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RACINE COUNTY — Gateway Technical College Foundation has surpassed its Gateway Promise program goal of $3 million, providing a way for students to reach their educational goals for many years into the future, college officials announced Tuesday.

A total of $3.93 million was raised for the tuition-assistance program over the past three years, most recently boosted by contributions from Michael Kopper and Michele Whitfield, as well as the estate of Otto and Beverly Tarnowski of Caledonia.

A core group of leaders led the early efforts to raise funding, including SC Johnson and Fisk Johnson, Jim Hawkins and Kenosha-based Kenall Manufacturing, Kenosha-based Snap-on Inc., Follett Books, the Kenosha Area Business Alliance and the Gateway Technical College Foundation Board of Directors.

“Each of us have a responsibility to improve the lives of others. The Gateway Promise is a commitment our community has made in youth for generations — the promise of an affordable path to a college degree through Gateway Technical College,” said Gateway Technical College President and CEO Bryan Albrecht.

“It is humbling to know how much our donors believe in, and trust the mission of, Gateway to nurture the hopes and aspirations of youth and adults.”

The Gateway Promise program is an effort to fill the gap between financial aid and the cost of tuition and fees so that eligible students can gain access to the life-changing impact of a college degree.

“Many people who have joined our team helped make this promise of the Gateway Promise a reality for generations of our community,” said Jennifer Charpentier, executive director of the Gateway Foundation. “That includes Gateway Foundation board members, volunteers, generous donors, Gateway faculty and staff, high school principals, counselors and teachers, community youth advocates — and, of course, our students.

“It is because of all of us working together, we have been successful. Thank you.”

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Program success

According to Gateway, Promise program students engage in academic support services, which helps them to succeed in their studies. Nearly nine out of every 10 Promise students remained in college after their first semester — compared to a national average of five of every 10.

In addition, several students who have received a Promise scholarship have already graduated Gateway and successfully entered their career.

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Assistant Managing Editor

Pete Wicklund is the local editor for The Journal Times.

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