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Milwaukee, WI, January 8, 2020— Pathways High has been awarded an American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation grant in the amount of $15,000 to further the growth of the school’s IMPACT program. Pathways High’s IMPACT program engages high school students in hands-on, real-world learning experiences that open doors to limitless opportunities.

Pathways High educators emphasize the connection between real-world learning and student motivation in their curriculum. “Research shows engagement and motivation increase significantly when students work on projects of interest to them in a real world context,” said Dr. Stacy Knetter, Pathways High Principal. “Every Pathways High interdisciplinary seminar includes at least one IMPACT experience where students are either on-site at a business or community organization or the outside experts are working with students in the school.”

The school’s IMPACT experiences also include corporate and community partnerships. During the school’s Revolutions seminar last fall, students put the Haitian and French revolutions “on trial” and collaborated with attorneys from Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren sc. During the seminar, student teams represented the prosecuting and defense attorneys, and received feedback from the Reinhart attorneys on how to improve their cases. The professional attorneys also took on roles, such as the judge and mentors during the post-trial deliberation process, enhancing the realistic nature of the mock trials.

The Revolutions seminar’s IMPACT experience resulted in several Pathways High students applying to the Marquette University Law School Summer Youth Internship program. “I found it really beneficial to get feedback from the real-world attorneys,” said Ariana Knabe, a junior at Pathways High. “They gave us insights on how to write an effective argument, and how to properly phrase questions during a legal trial. All of us learned a lot about the legal process.”

Pathways High faculty and staff look forward to expanding the IMPACT program in 2020. “We are incredibly grateful to receive this grant from the American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation to accelerate the growth of our IMPACT program,” said Julia Burns, Co-Founder and Governance Board President of Pathways High. “The grant is a force-multiplier -- more students will benefit from connections to business and community leaders, and participate in real-world learning experiences. Networks are powerful, and this funding enables us to have a staff member focus on establishing and nurturing our networks in the metro Milwaukee region, which, in turn, equips students with more opportunities to unleash their potential.”

Prospective business and community partners of all sizes and industries are encouraged to contact Angelique Byrne, Pathways High IMPACT Coordinator, at or visit

Community members and business leaders interested in seeing the work of Pathways High students are encouraged to attend the mid-year Student Exhibition Night from 3:30 - 6:00 pm. on Thursday, Jan. 23, at Pathways High, 336 W. Walnut St., Milwaukee.

About American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation

We believe that social impact doesn’t start or end with a check. So we focus on bringing our mission – to inspire, protect and restore dreams – to life in our communities. We do this by combining financial support with volunteerism, creativity and expertise. And that leads to greater accomplishments, collaboration and a better future for all.

About Pathways High


Pathways High is dedicated to unleashing the full potential of all students. Now. The real world defines rigor for our students. Interdisciplinary seminars, frequent interactions with business and community members, and real-world projects make Pathways High students ready for what’s next: employment, apprenticeships, industry certifications, and two and four-year postsecondary education. All Pathways High graduates:

  • Own their learning and self-advocate

  • Build strong relationships within the community

  • Integrate knowing and doing

  • Excel at future-ready skills

For more information about Pathways High, visit or call Julia Burns at 414-698-3424.


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