For Immediate Release:  7 October 2010     Contact:  Robert Hornacek (920) 465-2526;  hornacer@uwgb.edu


Silver Lake College selected to replicate Phuture Phoenix

                GREEN BAY – As the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay prepares for its annual Phuture Phoenix open house for fifth-graders, steps are underway to replicate the pre-college access program at Silver Lake College in Manitowoc.

                Silver Lake College was selected to receive funding under the Wisconsin College Access Challenge Grant to support replication of the innovative Phuture Phoenix program that serves low-income, underrepresented or at-risk populations, inspiring them to seek the benefits and values of higher education.

                “We see this as a valuable addition to our program, allowing us to extend our pre-college mission throughout Wisconsin,” said Phuture Phoenix Director Kim Desotell.

                The Wisconsin College Access Challenge Grant is a two-year $1.63 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education administered by Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, which will contribute an additional $819,999 in matching funds this year. Funding from the grant will be provided to both UW-Green Bay and Silver Lake College.

                Phuture Phoenix brings area fifth-graders from Title I elementary schools from throughout Northeastern Wisconsin to spend a day on campus as a means to envision themselves as future college students. Phuture Phoenix mentors — UW-Green Bay student volunteers — continue contact with many of these students in Phase II of the program. The mentors work closely with students in grades 6-12, tutoring and mentoring them.

                Since its inception in 2003, Phuture Phoenix has connected with more than 10,000 students, encouraging them to do well in school and dream of a future that includes higher education. The program was designed because Northeastern Wisconsin has a lower percentage of students in the state graduating high school and going on to higher education.

                This year Phuture Phoenix Days will be held Oct. 12 and 14. On Oct. 12, UW-Green Bay will host students from Green Bay, West De Pere, Oneida Nation. Two days later, the Phuture Phoenix program will welcome students from the Sturgeon Bay, Oconto, Oconto Falls, Bonduel, Bowler, Suring and Menominee Indian school districts.

                The Phuture Phoenix program was replicated last year at UW-Eau Claire with Blugold Beginnings using funding from the Wisconsin College Access Challenge Grant, and with the Compass to Campus Program at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash.

                With this grant the Phuture Phoenix program is committed to providing support to the selected campus during the 2011 and 2012 school years. That support will include face-to-face visits between campuses, and mentoring.

                “When Phuture Phoenix was created in 2003, Cyndie Shepard and I only dreamed of the possibilities this program could make in our local community,” said Phuture Phoenix co-founder Ginny Riopelle. “Now, with another replication, the program continues to impact youngsters across our state and beyond. We are thrilled to be opening more doors to higher education.”

                For additional information contact: Phuture Phoenix Program Director Kimberly Desotell at (920) 465-2992; desotelk@uwgb.edu.