College Possible Milwaukee Names Kellie J. Sigh as Executive Director
Sigh committed to addressing the “degree divide” impacting Milwaukee’s youth
MILWAUKEE, WI – College Possible Milwaukee, a non-profit that helps Milwaukee students from low-income backgrounds get accepted into and graduate college, today announced that Kellie J. Sigh has been named Executive Director. She joins the organization motivated to close Milwaukee’s “degree divide” – an injustice that sees students from high-income backgrounds graduating college at twice the rate as their low-income peers, an issue only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, students from low-income backgrounds face mounting obstacles in their pursuit of a college degree – trapped between the technological hurdles of virtual learning and the financial hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The College Possible Milwaukee model addresses systemic educational barriers and the new complications students experience by working in close partnership with districts, high schools, and post-secondary institutions, and by focusing on a student’s pivotal educational timeframe of junior year of high school through college graduation.
“I want for our scholars to have all of the opportunities and options that a college degree can afford them, said Sigh. “Inequities and systemic barriers most definitely exist. I believe that a college degree presents more possibilities to diversify our Milwaukee workforce, raise up community leaders, and position our scholars to be decision-makers within non-profits, corporations, and foundations.”
The data confirms that the College Possible model is working, with 98 percent of College Possible students earning college admission and 80 percent receiving a degree – making them three times as likely to graduate than their peers. College Possible Milwaukee is also being recognized as “AmeriCorps Program of the Year” later this week; an honor Governor Tony Evers will present Ms. Sigh and her team on Thursday.
Sigh has more than 25 years of experience in the private and public school sectors, most recently serving as the Director of Strategic Partnerships and Customer Service for Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). Education is also in Ms. Sigh’s DNA. Her uncle, Grant Gordon, was the first Black principal for MPS and her aunt, Lucinda Gordon, founded the Lady Pitts School for Pregnant Girls. See Sigh’s headshot here.
“Kellie’s experience and connections with MPS, her passion about students, and approach to building and maintaining effective, healthy and whole teams set Kellie up for success in this role,” said Board Chair, Dick Seesel. “She will have a real impact on the lives of Milwaukee high school and college scholars, as well as our AmeriCorps members, even during this period of all-virtual coaching.”