All-In Milwaukee celebrates 5-year anniversary,
announces long-term expansion plan to support 1,000 students
Celebrating its fifth anniversary during an event at Baird’s corporate headquarters on Wednesday, All-In Milwaukee announced an effort to more than double its impact: The nonprofit college completion program, which currently supports 415 diverse Milwaukee college students from low-income backgrounds, intends to expand the program over the next five years to support 1,000 students.
Addressing an audience of 125 Milwaukee business and civic leaders during Wednesday’s luncheon at Baird, All-In Milwaukee officials, scholars and supporters shared students’ inspiring success stories and impressive outcomes. They also showed how, with additional resources, All-In Milwaukee could ramp up to support a total of 1,000 students in college five years from now – a significant step toward building the next generation of Milwaukee’s workforce.
All-In Milwaukee has had to turn away more than 1,000 high school seniors over the last five years who were eligible for the program with high financial need, high academic achievement and want to be part of our college completion program.
“Our students’ dreams, and Milwaukee’s future, become endangered when unlimited potential meets limited opportunity,” said Allison Wagner, Executive Director of All-In Milwaukee. “After five years, we have the recipe for success and we have demonstrated clear outcomes. When we provide the financial, social, emotional and career support that scholars need, the playing field becomes more level. We are extremely proud of everything our All-In Milwaukee scholars have achieved in our first five years, and our long-term plan is to grow and support even more students over the next five years and beyond.”
All-In Milwaukee supports high-potential, limited-income, diverse students from Milwaukee who attend college at one of eight Wisconsin university partners. This spring, All-In celebrated its first-ever graduating class.
“This program is a win-win-win: A win for the All-In Milwaukee scholars and their families. A win for employers who get connected to talented, diverse employees. And a win for the Milwaukee community, which benefits greatly from a college educated workforce,” said Mary Ellen Stanek, President of Baird Funds, Co-Chief Investment Officer of Baird Advisors and an All-In Milwaukee Board member. “We are exceeding even our own high expectations over the first five years, but we need to get more kids into the program. That means adding more donors and more employers to help us build the program and give more deserving young people this opportunity.”
“All-In Milwaukee has brought incredible value to the lives of future generations and to this city, and over the last five years, Northwestern Mutual has helped support and had the benefit of having interns from the All-In Milwaukee program,” said John Schlifske, president, chairman and CEO at Northwestern Mutual. “As we celebrate the successes over the last five years, we look forward to seeing our community thrive, fostering talent and creating economic impact.”
The success of All-In Milwaukee scholars stands in stark contrast to broader trends: Overall, only 14% of all Milwaukee high school graduates will go on to earn a two-year or four-year degree within six years. For All-In Milwaukee’s first class of students that entered college in fall 2019, 90% have already graduated or will graduate by the spring of 2024.
Of that group, 80% are projected to have zero college debt, and the remaining students will graduate with well below average levels of debt. All-In Milwaukee provides scholarship support to students and engages in strategic negotiations with university partners who provide unique financial aid packages.
Beyond improving outcomes for students, AIM’s ultimate goal is to fight “brain drain” in Milwaukee by sending All-In Milwaukee scholars to Wisconsin universities, then providing internship opportunities and other connections with local employers and business leaders to encourage them to stay here after graduation to build meaningful careers and become our future civic leaders.
University partners include Alverno College, Carroll University, Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Whitewater and Wisconsin Lutheran College.
Local employers who are hiring All-In Milwaukee graduates this year include Accenture, Amazon, Baird, Children’s Wisconsin, Direct Supply, Froedert, Johnson Controls Inc., the Medical College of Wisconsin and Versiti. Between employment opportunities and post-graduate enrollment, 97% of this year’s graduating class is staying in Wisconsin.
“I could not imagine what my college experience would be like without All-In Milwaukee, because they were there with me every step of the way,” said recent All-In Milwaukee graduate Adrian Mora, who graduated from Marquette with an economics degree in May and now works for Baird as a portfolio analyst. “To everyone who helps us realize our dreams, your support means the world to us.”
With additional support, All-In Milwaukee can help even more students achieve their dream of a college diploma. To find out more about how you can support All-In Milwaukee, or the application process for students, visit allinmilwaukee.org.