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United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

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At United Way, we believe all kids deserve the opportunity to succeed in school and life. That’s why we support local programs that connect kids with the support they need.

Though she is a little nervous about starting sixth grade, 11-year-old Micaela is ready for whatever comes her way.

“She’s more mature, assertive, and confident now than she was last year,” said Micaela’s mom Victoria. “But it’s been a journey.”

At the beginning of her fifth-grade year at Bruce-Guadalupe Community School on Milwaukee’s south side, Micaela, who has ADHD, struggled with academics - particularly math and reading - and lacked the confidence to speak up when she had questions.

Miss Erickson and Miss Happe, Micaela’s teachers, worried that this lack of confidence was negatively affecting her school performance and knew Micaela could benefit from extra support in the After School Achievement Program (ASAP).

ASAP, a United Way-funded program through the United Community Center (UCC), provides homework help, subject-specific support, and tutoring to students every Monday through Thursday during the school year.

“It’s a great supplement for students who may have extra challenges in school,” said Miss Erickson, who teaches fifth grade math, science, and social studies and helps students like Micaela’s during ASAP.

“United Way’s support of this program makes it possible for us to give students an extra boost in academics when they need it, and engage them in enrichment activities to stay healthy, active and confident as they grow,” said UCC Executive Director Ricardo Diaz.

In 2017-2018, United Way-funded Education programs served more than 57,000 youth like Micaela across our community.

Soon, Micaela began making progress in math and reading comprehension, even moving up in reading levels. She also has discovered a love of science and is passionate about her rock collection.

Micaela’s self-confidence has also improved dramatically. These days, she has no problem asking questions when she doesn’t understand something.

“Micaela has really found her voice and now she advocates for her own understanding, even when it is difficult,” said Miss Erickson.

“You can tell she feels stronger about who she is as a person in academics and socially,” said Miss Happe. “She has blossomed - now she is ready to succeed in sixth grade.”

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