By Mrinal Gokhale –

YMCA-and-Boys-&-Girls-Club--860-wnovAlmost 100 Milwaukee area high school seniors visited the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for the Bank Your Future seminar, sponsored by Associated Bank. The half day event at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee included workshops on financial aid, mock interviewing and a question and answer panel with current students.

The YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee and Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee recruited students who were enrolled in their programs to attend.  Most students attended Milwaukee Public Schools. Both organizations also recruited five college students and graduates to lead a panel discussion.

“We selected both current students and graduates based on various experiences and majors,” said Alfred Parchia, Director of the Graduation Plus Program at Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee. “We have students that did well right away and others that struggled a bit and made a comeback.”

The five panelists included two recent graduates and three current students. Areas of study ranged from business to science to the arts at UW-Milwaukee, Marquette, Parkside and Howard University.

Cynthia-Lorentzen-and-Starr-Batton-Burke--860-wnovThe conversation was directed Starr Batton-Burke, Director of the I Have a Dream Foundation at Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee. When the panelists were asked about their greatest challenges, time management was a common theme.

For Shawn Turner, starting college undecided on a major meant having to balance freshman and sophomore classes.

“Tutoring and student support services helped me,” he said. “Students who get A’s have tutors consistently.”

Vakia Bland, a recent graduate who studied dance, said that studying with others helped her.

“Math was and still is a source of pain for me. So, I sent screenshots to my professor on problems I struggled with and formed my own study group.”

Milwaukee Bucks point guard Malcolm Brogdon shared his experiences while attending the University of Virginia. He shared very similar experiences and struggles as some of the panelists who spoke before him.

“You may have to turn down a party or extracurricular to get to where you want to go. I didn’t really party in high school. I focused on my grades, basketball and family, and it has worked out for me,” Brogdon said.

Though he was drafted to the NBA after his fourth year of his college, he chose to stay in school. He said he learned why it was important to have a back-up plan after he broke his foot in his sophomore undergraduate year.

“A basketball career can go from one to 20 years. Things like injuries come up, and many basketball players have basketball and nothing else once it’s over,” he said. “I wanted something I could fall back on, and I earned my Master’s in Public Policy in one year.”

Currently, Brogden said he is enjoying his first off-season. When asked by a student what he’d be doing if not basketball, he said he would like to help others.

“I would want to work for a non-profit to help people in poverty,” he said.

The day ended with Brogdon thanking the many volunteers who made this event possible. He then announced raffle ticket winners for iPads and laptops provided by Associated Bank.

Source: Milwaukee Courier
Photos by: Mrinal Gokhale