Grand Marshal and Co-Parade Marshal have been selected

Posted 12/6/19

(Submitted photo/Fred N. Thomas) Bridgette Frazier Toombs. Bridgette Frazier Toombs Bridgette Frazier Toombs was born on a cool November day. Since the beginning of life, she has been destined for …

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Grand Marshal and Co-Parade Marshal have been selected

(Submitted photo/Fred N. Thomas) Bridgette Frazier Toombs.

Bridgette Frazier Toombs
Bridgette Frazier Toombs was born on a cool November day. Since the beginning of life, she has been destined for greatness. Bridgette has been filled with accomplishments and enjoyable moments. She was born a natural leader and it shows in the community of Immokalee where she has lived her entire life.

She has set examples for everyone that knows her and spreads her love to all of mankind. She is a devoted wife to James Toombs and caring mother of three (Jamie 29, James 26, and Jadah 14). She has two grandchildren (Skye and Roderick).

Bridgette is a proud graduate from Immokalee High School, Class of 1987. While attending IHS, she was a four-year member of the varsity basketball, varsity volleyball and varsity track teams. She is one of the most decorated athletes in school history, making numerous all county, all conference and all area teams throughout her career. She was a top scholar athlete in the county as well as nationally.

If you need proof, she has all the trophies, medals and ribbons to prove it. She was also top 20 Scholar Athlete of Collier County and among high school athletes nationally in 1987. During her senior year, Bridgette was named MVP of her basketball, volleyball and track teams. She was the second female and third overall from Immokalee High School to win a state championship. During her last two jumps at the state track meet, Bridgette jumped an 18’11.5” and was inches away from breaking the state record at the time, which still is the current school record and earned her the state title. To finish off her senior year she was named 1987 Athlete of the Year.

After graduation, Bridgette went on to attend Florida Memorial College where she played volleyball and ran track. She received her degree from Nova Southeastern University and has been employed with Collier County Public Schools since 1992.

She has influenced numerous lives throughout the community whether it was through coaching, teaching, and her generosity. Bridgette currently teaches at Immokalee Alternative Schools where she helps many kids pass the Algebra EOC. In 2005, Bridgette won the State Farm Good Neighbor Sportsmanship Award.

Juan A. Medina

For over 30 years, Mr. Juan A. Medina has made it his mission to give back to a community that has not only given him a purpose, but one that he is proud to call his home. A native of Texas, Mr. Medina, along with his wife Dominga, were introduced to the town of Immokalee through an employment opportunity with Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA). As the Drop Out Prevention Coordinator at RCMA, Mr. Medina was not only able to assist and encourage students to stay in school, but to also graduate and further their education through a college or vocational program. As a former farmworker, Juan understood the struggles his students faced, having to migrate from town to town while trying to maintain the grades necessary to advance. Throughout the years, Mr. Medina has worked tirelessly to advocate on behalf of the migrant children and families of Immokalee. His journey has taken him as far as Washington D.C. to serve as a spokesperson in support of migrant farmworkers regarding NAFTA, to ensuring families immediately received the aid they needed after Hurricane Wilma devastated the area in 2005. Mr. Medina has served on boards and alongside organizations throughout Immokalee. Additionally, he has had the honor of receiving recognition for his work in the community, such as:

(Submitted photo/Fred N. Thomas) Juan A. Medina.

• Co-founder of the Hispanic Heritage Celebration, which raised thousands of dollars in scholarship money to benefit the students of Immokalee High School.

• Had biography featured in the book “Dark Harvest” published in 1985.

• Served as a station manager and local radio personality for 1490 WZOR and 92.5 WKZY.
• Served as informal spokesperson and presenter, advocating for Florida’s Migrant Farmworkers regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

• Credited in the documentary, “Immokalee, USA”

• Credited in the Florida documentary, “Cracker Crazy”

• Coordinator of the “Rio Grande Valley Tejano Hurricane Wilma Relief” with Tejano singer Roberto Pulido, bringing supplies from Edinburg, TX into Immokalee, FL.

• Throughout the years, has raised approximately $50,000 through community donations for the “I Dare You Migrant Scholarship” given by the CCPS Migrant Program.

• Recipient of the 2019 Collier County Public Schools (CCPS) Hispanic Heritage Month Recognition Award

• Former board member of Redlands Christian Migrant Association, COFFO and the Marion E. Feather Medical Center

• First President of the Immokalee Chapter of Kiwanis International

Today, you can find Mr. Medina working with the Collier County Public Schools (CCPS) Migrant Program, where for over 24 years, he has continued to encourage students to do their best, work hard, finish school and dream big. Through the CCPS Migrant Program, Juan has had the opportunity to bring awareness of the services the Migrant Program offers such as the High School Equivalency Program (HEP) and the College Assistant Migrant Program (CAMP), both of which allow students at Immokalee High School the tools necessary to further themsleves wether through a high school diploma or a college degree at a participating university. One of Mr. Medina’s proudest accomplishments was establishing the cooperation of the Michigan State CAMP Program with Immokalee High School and the school district of Collier County.

Juan credits the late Mr. Wendell Rollason and Former RCMA Executive Director, Ms. Barbara Mainster for the impact they had in shaping who he is today. Mr. Rollason, the founder of Redlands Christian Migrant Association and Ms. Mainster, “believed in me and helped me see opportunity when I did not see it; they were the reason why I chose a path of mentorship. I wanted the children and youth in Immokalee to see in themselves what Mr. Rollason and Ms. Mainster saw in me.”

Additionally, Mr. Medina credits his accomplishments and contributions to the overwhelming support of his wife Dominga and his three daughters, as they have played an integral role in supporting him throughout the years. For Juan, the work he does in the community is more than a job; it is a mission to help migrant families overcome adversity, seek opportunity and embrace it. “The youth of Immokalee are bright, talented and fearless individuals with the capacity to do amazing things; as a member of the community, it is my responsibility to fight for them and allow them the resources they need to succeed, so that they one day can become doctors, lawyers, artists, business owners; the sky is the limit! Honestly, there is no greater joy than seeing a former student come back home to Immokalee, as a professional, with their head held high, ready to give back and show the next generation that anything is possible.”

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