Flocking to College

Hundreds of Green Bay Middle Schoolers to Experience College Life on Friday

GREEN BAY, WI – It won’t be your typical spring field trip on Friday, April 22 when hundreds of students from a Green Bay middle school flock to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay to experience college life as a Phoenix.

More than 350 Edison Middle school eighth graders will take part in the University’s popular Phuture Phoenix program, a coordinated effort to inspire academic success and alert children to educational opportunities that are available to them.

Students hitting campus on Friday will actively participate in a wide range of campus activities, including large group college lectures, small group academic advising sessions, and learning experiences focused on college finances and residence life. Additionally, students will tour the Kress Events Center, on-campus housing, and the University Union to fully experience a day in the life of a college student.

The University’s Phuture Phoenix program partners with schools having high percentages of students from low-income families, encouraging students to graduate high school and pursue a college education. Since it’s inception in 2003, Phuture Phoenix has hosted a total of 17,241 fifth-grade students during the annual campus visits in October.

Jenny Woldt, a fifth grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School in Green Bay, says Phuture Phoenix programming helps elementary students prepare for college early. “You have to start in kindergarten, get in their brain that they are college bound no matter where they come from, and that they just need to work hard in school and work hard in their community, and they can get there.”

This week’s visit marks the first time the program is being opened up to the eighth level. According to Phuture Phoenix Director Mary Sue Lavin, it’s important to emphasize to eighth grade students that once they enter high school next year, “everything counts.” “Grades, participation, extracurricular activities, attendance, and positive attitude are all building blocks of an enjoyable high school career that lead to post-secondary success, a fulfilling career and meaningful involvement in one’s community,” said Lavin. “We are excited to give area eighth graders this experience on the UW-Green Bay campus. We feel that more ‘touches’ we can provide, the more likely students are to pursue post-secondary educational opportunities.”

More than 75 UW-Green Bay students are serving as role models and group leaders for the day and more than 30 faculty members are also participating. In addition to learning about award-winning academic programs and research opportunities that are available in their own backyard, student visitors can get a taste of two other essential elements of college life: recreational opportunities and on-campus housing.

“It’s never too early to introduce the idea of what it’s like to attend college,” said UW-Green Bay Director of Residence Life, Gail Sims-Aubert. “It’s so important that today’s youth understand going to college means they will be a part of a vibrant educational experience both inside and outside the classroom. This program is an outstanding opportunity to provide a sneak peek of life on campus.”

UW-Green Bay’s Assistant Director for Events and Operations Brent Tavis agreed and added, “We’re excited to show students one of the crown jewels of the University, the Kress Events Center. We get to expose kids to a great atmosphere of sports, fitness, and activities designed to make their future time here at UW-Green Bay memorable.”

More information about Phuture Phoenix is available at www.uwgb.edu/phuturephoenix.

About the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,700 students. The University transforms lives and communities through exceptional and award-winning teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities, and a problem-solving approach to education. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.


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