PEOPLE students to be celebrated

July 31, 2008

UW-Madison will celebrate one of its most important diversity “pipeline” programs Friday, Aug. 1.

Eighty-two Pre-College Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence (PEOPLE) high school senior graduates will be recognized for completing the PEOPLE high school program and being admitted to UW–Madison for the fall semester. For almost a decade, PEOPLE has strived to be a pipeline between Wisconsin’s underserved students and higher education.

The banquet will be held from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. State Sen. Lena Taylor will speak to students about the importance of education and service to the community.

“We are particularly proud of this 2008 class,” says Ramon Ortiz, assistant director of PEOPLE. “They are not just academically competitive but also demonstrate great leadership potential and an intense desire to give back to their communities. In this year’s class, we have presidents and secretaries of the National Honor Society, students who have participated in humanitarian relief missions, volunteered at hospice care, worked with special-needs children, were participants of student council, as well as artists and musicians.”

The majority of the new Badgers are residents of Milwaukee and Madison; the rest are from the all over the state, including Waukesha, Racine, Kenosha, Menominee, Lac Courte Oreilles, Lac du Flambeau, Oneida, Red Cliff and Bad River.

The event will also recognize the 143 new PEOPLE high school seniors who will make up the class of 2009.

“We are equally as excited about the upcoming class of 2009,” Ortiz says. “They are a cohort who demonstrate the same caliber of commitment to excellence.”

In addition to recognizing the PEOPLE students’ accomplishments, Ortiz says the banquet is meant to acknowledge the partnerships between the community and UW–Madison that have made the PEOPLE program a success.

“Most importantly, we are acknowledging the pinnacle of our success: the development of students to their fullest potential in order to help them realize their dreams.”