Firehoses, stethoscopes, beakers frothing with color and smoke—these are the stuff childhood dreams are made of, props of the roles children hope to play as grownups. Astronauts. Dancers. Teachers. Builders. All along, we tell them, “If you can dream it, you can be it.” But eventually, as wide-ruled paper and easy-grip crayons give way to college-rule notebooks and standardized tests, the questions become: how does a person get from dream to reality? How can we help our dreamers move beyond the dreaming to the doing?
Madison College: The Sky is the Limit
For students willing to work toward their career goals, we want the sky—not mom’s paycheck, not a shortage of connections, nor a lack of opportunity—to be the limit. Because we have seen firsthand, over and over again, how hard students of all walks will work when they know that the system is working with them. We aim to be a central piece of that system. Indeed, our numbers and testimonials are showing that we are. But they also show room for growth, and that’s a big part of our Everywhere You Are Campaign.
Madison College Graduates Stay in Wisconsin
Among the many programs that will benefit from the campaign is our Culinary and Baking & Decorative Arts programs. The money we raise will expand the program allowing for more students and will create new instructional “hands-on” labs where students can use modern tools and practice real-life simulations. Maybe you’ve dined in our Gourmet Dining Room where our students prepare the meals during the school year? It is real-world applications in these kinds of settings that allow Madison College students to thrive. Undoubtedly, you’ve had a meal prepared or planned by one of them as you dine at some of our state’s stellar restaurants (considering that more than 95 percent of Madison College graduates work right here in Wisconsin).
Brendon Byrkett has dreamed of working in the restaurant industry since he was five years old. Look in his preschool scrapbook, and you’re bound to find a self-portrait of him sporting a popover chef’s cap, maybe wielding a spatula. Through Madison College, Brendon is now the real deal, as a graduate with a culinary degree and realizing his dream like 97 percent of other Madison College grads who have jobs when they graduate.
“I have had nothing but the greatest experience of my life,” he says of his time at Madison College. “My experience would not be possible without the hard work that my teachers and mentors have instilled in me over the years.” But he also credits help from donors. Why? Because, while Brendon has worked two full-time jobs during college, he’s also been a scholarship recipient through the Jones Dairy Farm Culinary Scholarship at Madison College. “It is very hard, and it is what I had to do to put myself through. I will be graduating with no student debt whatsoever, and it is a feeling that is impossible to describe.”
Madison College Community Campaign Matters
Currently, there is a 50-percent gap between scholarship-eligible students and scholarship awardees at Madison College. . As part of the Everywhere You Are Campaign, we want to close that gap. With donor dollars, we will be able to grant more scholarships to more students like Brendon who need and earn them.
Madison College is proof that there is an avenue to success for those willing to pursue it. We invite our wider community to be part of this amazing mindset, to be part of an educational system that works. We invite everyone to take seriously those who dare to take their own dreams seriously, investing in Wisconsin’s students, who in turn invest back in our economy and communities.