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Athletics, assembly mark busy winter break for Phuture Phoenix program

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UW-Green Bay Phuture Phuture program
From Phoenix hoops to in-school pep rallies, it was an enjoyably busy semester break for UW-Green Bay’s signature Phuture Phoenix program.

More than 400 area fifth-graders and family members watched the UW-Green Bay men’s basketball team beat Cleveland State at home Jan. 19, thanks to a partnership with Phoenix Athletics. The program offers free tickets to all 1,400 fifth-graders who attend the annual Phuture Phoenix Day in October. Organizers say the partnership provides another chance for students to have contact with UW-Green Bay and think about college attainment in their own lives.

During the Phoenix basketball event, students get to run around the court at halftime, shoot free throws and get post-game player autographs. This year’s attendees included kids and families from the school districts of Green Bay, West De Pere, Bowler, Menomonee Nation, Suring, Sturgeon Bay, Oconto and Oconto Falls.

“We are incredibly grateful to Phoenix Athletics for helping us to continue this wonderful partnership,” said Stephanie Cataldo Pabich, Associate Director of Phuture Phoenix. “This offers a terrific opportunity for students to see yet another aspect of college life, and for them to envision themselves as college students in the future.”

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Phuture Phoenix staff continued their busy schedules Jan. 22, coordinating a presentation about the federal Dream Act and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) at Green Bay Preble High School. The presenter for that program was Jamie Kmiecik, team manager with Advocates for Healthy Transitional Living in Green Bay. Kmiecik studied the Dream Act and DACA, which affect many families in Northeastern Wisconsin, for her Master’s degree project, Cataldo Pabich said. Nearly three-dozen people attended her presentation.

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The final big event of the Phuture Phoenix week was a high-energy Jan. 23 assembly at Green Bay’s Jefferson Elementary School. Jefferson is the home school for the Phuture Phoenix primary program, which encourages students as young as kindergarten to attend college through monthly assemblies and a variety of other initiatives. UW-Green Bay student Andy Wenig, a Human Biology major, spoke to the students as part of the presentation.

“Andy had no prior connection to Phuture Phoenix, and yet at our request he stepped up and did a wonderful job connecting with the students at Jefferson,” Cataldo Pabich said. “We love how the UW-Green Bay students are so willing to embrace these sorts of opportunities, even if they do not plan to become teachers and work with kids.”

For more information on Phuture Phoenix, visit www.uwgb.edu/phuturephoenix.

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