Back To School & Prepared For Success
As students returned to school this month, HACM's Education Initiative hosted a special event to help ensure that its most at-risk students connect to services that can help them improve their school attendance and achievement. Students also took an inspirational road trip to the UW-Green Bay campus and the storied home of the Green Bay Packers, Lambeau Field.
“We wanted to start the year off with the message, “You can do this!,” said Education Specialist Natasha Dotson.
To address the challenges faced by students having difficulty maintaining a 2.0 or higher grade point average, the youth and their parents were required to attend a session that provided information about resources that can help them to overcome barriers to success.
The event featured inspirational presentations by several program partners, including Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee Public Library, Running Rebels tutoring program, Craft Club mentoring program for boys, Pearls for Teen Girls mentoring program, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee.
To make sure that each youth has the individualized support they need throughout the year, Dotson and other HACM staff actively monitor student attendance and grades, and they intervene to connect them to additional resources when there are difficulties.
“Each youth needs to know that there are many people rooting for their success and ready to help them along their educational pathway,” said Dotson.
A few weeks after the informational session, the Education Initiative offered a tour of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay campus to inspire youth to work towards post-secondary education.
“College tours are a great way to give the youth a taste of where they can go with their lives, to give them something to strive for,” said Dotson.
The tour introduced the students to various areas of study, dorm and campus life, and the many on-campus resources to help them succeed. A highlight at the end of the tour was a visit to Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers football franchise.
“We want our youth to be excited for their futures and to know that they have options and opportunities to create the life they want,” said Dotson.Since its inception in 2004 serving the Highland Homes and Scattered Sites developments, the HACM Education Initiative has helped over 90% of seniors to graduate from high school, compared to a 68% graduation rate for students across the city of Milwaukee.