This spring, Andrew will walk the stage at UW-Madison and earn his degree in finance: a milestone four years in the making. He always knew he would go to college and earn his degree, but as a first-generation student, he faced many unknowns. Support from College Possible Milwaukee and All-In Milwaukee has been an integral part of his path to graduation.
Andrew first heard of College Possible Milwaukee as a sophomore at Pulaski High School from a friend who was receiving one-on-one and group coaching. He saw the benefits and joined the following year. Throughout high school, Andrew’s coaches supported him with financial aid, ACT preparation, college readiness and applications.
While in the program, his coaches told him about All-In Milwaukee, a brand-new scholarship program that would provide renewable scholarships, advising and career support. Andrew applied and was selected as one of forty Milwaukee scholars to join All-In Milwaukee’s first cohort of recipients. Shortly after, he was accepted into his school of choice, the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
When Andrew first arrived at UW-Madison, he experienced a feeling common for many students: imposter syndrome. He found himself wondering if he was really supposed to be there. During this time, he turned to his mentors at College Possible Milwaukee and All-In Milwaukee to support him with these feelings. Without their pep talks, he doesn’t think he would’ve made it to where he is now with graduation only three months away. He hopes his success in earning his degree inspires his younger nieces and brother to go to college as well.
“It means a lot to be in school. I love it. I enjoy it. I want to be that influence on my younger family members, but also to Milwaukee,” said Andrew. “I love Milwaukee, I always represent Milwaukee. I just want to give back to the community that made me who I am.”
After graduation, Andrew is excited to return home to Milwaukee to work as a portfolio analyst at financial services company, Baird. In school, he found a love for finance and is eager to begin working in his field. Someday, he even hopes to return to Pulaski to teach students about a career in business and finance. Upon learning that the industry lacks proper representation from people of color, he wanted to influence more students like himself to enter the field.
“I wish I had somebody like me when I was younger to tell me everything is going to be fine. I want to be a resource for young scholars and for them to utilize me if they have any questions,” said Andrew.
We will be celebrating more graduates like Andrew at our annual Dream Big Dinner! In recognition of All-In Milwaukee’s first cohort of college graduates, we are proud to honor them as the Community Impact Partner of the Year. Tickets and sponsorships are available, visit CollegePossible.org/DreamBig to learn more.