College Possible Milwaukee, a nonprofit working to support the aspirations and potential of students from underserved backgrounds, announced the Kohler Scholars Program will double in size and serve an additional five scholars in the year 2023. The Kohler Scholars Program is a multi-year scholarship program created in collaboration with Kohler Co. that provides recipients with scholarships, internships, career exploration, and mentorship. In addition to $40,000 committed in scholarships, Kohler committed $50,000 in organizational support that directly impacts the mission of College Possible Milwaukee.
In June 2022, the Kohler Scholars Program was piloted with 3 recipients, Cecilia Mercado Martin, Susan Thao, and Toluwanimi Excel Olatunji. Kohler Scholars receive a $5,000 annual scholarship, a professional Kohler mentor, career exploration opportunities at Kohler headquarters, and a paid internship that upon graduation could result in full-time employment. With the expanded support for five additional scholars, the program will support a total of eight College Possible Milwaukee scholars next year.
“These last few months of being a Kohler Scholar have been amazing. I’ve learned so much about the PR [Public Relations] field from my mentor and have developed such an amazing bond with her,” says Kohler Scholar, Cecilia, “I’m so excited for the months to come.”
Faced with uncertainty about rising college costs, the burden of potential student debt, and a booming job market, more students are opting out of pursuing a college degree. Yet the difference in earnings between recent high school and college graduates has only grown larger in recent years to $22,000 in 2021 (U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Providing a robust internship program to support scholars nearing degree completion is essential for building a diverse talent pipeline and workforce.
“The Kohler Scholars Program is a unique collaboration that we are very proud of. Scholars who are selected for this program will gain valuable professional experience interning at a world-class business leader while getting the long-term financial support they need to meet the rising costs of college,” says Marco Morrison, the Executive Director of College Possible Milwaukee, “We are so grateful to Kohler Company for driving these kinds of innovative partnerships through their Believing in Better initiative.”