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 program, is a collaboration involving the Appleton and Menasha school districts, Lawrence University, St. Norbert College, Fox Valley Technical College, the University of Wisconsin System, African Heritage Inc. and ThedaCare. The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley fulfills the role of the backbone organization.
The STAR team consists of nine full-time opportunity 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 Goal of the program is to close the opportunity gap for Black / African American youth in our community by:
Pictured above, left to right: Kike Tomori, Sherman Calloway, Enya Roach, Dennetra Williams, Irineo Medina, Tori McNeal, Brandon Holmes, Laura Jones, Eric Allen, Kayla McNamara
Menasha Joint School District
Appleton Area School District
These Opportunity Coordinators will 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 will 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, Opportunity Coordinators also serve as tutors, mentors, guides, and advocates who ensure that the needs/opportunities of students of color are identified and made accessible.
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.
Contact Kayla McNamara, Director of Targeted Support Services including the STAR Program & TRAC Services, (920) 750-5828 or [email protected] for more information.
Photo Credit: Image Studios, Appleton