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CONNECT, powered by American Family Insurance, becomes first business partner of Rising Phoenix.

CONNECT, powered by American Family Insurance, is partnering with UW-Green Bay to become the first business sponsor of the Rising Phoenix Early College High School. In Fall 2021, CONNECT provided funding for students to enroll in the program. Students will also receive mentoring and support from university alumni who work at CONNECT. The collaboration will continue in future years to provide access to additional students in the Greater Green Bay area.

More About CONNECT  

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Portrait of Sharena

Making Dreams

"We believe in creating societal change through meaningful partnerships like this one. We want to do what we can to ensure our customers and communities have the ability and access to make their dreams possible, especially those traditionally overlooked."

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Sharena Ali, President of De Pere, Wisconsin-Based CONNECT, powered by American Family Insurance

Mentorship Program

The Rising Phoenix Mentorship Program provides the opportunity for employees at American Family enterprise to work directly with high school students enrolled in the Rising Phoenix Early College High School.

Program Goals:

  1. Support students' personal and educational growth
  2. Help students identify and pursue opportunities for continued education that will help them fulfill their aspirations and goals
  3. Help identify career paths for students within the American Family enterprise
  4. Provide American Family enterprise employees the opportunity to "give back" to their community and add meaning to their work lives

Program Mentors:

Final identification of mentors will take place in early Fall 2022.

Program Eligibility:

  • Complete the UW-Green Bay background check process
  • Agree to follow all expectations as outlined below
  • Acceptance into the GEAR UP Rising Phoenix program
  • Student within targeted partner district.
  • Complete the Rising Phoenix Mentorship Program interest form
  • Agree to follow all expectations as outlined below
Mentorship Program Participant Roles and Expectations:
  • Complete UW-Green Bay Mentoring Certificate Program (see details below)
  • Commit to meet (in-person or via video conferencing) with your mentee at least once a month and periodically via email
  • Be open to sharing your educational and career journey
  • Be an advisor and teacher of making positive decisions
  • Model integrity and perseverance
  • Be a compassionate supporter
  • Be a good listener and maintain appropriate relationships with mentee
  • Communicate as needed with program coordinator
  • Total collaboration time is approximately 25 hours each year for the two year program
  • Commit to meet (in-person or via video conferencing) with your mentor at least once a month and periodically via email
  • Participate completely in all program activities
  • Be open to learning
  • In collaboration with mentor, develop and work toward goals for the program
  • Come prepared to all meetings with your mentor
  • Communicate consistently and be respectful of time
  • Communicate as needed with the Rising Phoenix Student Success Coach


Once applicants become certified mentors, the program timeline rolls out as follows:

Program Kickoff Event
Fall 2022
One-on-One Mentor/Mentee Meetings
Fall 2022 through Spring 2024
  • One meeting per month
  • Periodic email connections
Career Exploration Event
Date TBD
Graduation Celebration
June 2024
Senior successful business woman leading meeting

Elevate Your Skills

Mentoring Certificate Program
Self-Study & Online Live Sessions
Wednesdays, October 11, 18 & 25
8:30-10:30 a.m.

Maximize skill development, improve performance and grow potential with a Mentoring Certificate Program. Six hours of self-study. Six hours of online live sessions over the course of three September dates. Topics include:

  • Mentorship Ethics & Boundaries
  • Winning Communication Strategies for a Successful Mentorship
  • Mentoring Action Plan (Certificate Capstone)


Meagan Strehlow

Partner Support

Your UW-Green Bay contact for this program is Meagan Strehlow, Associate Executive Officer of K-12 and Community Relations in the Division of Continuing Education and Community Engagement.

Phone: (920) 465-2716