$1.7M grant will help 75 at-risk students go to college

A grant announced Tuesday will launch a program aimed at helping at-risk teens stay out of violence, and go to college.

The $1.7 million grant was awarded to Milwaukee's Center for Self Sufficiency by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The 75 ninth-grade students will be recruited starting in January from MPS schools. 

The program will follow them through high school and give them access to job skill programs, after school activities and field trips designed to get them out of the city. Some of the field trips will be activities meant to satisfy a "thrill need."

Milwaukee Police Officers will partner in the program and provide mentorship to the teens, to give the students positive interactions with law enforcement.

UW- Madison is also a partner in the program, so if the students succeed during their high school years and get accepted to UW-Madison, they will receive full ride scholarships to attend college.

"This is a tremendous opportunity and it kind of highlights why this type of partnership is so important," said Milwaukee Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton. "Bringing these partnerships together surrounding the youth in the city, that's going to work in diverting a lot of the violence that we see."

Other areas of focus in the program include academic education, healthy relationship education and mindfulness based stress reduction.

MPS students enrolled in the ninth grade during the 2017-2018 school year will be eligible for the program.

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