Close-ups: A look into the Phoenix Scholar Program

Phoenix Scholar ProgramThe Phoenix Scholar Program, a residential program at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay designed to promote the academic success of African American eighth-grade boys, is in full swing.

Twelve eighth-graders from Franklin and Washington Green Bay Area Public Schools were nominated by a teacher, social worker, guidance counselor, administrator or a Boys & Girls Club staff member to attend the program, which runs from June 24 to June 29.

There is evidence that African American males in the greater Green Bay area are underachieving academically as compared to other students. This mirrors national statistics. The Phoenix Scholar Program is an attempt to intervene at a local level and is meant to complement pre-existing programs such as the Phuture Phoenix, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Pre-College, and federally funded TRIO programs.

Phoenix Scholars see and live the college experience and work with African American mentors in both their academic and personal skills. One of the goals of the program is to have the participants envision themselves as scholars who can and will successfully matriculate to college and graduate.

During the Monday through Friday workshops, students have interactive lessons in study skills, creative writing, math, digital media, literacy, visual arts and more. They also learn about culturally centered concepts and hear about a wide variety of careers, experiences and high expectations from mentors such as University personnel and community volunteers (Michael Brown, Officer Solomon Ayres, Quasan Shaw, Harry Sydney, Vince Lowery and Shawn Robertson).

Phoenix Scholar Program participants and mentors

Phoenix Scholars and mentors, above, with Officer Solomon Ayres, 2003 UW-Green Bay graduate

The program has two elements: summer residential camp and yearlong follow-up experiences. During the academic year, participants will continue to receive academic, social and interpersonal support from professionals and volunteers. In addition, the scholars will be encouraged to participate in pre-existing local programs at the Boys & Girls Club, Brown County Parks and Recreation, and prepare to enter a local TRIO-funded precollege program such as Upward Bound.

The Phoenix Scholar Program is a collaborative initiative among Green Bay Area Public Schools, UW-Green Bay, Green Bay Boys & Girls Club and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The program is funded by Wisconsin’s Advanced Placement Incentive Program grant, UW-Green Bay, Shopko Community Charitable Grant program, the Green Bay Packers and the generous donations of African American professionals from the greater Green Bay area.

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 The Phoenix Scholar Program, June 2012, UW-Green Bay  The Phoenix Scholar Program, June 2012, UW-Green Bay  The Phoenix Scholar Program, June 2012, UW-Green Bay  The Phoenix Scholar Program, June 2012, UW-Green Bay  The Phoenix Scholar Program, June 2012, UW-Green Bay

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