Phuture Phoenix program to bring 800 eighth graders to campus in April 2019

Green Bay, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has a vision to expand its Phuture Phoenix program. The signature program is best-known for hosting fifth graders from across the region in October of each year. In the month of April 2019, it will be expanding the program to include 800 eighth graders from Franklin, Edison and Washington Middle Schools. Within the next few years, organizers hope to host every eighth-grader in the district. All tours begin and end at the Kress Events Center. Students arrive at 9 a.m. and return to their schools before noon. Members of the media are welcome. This year’s campus visits are:

  • April 1-2, Franklin Middle School
  • April 10-11, Edison Middle School
  • April 23-24, Washington Middle School

Phuture Phoenix collaborates with schools that have high percentages of students from low-income families and encourages students to graduate from high school and pursue a college education. The program is expanding to bring students to campus prior to beginning high school. Due to family transiency, nearly 30 percent of local eighth-graders did not get a chance to visit campus as fifth-graders.  To help support the eighth-grade campus experience, more than 75 UW-Green Bay students will serve as role models and group leaders for the day and more than 30 UW-Green Bay faculty and staff members are contributing with mock lectures and college-going of activities.

This year’s campus experience will differ from the fifth-grade trip, as eighth graders will actively participate in a wide range of college-going activities, including a financial literacy seminar, an admission and advising session, and an abbreviated lecture or activity—delivered by a UW-Green Bay professor. Additionally, all eighth graders will tour the Kress Events Center, on-campus housing, and the University Union to experience what a “college day” feels like. Director of Phuture Phoenix, Mary Sue Lavin, will emphasize to the eighth graders that once they enter high school, “everything counts.”

“Grades, participation, extracurricular activities, attendance and positive attitude are all building blocks to an enjoyable high school career that leads to post-secondary success, a fulfilling career, and meaningful involvement in one’s community,” said Lavin. “We are excited to give the eighth graders this experience on the UW-Green Bay campus. We feel the more ‘touches’ we can provide, the more likely students are to pursue post-secondary educational opportunities.”

Phuture Phoenix is a coordinated program to inspire academic success and alert children to educational opportunities that are available to them. College prep starts early, and the Phuture Phoenix campus experiences offer students a first-hand look at the necessary steps to pursue and attain higher education goals, as well as everything a university education can offer.

Included in this spring’s campus experience are expanded partnerships with the Kress Events Center and UW-Green Bay’s Office of Residence Life, making it possible for every eighth grader to experience two essential elements of college life: recreational opportunities and on-campus housing.

“The Office of Residence Life is happy to be able to participate in the Phuture Phoenix program, as it’s never too early to introduce the concept of attending 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 peak of life on campus.” More information about Phuture Phoenix is available at http://www.uwgb.edu/phuturephoenix/

About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs to more than 8,000 students with campus locations in Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. Established in 1965 on the border of Green Bay, the University and its campuses are centers of cultural enrichment, innovation and learning. The Green Bay campus is home to one of the Midwest’s most prolific performing arts centers, a nationally recognized 4,000-seat student recreation center, Division I athletics, an award-winning nine-hole golf course and a five-mile recreational trail and arboretum, which is free and open to the public. This four-campus University transforms lives and communities through student-focused teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities, powerful connections and a problem-solving approach to education. UW-Green Bay’s main campus is centrally located, close to both the Door County resort area and the dynamic economies of Northeast Wisconsin, the Fox Valley region and the I-43 corridor. UW-Green Bay offers in-demand programs in science, engineering and technology; business; health, education and social welfare; and arts, humanities and social sciences. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.

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Videos and photos: A special two days for the Phuture Phoenix

It was another wonderful two days of hosting the Phuture Phoenix fifth-graders at UW-Green Bay and inspiring nearly 1,700 fifth-graders to begin to dream about college. Some special moments included East High Symphonic Band members playing during the opening activities, and a visit by Theresa Rock, an alumnus of the program and a paraprofessional at Howe Elementary School who spoke to the fifth-grade audience about her experience as a Phuture Phoenix participant in 2003. The video and photos capture the sentiment of the day.

Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.

Phuture Phoenix 2018

– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication

UW-Green Bay to host more than 1,600 fifth graders on Oct. 10-11, 2018

GREEN BAY – The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will host its 14th annual Phuture Phoenix Campus Visit, Oct. 10-11, 2018, welcoming more than 1,600 students from 15 Green Bay Area Public Elementary Schools, Bowler Elementary, Bonduel Elementary, Gillett Elementary, West De Pere Elementary Schools, Oneida Nation Turtle School, Keshena Primary, Oconto Middle School, Oconto Falls Elementary, Abrams Elementary, Sturgeon Bay Sunrise Elementary, and Suring Elementary School. Participants will visit the UW-Green Bay campus and dare to dream about going to college.

UW-Green Bay’s signature Phuture Phoenix program partners with schools that have high percentages of students from low-income families and encourages students to graduate from high school and pursue a college education.

The program has hosted a total of 19,017 fifth-grade students during the annual campus visits every October since it began in 2003. To help support the campus experience for fifth graders, there will be more than 300 UW-Green Bay students volunteering to serve as role models and group leaders for the day and 107 UW-Green Bay faculty and staff members participating in various activities and sharing their classrooms on campus.

Phuture Phoenix is a coordinated program to inspire academic success and alert children to educational opportunities that are available to them. College prep starts early, and the Phuture Phoenix campus experiences offer students a first-hand look at the necessary steps to pursue and attain higher education goals, as well as everything the a university education can offer. Phuture Phoenix programming helps prepare elementary school students for college early, said Jenny Woldt, fifth-grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School.

“You have to start in kindergarten, get it 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.”

Included in this fall’s campus experience are expanded partnerships with the Kress Events Center and UW-Green Bay’s Office of Residence Life, making it possible for fifth graders to experience two essential elements of college life: recreational opportunities and on-campus housing.

“The Office of Residence Life is happy to be able to participate in the Phuture Phoenix program, as it’s never too early to introduce the concept of attending college,” said UWGB 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 peak of life on campus.”

All students who participate in the Phuture Phoenix Campus Visit days are eligible to apply for a Phuture Phoenix Scholarship if they choose to attend UW-Green Bay after graduating high school.

More information about Phuture Phoenix is available at http://www.uwgb.edu/phuture-phoenix/

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Fifth-graders take over UW-Green Bay

Fox 11 reports on why Phuture Phoenix Days is as fun for the campus community as it is for the fifth-graders that visit each year. They come from 15 different elementary schools in the Green Bay area. “The fifth graders when they leave, they know somebody at UWGB, and that’s super important; they have that mentor, they have that role model, they have somebody they aspire to be like, and we think that really helps,” said director of Phuture Phoenix, Mary Sue Lavin.

Middle-schoolers experience college life

WTAQ covered Phuture Phoenix Days at UW-Green Bay. Program Director Mary Sue Lavin says the annual offering lets kids tour the campus, attend classes, and get advice from current UWGB students. “The fifth graders when they leave, they know somebody at UWGB, and that’s super important; they have that mentor, they have that role model, they have somebody they aspire to be like, and we think that really helps.”

UW-Green Bay calls for volunteers for Phuture Phoenix Days

UW-Green Bay is in need of volunteers for the Phuture Phoenix Campus Visit Days on Wednesday, Oct. 18 and Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. The visits run from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days. If you are interested in volunteering, please complete this quick Qualtrics survey and a job list and a volunteer sign-up link will be sent to you. Volunteers are needed to help with crowd control, directions and to provide information about campus.

Record-breaking Phuture Phoenix visits

Get ready. It’s going to be a record-breaking year for Phuture Phoenix visits Oct. 13-14 with about 1,500 fifth-graders headed to campus. The goal of Phuture Phoenix is to inspire academic success and promote post-secondary education in students from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds, and the number of students has increased by about 350 students this year. The students will be wearing safety green shirts, student role models cardinal red, volunteers white and faculty and staff will be wearing forest green. Contact Mary Sue Lavin, director of the program at lavinm@uwgb.edu to volunteer.

Phuture Phoenix says ‘thanks’


This from our inbox: “Mary Sue Lavin, Zach Taylor, Ann Vandenack, and the Phuture Phoenix program would like to extend another thank you to all of the UWGB faculty and staff members who contributed to this year’s campus visits. All told, over 1,350 fifth graders visited campus, led by over 200 UWGB student role models. But more impressively, over 200 UWGB faculty and staff members pitched in by opening up their classrooms, facilitating activities, and helping coordinate sites and events, making the 2015 campus visits unforgettable. Thank you from everyone at Phuture Phoenix!”