Three Milwaukee HS seniors earn new scholarships and paid internships through College Possible and Kohler

NOW: Three Milwaukee HS seniors earn new scholarships and paid internships through College Possible and Kohler

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Hundreds of Milwaukee high school seniors were celebrated Thursday for completing the College Possible program.

College Possible is a non-profit organization that matches students with peer coaches and an intensive curriculum to help them overcome barriers.

Three of the graduates were awarded a new scholarship that includes a paid internship.

The new scholarships were created in collaboration with the Kohler company. They're aimed at high school students who are the first in their family to attend college.

College Possible Program Director Kevin Curley said, "We have brilliant scholars from all over the city who will be here today."

More than 500 students from 19 Milwaukee high schools took part in the College Possible program this year. At Thursday's launch party they were sent off in style.

Curley said, "We're celebrating our seniors as they go off to college. They're making their first steps on their exciting journey."

They say the program is helping at a critical time, because students from low-income backgrounds have seen disproportionate declines in college enrollment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Curley said, "One of the biggest barriers for students from low-income backgrounds is the rising cost of college." He added it's a huge win for students.

Last year 86% of high school seniors in the program went to college.

And this year marked the start of a first-ever scholarship: three College Possible scholars -who are the first in their families to attend college- earned renewable $5,000 scholarships and a paid internship at Kohler.

Curley said, "We also know that access to resources like internships and mentorships will also help them along their college journey and prepare them for the next chapter after graduation."

The scholarship also covers room and board during the internship. And the students will be assigned a professional mentor and get a yearly career exploration visit at Kohler's headquarters.

Curley said, "The internship component will give them that professional experience that will help them really define what their career goals are, as well as their academic goals."

College Possible Milwaukee was founded in 2008. Since then the program has helped more than 4,000 students earn a college degree.

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