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Retired Florida Teacher Swims 12 Miles Around Key West To Raise Scholarship Money

KEY WEST(CBSMiami/CNN) - Steven Becker and a friend of his from college had a big goal in mind when they planned to swim 12 miles around Key West.

"The whole purpose of the swim was to raise money for college scholarships," said Becker, a retired teacher.

"My goal was to raise about five to six thousand dollars, which is how much it costs to send a student to Florida college university for a year," he said.

The money raised will go toward helping students with the Immokalee Foundation, a non-profit that empowers students in the city where Becker used to teach.

"I just really have a special affiliation with the foundation. I love the work they do and love the people that are involved there," he explained.

Before Becker attempted the swim, Noemi Perez, President & CEO of the Immokalee Foundation said, "if he raises the goal which is five thousand dollars, then Florida pre-payed will match that, to equal a ten thousand dollar scholarship for a student in Immokalee."

She explained how the fundraiser reassures students they'll be able to continue their education.

"Immokalee is a poverty community and many of our students don't have the opportunity to really explore what is out there. This just gives them peace of mind so that when they do go off and select a college, they will have their tuition taken care of."

Becker hit the water and completed his mission on Saturday – in just 5 hours and 20 minutes.

The Immokalee Foundation plans to distribute scholarships later this year.

(©2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report.)

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