At Carmen High School of Science & Technology South Campus, a top public charter high school on Milwaukee’s south side, the Class of 2015 has earned $5.4 million in college scholarships and counting! Those funds will be needed as nearly 100% of Carmen’s graduating seniors have been accepted to at least one college or university, and nearly all of them are from low-income homes in Milwaukee’s central city.
In addition to academic, leadership and service scholarships awarded by various scholarship organizations and the schools that accepted the students, the graduates will also earn scholarships from Carmen’s unique Student Internship & Scholarship Program. That program places Carmen students (grades 10 – 12) into entry-level internships at local corporations and non-profit organizations. For each semester served as an intern, students earn scholarships upon high school graduation. This year, 23 Carmen graduates will share in more than $100,000 in scholarships from the Internship Program, earning on average $4,600 each from this program alone.
Ana Isabel Cortes, a Carmen senior is a recipient of a Carmen Internship Scholarship, as well as many others, including the prestigious national Ronald McDonald HACER Scholarship. Cortes says without scholarships a college education would be financially out of reach for her family, and she was dogged in her pursuit of them. She applied for 32 scholarships in total, has been awarded nine, and is still awaiting word on several others.
“I dedicated 10 hours every week to applying for scholarships. When all of my friends were out on weekends, I was applying for scholarships. It was sometimes hard to see why I was doing it, but now it has all paid off,” says Cortes who will study Art Education and Community Art at UW Milwaukee starting next fall. She also says it was her internship at the Milwaukee Art Museum that inspired her choice of study and career.
As a requirement for high school graduation, every student at Carmen must apply to at least five colleges and must apply for at least two scholarships. A full time Director of College Transition provides guidance, support, and direction to students and families as they work to identify the best college fit as well as appropriate scholarship opportunities. The Class of 2015 includes students who are headed to Marquette University, UW-Madison, MSOE, St. Norbert, and other top universities.
“Carmen is awesome at really helping us on an individual basis to find out which scholarships are right for us. I talk to friends at other schools and they don’t even know their counselors,” Cortes says. “I know that college is not a reality for a lot of people, especially for people who are from our neighborhood. I am just so grateful to be in an environment that is empowering us and believes in us.”
Last month, the Washington Post ranked Carmen FIRST on its 2015 Most Challenging High Schools in Wisconsin and 13th in the Midwest. This is a particularly fine distinction for a non-selective MPS charter school serving primarily low-income students living in Milwaukee’s central city.
Carmen’s Class of 2015 will be honored at Carmen’s Annual College Assembly where seniors will announce their schools of choice, scholarships will be awarded, and special honors will be announced.
When: May 29, 2015 from 1:30 – 2:30 pm.
Where: Carmen South Campus – 1712 S. 32nd Street
Scholarship Facts for the Carmen Class of 2015
$5.4 million in scholarships earned and counting!
Scholarships of note:
- Ronald McDonald HACER (national)
- Beloit College Presidential Scholarship
- DePaul University St. Vincent De Paul Scholarship
- Grace Scholars (Mount Mary University)
- Multicultural Leadership Scholarship (St. Norbert College)
- Noel Compass (full tuition at UW-Stevens Point and paid internship)
- UWM Excelencia Music Scholarship
- UW-Oshkosh Diversity Honors Scholarship
- National Achievers Society Laptop Award
- Kalamazoo College Lux Esto Scholarship
- Lake Forest Presidential Scholarship
- Loras College (full tuition)
- College of St. Benedict President’s Scholarship
The Carmen Class of 2015 is proud to include:
- Four Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee Stein Scholars
- 15 Wisconsin Covenant Scholars