Kali Huettl named Student of the Year
Residents of local public housing were excited to participate last week in the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee’s annual Student Recognition Event, highlighting the success of the Authority’s Education Initiative and its students.
Of the 378 students currently in the Education Initiative, 100 percent are enrolled in school, and the program has consistently produced higher graduation rates than the Milwaukee school district average. This year, all 20 seniors in the Initiative are on track to graduate by the end of summer.
Dr. Demond Means, Superintendent of the Mequon-Thiensville School District, provided the keynote address.
At the event, the Student of the Year award was presented to Kali Huettl, who graduated from Riverside University High School this month and has been named a Gates Millenium Scholar.
“The Education Initiative taught me that I should be persistent about going after what I need for my future,” said Kali. “It’s an important lesson for all youth.”
Kali is one of only three Milwaukee Public School seniors to be named a Gates Millennium Scholar this year, an honor awarded to only 1,000 students nationwide. Through the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, which promotes academic excellence and provides opportunities for outstanding minority students, she has been awarded a “good-through-graduation” scholarship to Clark University, and it will cover 100 percent of her unmet financial need.
While Kali’s academic success is impressive, it’s her volunteer work in her community which sets her apart. She participated in “sleep outs” at RUHS to raise awareness about homelessness – and funds for Habitat for Humanity.
“So many people don’t realize how good they have it,” said Kali. “They have a home, a roof and food to go home to at night, and there are so many people that we don’t know who struggle on a daily basis.”
In addition to her passion for improving the lives of her fellow community members, Kali plans on pursuing her dream of becoming a Nurse Practitioner at Clark University, a historically black college in Atlanta. When she graduates, Kali would like to open her own free clinic and give back to her community.
Kali’s story is one of outstanding accomplishment, and her successes are shared by others who have found support through the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee’s Education Initiative.
In addition to recognizing Kali and other students of all ages, the Student Recognition Awards recognized John and Lauren Downey and their four children as Family of the Year. Both parents are enrolled in college and their children received honors for their achievements in math, reading, science and technology.
Since 2005, the Housing Authority’s Education Initiative has worked with children to ensure they attend school every day and to reduce barriers to their success in school.