STAR (Scholars on Target to Achieve Results) is an initiative working to build equitable educational opportunities for Black Scholars in the Fox Cities. The STAR Team serves to advocate, mentor, connect, and guide Black scholars. STAR is led by Dennetra Williams, STAR Director.

Theory of Change

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Meet the STAR Team

The Team serves 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 through the Check & Connect Intervention Model and Developmental Relationships Framework, STAR ensures that the needs/opportunities of Black students are identified and made accessible.

  • Dennetra Williams, STAR Director
  • Briaun Hollie, STAR Coordinator, Appleton East High School
  • Deanté Jefferson, STAR Coordinator, Appleton North High School
  • Courtney Hardin, STAR Coordinator, Madison & Einstein Middle School
  • Bright Boachie, STAR Coordinator, Wilson & Magellan Middle School
  • Justin “JJ” Simpson, STAR Coordinator, Appleton North High School
  • Kala Lones, STAR Coordinator, Kaleidoscope Academy
  • Malikiya Nance, STAR Coordinator, Appleton West High School
  • Deja Bowens, STAR Coordinator, Appleton West High School

In the Media


Funding for the STAR program is made possible by generous support including gifts from Ascension, the Appleton Area School District, Miller Electric Mfg. Co., an ITW Company, United Way Fox Cities, Thrivent, ThedaCare Community Health Action Team Fund*, Community Vision 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, Women’s Fund for the Fox Valley Region*, and other community partners.  

The STAR initiative is a collaboration involving the Appleton Area 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.

*A fund or supporting organization located within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, Inc.

To learn more about STAR contact Dennetra Williams, STAR Director at dwilliams@bgclubfoxvalley.org for more information.