Photo Credit: Image Studios, Appleton
STAR (Scholars on Target to Achieve Results) is an academic engagement intervention program for middle & high School Black / African American students in the Appleton and Menasha school districts. Significant disparities exist in educational attainment based on race. In Appleton and Menasha, the four-year graduation rate is approximately 90% for white students and only 70% for black students.
The STAR team consists of nine full-time coordinators who serve as advocates, mentors, connectors and guides for our community’s black students, led by Kayla McNamara the Director of Targeted Support Services including the STAR Program & TRAC Services.
The STAR program, is a collaboration involving the Appleton Area School District, Menasha Joint School District, Lawrence University, St. Norbert College, Fox Valley Technical College, University of Wisconsin System, African Heritage Inc. and ThedaCare. The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley fulfills the role of the backbone organization.
Our goal is to close the opportunity gap for Black / African American youth in the Fox Valley by:
- Reducing the graduation gap for Black / African American students by 50% in 2021.
- Reducing the post-secondary enrollment gap for Black/ African American students by 50% by 2021.
Meet the STAR Program Team
These coordinators serve as mentors and connect with youth 1:1 and in groups during the school day at school site and at after school programming in community. They also work to provide additional support within the school structure among existing systems of support for students to further ensure student success and goal attainment.
Working with key school staff and using the Check & Connect intervention model, coordinators also serve as tutors, mentors, guides, and advocates who ensure that the needs/opportunities of students of color are identified and made accessible.
Pictured above, left to right: Tori McNeal, Sherman Calloway, Brandon Holmes, Dennetra Williams, Enya Roach, Kayla McNamara, Irineo Medina, Laura Jones, Kike Tomori, and Alonzo Jackson
Appleton Area School District
Kike Tomori, Madison & Einstein Middle School
Brandon Holmes, Kaleidoscope Academy
Laura Jones, Wilson Middle School
Sherman Calloway, Appleton West High School
Enya Roach, Appleton West High School
Alonzo Jackson, Appleton East High School
Dennetra Williams, Appleton North High School
In the Media
- 03/01/18: Community Foundation for the Fox Valley, The Loop: Achievement Gap Under Attack with STAR Power
- 06/13/18: Community Foundation for the Fox Valley, The Loop: STAR Program To Focus On Opportunity
- 06/21/18: United Way Fox Cities Blog: Inspiring Students to Reach for the Stars
- 11/02/18: WHBY. Fresh Take with Hayley Tenpas: LIFE in Motion: Student Performance
Funding for the STAR program is made possible by generous support including gifts from United Way Fox Cities, Thrivent Financial Foundation, ThedaCare Community Health Action Team Fund*, Mielke Family Foundation*, the Bright Ideas Fund*, and the Basic Needs Giving Partnership Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region supported by the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs, the J. J. Keller Foundation and other community partners.
*A fund or supporting organization located within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, Inc.