MILWAUKEE, Oct. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Only nine percent of Milwaukee students will earn both a high school diploma and college degree. To boost students’ long-term success to achieve their full educational and career potential, Northwestern Mutual today announced a commitment of $2.5 million to schools, nonprofits and programming in the city of Milwaukee. These funds will support the company’s newly-evolved philanthropic strategy of investing in educational pathways to close the achievement gap among talented, yet underrepresented students and drive sustainable change in its hometown.
Northwestern Mutual, through its Foundation and in collaboration with community partners, is committed to addressing social, racial and economic disparities in education by increasing the number of quality seats at targeted public, charter and choice schools in Milwaukee to create pathways and opportunities for students.
“Disparities are a contributing factor to the academic achievement gap, creating obstacles that prevent diverse and talented students from reaching their full potential,” said Eric Christophersen, president, Northwestern Mutual Foundation. “We are committed to creating paths to long-term educational and employment success for students of all backgrounds, fostering a pipeline of diverse talent for career opportunities at our company and throughout Milwaukee.”
For more than 25 years, the company’s investment in education has focused on key areas to help bridge a child’s educational success, including quality early childhood education, K-12 programmatic education partners and post-secondary education completion. In total, the company invested more than $53 million to date. These investments and efforts led to an increase in reading proficiency by as much as 25 percent among first-grade cohorts in partner schools and have provided thousands of juniors and seniors with college preparation support as part of the high school strategy.
Northwestern Mutual is building on these successes and evolving its focus to sustain and deepen its impact at high-performing schools, helping to ensure all children can make the successful transition to college and job opportunities. This evolved strategy will follow students along their educational journeys from kindergarten to employment and connect them with high-quality, diverse teachers and mentors, along with quality education and meaningful career preparation, all of which are critical to long-term success.
The company is partnering with the following Milwaukee-based schools:
- Acosta Middle School
- Bruce Guadalupe Community School
- Carmen Schools of Science and Technology
- Cristo Rey Jesuit High School
- Dr. Howard Fuller Collegiate Academy
- Forest Home Avenue School
- Golda Meir
- Hmong American Peace Academy
- Kingdom Prep Lutheran High School
- Milwaukee Academy of Science
- Milwaukee College Prep School
- Milwaukee Environmental Sciences Academy
- Notre Dame School of Milwaukee
- Pilgrim Lutheran School
- Prince of Peace School
- Rocketship Public Schools
- Ronald Reagan High School
- Rufus King International High School
- Stellar Collegiate
- St. Marcus Lutheran School
- Wedgewood Park International School
Northwestern Mutual recently announced its partnership with All-In Milwaukee, a college completion and career placement program, to fund its Talent of the Future program. Over the next four years, the company’s contribution of $1.6 million will provide 80 Milwaukee-area students with impactful scholarships as well as career leadership development, mentorship and internship opportunities at Northwestern Mutual.
The company is also seeking to address heightened disparities in internet access due to the shift to virtual schooling caused by the pandemic. An estimated 20 percent of Milwaukee students currently live in homes without access to internet. Northwestern Mutual has allocated $100,000 from its $2.5 million investment to support City Forward Collective and Milwaukee Public Schools in addressing this digital divide by providing wireless mobile hotspots with data subscriptions and home internet services to over 5,000 students.
Beyond disparities in education, Northwestern Mutual is committed to fighting racism and discrimination in all forms. The company has a dedicated task force, Sustained Action for Racial Equity, led by Chairman, President, and CEO John Schlifske, which takes a holistic look at actions that will have the greatest impact to drive sustainable change.
Locally, Northwestern Mutual also collaborates with partners to revitalize neighborhoods and support prominent local destinations. Nationally, the company supports research to find a cure for childhood cancer.
About Northwestern Mutual Foundation
The mission of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation is to improve the lives of children and families in need. The Foundation has given more than $386 million since its inception in 1992 and is designed to create lasting impact in the communities where the company’s employees and financial representatives live and work. We accomplish this by combining financial support, volunteerism, thought leadership and convening community partners to deliver the best outcomes. Our efforts are focused nationally on curing childhood cancer, and locally on education, neighborhoods and making our hometown of Milwaukee a great destination. Visit Northwestern Mutual Foundation to learn more.