UW-Madison has welcomed another 80 Precollege Enrichment Opportunity for Learning Excellence (PEOPLE) freshmen scholars this fall and another 157 high school seniors are ready to apply for admission, having just completed the PEOPLE precollege program designed to develop well-prepared college candidates.

PEOPLE high school scholars were recognized for their outstanding high school accomplishments, completing the precollege readiness program, and the internships experienced this summer at the annual R.I.S.E. (Reflect. Inspire. Succeed. Evolve.) Recognition Luncheon on July 19 at the Alliant Energy Center.

“We are thrilled to celebrate PEOPLE’s 20-year history and most importantly to highlight the accomplishments of our dedicated students. This program empowers first-generation college, low-income, and underrepresented students to fulfill their aspirations of college entry and success. The precollege program provides mastery of academic knowledge and the development of cognitive skills and strategies, self-management and the expectations of higher education,” said Cheryl Gittens, assistant vice provost. “With the UW-Madison in-state tuition scholarships for PEOPLE high school scholars who are accepted and enroll, the Badger Experience is accessible to more students. This is the impact of the Wisconsin Idea.”

In addition to celebrating the rising high school seniors, who will officially apply for admission to the University of Wisconsin-Madison this coming senior high school year, the annual PEOPLE R.I.S.E. Recognition Luncheon welcomed the incoming freshman class of PEOPLE College Scholars. These 80 students have spent the summer participating in a bridge program that provides the opportunity to take classes and get familiar with the pace of college study.

While the purpose of PEOPLE is primarily to prepare students to successfully attend and graduate from UW System schools, Gittens added, as the program changes and grows, there is a broader effect of seeding diversity at UW- Madison and its graduate programs, as well as expanding diversity of all kinds within the Wisconsin core of alumni.

One of the most successful long-term diversity pipelines to higher education in the nation, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s PEOPLE program serves more than 1,200 students annually on campus and in the Madison Metropolitan and Milwaukee Public school districts. PEOPLE College Scholars are now represented in every school and college on the UW-Madison campus.