded one of our Press Club Scholarships for the four years that she was at Wartburg College, Iowa. “She was an outstanding student, and we are so very proud of her,” Connie concludes.