UW-Parkside’s Future Focus Fund Celebrates 5 Years of Student Support

Published: May 29, 2024

Nearly $1 million Raised to Help Students Graduate On Time

Future Focus FundThe Future Focus Fund is the University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s largest need-based student scholarship and emergency aid fund. In its first five years of being awarded to students, the fund has supported 442 students, awarded approximately $568,230 to students, and raised nearly $1 million from 903 unique donors.

Kristina Klemens, UW-Parkside’s director of student scholarships and financial aid, leads the university’s efforts to connect students with financial resources. “We are so thankful for five years of student support of the Future Focus Fund. The fund has helped students reach their graduation goals, met emergency financial needs during the pandemic, and helped close financial gaps that were too large for our students to manage,” Klemens said.

The goal of the Future Focus Fund is to reduce student loan debt and help students including many seniors in danger of dropping out as additional financial barriers arise in their final semesters. With more than half of UW-Parkside students being Pell grant eligible, the Future Focus Fund’s role of helping struggling seniors cross the finish line is vital to the university’s mission and vision.

Student impact is the most important metric of success for the Future Focus Fund. Jaquelyn Aguilar is majoring in Criminal Justice and received the award to help her cross the finish line of graduation. “This scholarship has given me the opportunity to live the dream I've always had of going to college and gaining knowledge in the field I'm going to work in. The scholarship has also helped me money-wise. Without it, I'm not sure I would be able to attend college and pursue my dreams,” Aguilar explained.

Boluwatife Hamzat recently graduated with a major in Biological Sciences. She credits the Future Focus Fund with empowering her to be a great and engaged student. “I'm from Chicago and I come from a family of seven. I'm planning on becoming a pediatrician in the future! I'm part of Pre-health Club, Parkside Student Government, ARU Student Coordinator for OMSA. I'm also a research assistant and an AssiSTEM Mentor. I have a lot going on but I love everything I do here at Parkside. This scholarship has given me discipline in my studies,” Hamzat said.

In 2018, the UW-Parkside Foundation led the creation of the Future Focus Fund as part of UW-Parkside’s 50th anniversary. The first award was given in 2019. The Future Focus Fund, although not created specifically for the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, provided critical support for students during the pandemic and served as an important tool for reaching diversity and equity goals. 

In response to the heightened need, UW-Parkside’s corporate partners, alumni, and other advocates rallied to support students through gifts to the Future Focus Fund. The added financial strain caused by the pandemic led to the expansion of the Future Focus Fund to provide additional funds to help students in need of emergency aid to help pay for not only tuition but other critical expenses including rent, groceries, and car insurance.  

The fund is made possible through a strong partnership between UW-Parkside’s University Advancement team and the Financial Aid office. This flexible financial aid source prioritizes high-need juniors and seniors to help them finish college strong. It is used for both proactive awards and in response to emergency or unforeseen circumstances. In the future, the foundation hopes to award $100,000 annually from the Future Focus Fund.

UW-Parkside has long made college affordability a point of emphasis, offering the most affordable tuition among the Universities of Wisconsin and helping to ensure that high-quality education is within reach. Visit https://www.uwp.edu/giving/future-focus-donation-form.cfm to help support students through the Future Focus Fund.

The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is committed to high-quality educational programs, creative and scholarly activities, and services responsive to its diverse student population, and its local, national, and global communities. We are a dynamic learning community grounded in academic excellence and focused on student success, diversity, inclusion, and community engagement. The campus serves as a premier comprehensive public institution and a destination of choice, serving as a focal point of local, regional, and global progress. 

Media contact:  

Scott Rudie
Executive Director of Communication and Marketing
University of Wisconsin-Parkside
rudie@uwp.edu | (262) 300-9549

Scroll to top