Home Local News BGCDC announces $300,000 gift from American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation for AVID/TOPS...

BGCDC announces $300,000 gift from American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation for AVID/TOPS program

Photo: Boys and Girls Club of Dane County

In support of the AVID/TOPS and TOPS College Success programs, American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation has given a donation of $300,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County.

The AVID/TOPS (Advancement Via Individual Determination/Teens of Promise) is a partnership between Madison Metropolitan School District and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County that extends both within and outside of schools. Students receive college readiness curriculum along with access to tutoring, college field trips, mentoring, summer internships, and career exploration opportunities. 

The program that looks to nurture students’ abilities in writing, reading, inquiry, and collaboration has already produced 386 degree earners and has served 975 high school students, 117 middle school students, and 671 students enrolled in college for the 2022-23 academic year over the last 8 years with the support.

“We would not be where we are today without the support of American Family Insurance,” Michael Johnson, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County, said in a press release. “We have one of the most successful college access and success programs in Dane County, Wisconsin, and likely the Midwest, if not nationally. Thank you, American Family Insurance, on behalf of the thousands of students we’ve served thus far and the thousands of students we will prepare for academic success in the future.”

Along with students having fewer absences, higher achievement, and higher rates of graduation, the programs have also helped achieve an average 86% on-time college enrollment rate since 2015, according to a press release from BGCDC. With a focus on first-generation students, low-income students, and students of color, the AVID/TOPS program looks to address inequities in the education system.

“We believe we have a responsibility to help close equity gaps and affect positive social change so everyone can rise and partnering with organizations like Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County is one way we do that,” said Maggie Pascaly, American Family community, and social impact director, in a release. “In 2016, the first major commitment of the American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation was the AVID/TOPS program, because it is one of the most successful and statistically significant drivers of equity in the school district. We’ve been proud to continue support of this program that provides youth with the resources and experiences they need to reach their full potential.”