Mark Yanke was presented with the Whitney Radder Phuture Phoenix Phenomenal Role Model Award for the fall 2011 semester, in a special ceremony held Dec. 14 on the UW-Green Bay campus.
Yanke is a Gillett native and returning student, having received a bachelor’s degree in English in May of 2010. He returned to UW-Green Bay this fall to get teaching certification. He is just finishing his first semester in the Professional Program in Education and hopes to teach English/Language Arts at either the middle or high school level.
Yanke was chosen by his peers as the student who most demonstrates outstanding leadership and dedication to partner schools, said Kim Desotell, director of the Phuture Phoenix Program. Yanke has been serving this semester as a role model at Green Bay East High School, working with at-risk students to bolster academic performance and raise college-going aspirations.
The presentation was made as students in the Phuture Phoenix class (Education 295) gathered for their final class of the semester.
“As you can imagine, I am quite proud of this award and quite surprised by the honor,” Yanke said.
Whitney Radder was a Phuture Phoenix tutor, pursing a degree in Education, when she was killed in a tragic car accident as she returned from a Phuture Phoenix visit to Franklin Middle School on April 20, 2010. Wanting her strong spirit to carry on and serve as inspiration to others, her peers established this honor in her memory. The award is presented each semester to a Phuture Phoenix Role Model for exemplifying, upholding and exceeding the expectations of the Phuture Phoenix program, while providing “phenomenal community service” in Phuture Phoenix partner schools.
Phuture Phoenix began in 2003 from an extended conversation between Cyndie Shepard, the wife of former chancellor Bruce Shepard, and University Trustee Ginny Riopelle about establishing a mentoring program that could help students in at-risk schools stay on course for college. It has since served more than 10,000 school children from elementary schools with significant low-income populations.
Phuture Phoenix has been replicated at UW-Eau Claire, Western Washington University and Silver Lake College.