Wisconsin PR OMISE  Newsletter 
For a text only version, click HERE
March 2015   

Include Us in Your Newsletter!

Do you connect with youth and their families through a newsletter, or know of an agency that does? Let us know if you'd like information about Promise to include in your newsletter - we'll gladly provide a brief article and graphics. Simply contact us at http://promisewi.com/contact/ or 1-855-480-5618.

We are currently at 599 individuals enrolled in Promise or 30% of our goal.

March Calendar of Events 

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National Website

Can be found HERE
OSEP Ideas that work
U.S. Office of Special Education Programs

Steering Committee Profile Members and Emails 

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Cooperative Agreement H418P130004. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

Fostering Success Program
A message to transitioning foster youth from someone who has been there:

"After leaving foster care, you may have questions about what your future will look like. I know I did. My transcripts leaving high school didn't look at all like those of my peers, who I considered "normal." I was embarrassed of my past and wondered if a college would want me."



A new program at UW-Stout is aiding foster youth in the transition to college. According to the Department of Social Services, 15 to 20% of aging out foster youth are eligible for federal disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Despite the high rates of disability among foster youth, very few exit with SSI intact, and of even greater interest to the Fostering Success Program, few know about disability services available on college campuses. "At our first summer overnight, I was astounded by the number of youth with disabilities in attendance who didn't know about modifications and help they could receive if they chose to attend college." Said Cheyenne Gray, Graduate Assistant for the Fostering Success Program at UW-Stout.


Disability Services and many other on-campus programs are highlighted during day long seminars for middle school students, and overnights for high school students held by the Fostering Success Program. The overnights offer students who may otherwise not get a chance to go on a college tour the "inside scoop" on campus life, while focusing on "planting the seed" of college during seminar days with middle school students. The program gives participants the chance to eat in the cafeteria, attend workshops held by faculty or staff, and sleep in the dorms and offers help navigating the admissions process, SAT preparation, and financial aid. For foster youth who do attend UW-Stout, the Fostering Success program is invaluable.


One college student in the program said, "A support program for foster youth is important for many reasons. Most non-foster kids have parents or a parent that backs them and helps with the things they need. Foster youth don't aren't afforded the same luxury. There isn't the ability to reach out to a mother or father if there is an emergency and they need something. And the foster kids that I know don't have the support of their foster parents once they are in college or turn 18. My brother got kicked out once he turned 18, and then my foster parents moved to Vegas a month before I graduated high school. Any support you can get coming in and while in college is beneficial. The year I've been a part of Fostering Success has been great."


Foster care alumna attending Stout receive help applying for scholarships, regular check-ins with Fostering Success staff, care packages during finals week, connections with programs such as Multicultural Student Services and Disability Services, and dorm supplies upon moving onto campus if necessary. The program also has a small emergency fund for unforeseen financial needs that could otherwise force a student to drop out.


Ultimately, Fostering Success wants youth from foster care, both with and without disabilities to succeed. If you know of a student who could benefit from the supports offered by Fostering Success at UW-Stout, please refer them to: http://bit.ly/1Df0DGs If you are interested in making a donation to their 501-c(3), online donations can be made through: http://bit.ly/1Dvopkd 


Breakfast, Your Health, and a Recipe to Share Blog   

Hello!!! Hope you all are having a great day.
I'm sure you've heard or read that breakfast is the most important meal of the day...


Here are some facts I pulled from webmd.com.


Not only does breakfast give you energy to start a new day, but it's linked to many health benefits, including weight control and improved performance.


Studies show that eating a healthy breakfast (as opposed to the kind containing doughnuts) can help give you...Read more 

Meet The Promise DVR Counselors

Heidi Aringer 

"everyone has the ability to reach their goals if given the right tools" 


Heidi Aringer is a recent graduate from Marquette University where she earned her Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She has a background in working with youth and their families, as well as those who have substance abuse problems. Heidi believes in an open, honest, relaxed and client-driven approach to vocational counseling, and feels that everyone has the ability to reach their goals if given the right tools. She is committed to providing efficient and effective services for her clients and strives to be a resource families can count on to help make life a little easier.

To meet more Promise DVR Counselors, visit http://promisewi.com/counselors/ 

Promise Community Events  

WI Transition Conference, Wisconsin Dells


Project staff from Wisconsin Promise attended the Wisconsin Transition Conference in Wisconsin Dells on February 19th and 20th,  where approximately 400 attendees met to learn and share information on transition requirements and effective transition practices. Promise received a shout out from the keynote speaker, Dr. Terrance Scott, as a program to incentify systems transformation. Promise staff was able to engage with many dedicated professionals to get the word out about Wisconsin Promise - we thank everyone who stopped by our exhibit booth!





Menomonie Youth Optimist Club

Mary Brodhagen and Amanda Schlegelmilch, Promise Research Specialists, presented on PROMISE to the Menomonie Youth Optimist club in Dunn County on February 11 th . The Menomonie Optimist Club is a diverse group of people focused on improving the lives of youth in their community and helping them to develop optimism as a philosophy of life. The members were very interested in PROMISE and all the study has to offer for youth. We had a great discussion with the club members about the different services PROMISE offers and the great opportunity the study gives to youth and their families.
PROMISE Intake Coordinators (PIC) Update

As of February 23rd, 228 youth have worked with a Promise Intake Coordinator (PIC) to navigate the enrollment process or receive their gift cards.  If you know of a family who would like to work with a Promise Intake Coordinator to complete enrollment, please have them call Erin at 855-480-5618.


New enrollment option!  Erin can work with families over the phone to complete the intake form and help facilitate the enrollment process.  Encourage parents with eligible children to take advantage of this new option and call today.


Looking for a Racine/Kenosha PIC.

The Wisconsin Promise Enrollment team is still seeking qualified candidates for Promise Intake Coordinators in the southern CESA 1 (Kenosha/Racine) area.    


A PROMISE Intake Coordinator is responsible for processing new participant/family referrals for enrollment in the PROMISE grant. The main objective is to explain the grant consent and enrollment to families in a culturally competent, family-centered manner in order to ensure informed consent is given by all enrollees prior to random assignment as a grant participant.  A PIC must have the ability to collect sensitive information from youth and families, maintain confidentiality, return calls and schedule meetings with families in a timely manner.


In addition, PROMISE Intake Coordinators help with the face to face gift card delivery procedure for grant participants who are assigned to the Usual Services group. The families that the cards are being delivered to have been randomly assigned to the "usual services" group. The PIC must be able to relate general information to these families about Wisconsin's Postsecondary Transition Plan (PTP), DVR contact information, and deliver the "usual services messaging" and Parent Resource packet to youth and their families.  The intent is to make sure youth are aware of what supports are available to help them reach their career goals.


PIC duties can be performed in the evenings and on weekends, so would be perfect for someone seeking a little extra income.  Email erinj@cesa12.org if interested.

Need Promise Promotional Items for an Upcoming Event?  

We have a variety of items promoting Promise including pens, pads, decals, lip balm, water bottles, etc. which you can now order online. Although we can't guarantee requests for specific items, we'll do our best to accommodate you! Order Promise promotional items for your next event online at


Check out the latest Wisconsin Promise happenings on social media.