Nearly 500 students from 10 College Possible Milwaukee partner high schools engaged in community service projects to improve their schools, neighborhoods and parks. It was their way of saying thank you for the generous community support that makes their participation in the college access and success program free of charge. Each College Possible student receives a total of 320 hours of after-school curriculum during their junior and senior years of high school.
“College Possible gets a lot of donations for support,” said Pa Noua Xiong, a College Possible student and senior at Milwaukee School of Languages. “Participating in a community service project is a way for us to give back to the people who have helped us and the organization.”
College Possible makes community service a key component for students participating in the organization’s program. By encouraging students to develop an ethic of service, College Possible helps them see their own potential for making a difference in their communities while developing valuable leadership skills. Each student completes a minimum of 16 hours of community service throughout the course of the two-year program.
Students kept busy by pulling weeds and cleaning trails with the Urban Ecology Center and making get well cards for patients at Aurora St. Luke’s Hospital. Others served their own school communities by raking leaves and cleaning the school building, painting benches, and promoting an anti-bullying campaign to their peers.
“Service is really important,” said Tamara Ellis, Vice Principal at South Division High School, a College Possible partner school. “The hope is that when I clean or pick up garbage, the staff will see it and pick something up and then the students will see that and they’ll start to clean. It creates this ripple effect of everyone contributing.”