Self-Sufficiency Program

Past Self Sufficiency Program breakfast

Participants in the 6th Annual Self-Sufficiency Program Locally Grown Scholarship Breakfast listen to stories of student parents supported by SSP.

Breakfast raises funds for student-parent scholarships

The Seventh Annual Self-Sufficiency Program Locally Grown Scholarship Breakfast will run from 8-9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, at the UW-La Crosse Cleary Alumni & Friends Center.

The annual fundraiser supports scholarships for graduates of UW-L’s Self-Sufficiency Program, a free, one-semester program aimed at helping low-income parents prepare to be successful in college.

The breakfast is free and open to all. An RSVP is appreciated by Friday Nov. 18. The breakfast will feature extraordinary student-parents and their stories of the new beginnings with the help of SSP and the Locally-Grown Scholarship program.

“Many of these students are reclaiming their life. They had a lot of people telling them they couldn’t do it,” says Andrea Hansen, the new director of the Self-Sufficiency Program. “Now they have a group of people saying, ‘We’re happy for you. We think you can do it and we’re going to help you.’”

If you go:

What: Annual Self-Sufficiency Program Locally Grown Scholarship Breakfast
Where: UW-L Cleary Alumni & Friends Center
When: 8-9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30
RSVP: Nov. 18 by contacting Andrea Hansen, SSP director, or 608.785.8733
Cost: Free. Donations are welcome.

Q & A with Andrea Hansen, new director of the Self Sufficiency Program

Q: What is the Self-Sufficiency Program?

A: Low-income parents have a chance to experience college-level reading and writing during this one-semester program on the UW-L campus. They learn what it takes to apply to college and succeed as a college student. The program aims to help them to identify and develop their academic and career goals.

Q: Who are the students in the Self-Sufficiency Program?

A: Women and men are welcome to apply to the program at any time. Participants need to identify themselves as low income. This semester, we have a group of women ranging in age from 21-47 years old coming from many different life paths. We have students who have lived in homeless shelters and treatment centers. We have women stuck in low-income jobs with dreams of providing more fully for their family. Almost all of them are first-generation students. All are taking the courageous first step to reclaim their lives through education.

Q: In what ways does the Self-Sufficiency Program support participants?

A: It familiarizes these students with the ‘how to’ of college whether admissions, financial aid, career services or academics. Colleagues from these campus offices and from our sister institutions make presentations to put a face and name to the steps involved in going to college. We try to give people access to the unofficial knowledge that is passed on in families with a college history. We also have a writing instructor and a math tutor who help the group prepare academically for college. Finally, SSP graduates are eligible to apply for scholarships in their freshmen and sophomore years. Many continue to benefit from the network of support they establish in SSP for years.
The program is about providing information and skills, encouragement and cheering each step taken along the journey.

Q: I’m interested in supporting a student-parent. How do I do it?

A: You or your organization/club/group might consider supporting a student with a gift of $500, the amount of a one-semester scholarship or become a 2011 Breakfast Sponsor at the $350 level. Anyone interested in sponsorship can contact SSP Director Andrea Hansen at 608-785-8733. Your generosity will help graduates with college-related expenses and remind them that the local community is invested in their academic success and the well being of their families. If the sponsorship amounts are not possible, donations of any amount are greatly appreciated and will be put to good use. Give online through the UW-L Foundation website. Select “other,” and enter “SSP Locally Grown Scholarship Fund” in the text box. To give by mail, write your check payable to “SSP Locally Grown Scholarship Fund” and mail it to:

Andrea Hansen, Director, SSP
4306 Centennial Hall
University of Wisconsin at La Crosse
1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54501

Check out this video on the difference the Self Sufficiency Program made for a student.