Northwestern Mutual backs All-In Milwaukee’s college completion program

The Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons office building in downtown Milwaukee.

Northwestern Mutual has pledged $1.6 million to support All-In Milwaukee’s college completion and career placement program. 

All-In Milwaukee, which launched in September 2018, combines financial aid, advising and career development support to help Milwaukee students navigate the financial, academic and social challenges of college. To date, it has awarded 68 scholarships to Milwaukee students for the coming school year.

Northwestern Mutual said its foundation – in partnership with its Diversity and Inclusion team – are donating funds for All-In Milwaukee’s new Talent of the Future program over the next four years. It will provide scholarships to more than 80 Milwaukee-area students, 10 of which have been awarded for the upcoming school year. 

“Today, just 8% of all Milwaukee students will earn both a high school diploma and a two or four year degree,” said Allison Wagner, executive director of All-In Milwaukee. “With the support of companies like Northwestern Mutual, we’re one step closer to closing the college graduation gap and continuing to provide our city with a highly-skilled, diverse workforce.”

The students are also eligible for early career leadership development, mentorship and internship opportunities at Northwestern Mutual, the company said. 

“We strengthen our community when we come together to support the resources that address disparities in education and careers for students,” said Amy Hanneman, vice president of diversity and inclusion for Northwestern Mutual. “Creating a path for these talented future leaders will boost Milwaukee’s diverse talent population, helping us build a more inclusive environment for everyone.”

Since its launch, All-In Milwaukee has received more than $4.5 million in signed commitments from donors, including a recent $1 million gift from Hal Leonard Corp. chairman Keith Mardak and his wife, former Hal Leonard executive Mary Vandenberg. The organization launched with a $1 million gift from Darren Jackson, retired chief executive officer of Advance Auto Parts and a Marquette University alumnus, along with gifts from Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. executives and its foundation.

This year’s scholarship recipients make up All-In Milwaukee’s second class of students selected from 22 Milwaukee-area high schools.

All-In recently reported a 97.5% college persistence rate among its first class of students, meaning they enrolled in the same university for fall 2020. 

Participating students attend one of six partner colleges: Alverno College, Carroll University, Marquette University, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee or UW-Whitewater.  

“It is our hope that our new partnership will significantly impact the success of Milwaukee students in their academic and professional careers,” said Eric Christophersen, president, Northwestern Mutual Foundation. “Milwaukee is our hometown – it’s an honor to support the students here so that we can change lives for the better and build a strong pipeline of talent in the years to come.”

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.

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