Select Page

Alumni Stories


Project Success alumni go on to do great things! The following stories represent only a small part of the big impact that our alumni make in their communities and chosen fields. Read below to see what Project Success alumni are up to today!

Contact Information

If you are a Project Success alumni and interested in sharing your story, we want to hear from you!

Ashley Lewandowski

Phone: (920) 424-1033

E-Mail: lewandoa@uwosh.edu


 

Callie Walker- Berlin, Wisconsin

Growing up, school had always been a struggle for me, I hated it. I was so lost and confused in pretty much every class except phy. ed. I always felt that my classmates were smarter than I was. I was tested multiple times to see if I had an LD and always fell in this “grey area” where I wasn’t able to receive the help that I needed in order to be successful. I was told that I was an average student who, “just learns at a slower speed”. Finishing last on every in-class assignment and failing pretty much every exam was embarrassing and frustrating. I felt like it didn’t matter how much I studied, I was going to fail anyway. There were only so many times I could fail, go in for extra help, get tutors, spend hours studying, and try to have a positive attitude, before I eventually reached the mindset of, “It doesn’t matter and I don’t care anymore.” I expected to fail, and I accepted the fact that I was not “smart”.

A couple weeks before High School graduation I found out that I was dyslexic. I was relieved to know that there was finally a reason as to why I struggled so much. It also scared me because here I was, a soon-to-be High School graduate who was going off to play college basketball who just found out that I read at a 4th grade reading level. I was so nervous to start college because I knew it was going to be extremely difficult. I was right, it was. I quit basketball (the main reason I went to college) because I had to spend more time studying and doing homework than the average student. It wasn’t easy, quitting basketball was probably the hardest decision of my life; I let my team and my coach down, I quit something that I loved to do. It broke my heart.
Because of Project Success, their strong support and the loving support of my family and friends, I was able to graduate college with honors; and for the first time in my life I can say that I enjoyed being a student. I enjoyed learning, I liked going to class. College was the best 4 years of my life. I found who I was and I used my weaknesses to help me grow. Don’t get me wrong, there were somedays that I was ready to throw in the towel. Ready to give up. There were days that I thought, “Why am I doing this to myself? Is this whole college thing even worth it?” But it was. The difficult days make the better days brighter. So don’t give up, fight. You’re worth it. I can’t tell you how good it felt walking across that stage in Kolf on graduation day. FINALLY! Let me tell you, if I can do it, so can you. Believe that.
As of right now, I have no idea what the future holds for me. But I do believe that God has a plan for my life. I want to use this Human Service degree to help the kids who feel like I did. I want to help students find their path, to help guide them to success, to truly find themselves and build on their strengths and grow from their weaknesses. I’m currently applying to be a substitute teacher, but someday, just like you, I’m gonna help change this world.
Caitlin Murphy- West Chicago, Illinois

After many years of academic frustration, I was finally diagnosed with a language based learning disability and ADHD at the age of 15.  My grades, self-esteem and high school GPA were all low and I often felt hopeless.  Even my high school guidance counselor had little faith in me, indicating numerous times that I probably wouldn’t graduate high school and would most likely never be able to succeed or attend college. Hearing these statements was very difficult, but I was taught by my family to work hard and to never give up on my dreams.

My parents are both UW-Oshkosh alumni, and had heard about the Project Success Program from several colleagues and friends over the years. During my junior year of high school, my family and I toured the campus and met with Project Success staff members. We were very impressed by our visit and I was excited to complete the application process. When I received my acceptance letter  to UW -Oshkosh as a Project Success student, I was hopeful for the first time that I would  succeed in college.

I began my journey at UW-Oshkosh by attending the Project Success 2007 summer program. I had graduated from high school only a few days before my arrival and was extremely nervous about not knowing anyone and  living so far from home since my family is from Illinois. Luckily, I was not alone, as the other students were all experiencing the same feelings.

The Project Success summer program was one of the greatest experiences I have been through. I was able to obtain important profitable skills such as organizational habits, reading/writing skills and study habits. I quickly  matured into a young adult, making lifelong friends and learning to believe in myself.  After successfully completing the 2007 Summer Program, I was approved to begin regular freshman classes during the upcoming fall semester as a full-time student at UW-Oshkosh.

I regularly visited the Project Success Office multiple times each week to receive assistance in writing, reading, and math throughout my time as a student at UW-Oshkosh.  The Project Success Office was a safe haven for me where I could go to de-stress, as well as receive advice, encouragement and support from staff members or fellow students.

During the spring semester of 2010 and the fall semester of 2011 I earned a placed on the UW-Oshkosh Honors List for receiving a GPA higher than a 3.30. In 2011, I was also awarded with the Robert T. Nash Scholarship for my advocacy skills and having a GPA higher than a 2.75.

In the spring of 2013, I graduated from UW-Oshkosh with a Bachelor Degree in Social Work (BSW).  After graduation, I accepted a social work position in Milwaukee, WI, where I am currently working as a case manager for juveniles involved in the juvenile justice system. My work is challenging but very rewarding.

In July 2016, I married my husband Dan and we are now in the process of buying our first home together.  We are also currently adopting a new puppy.  Our future looks bright and happy.

My advice to current/future Project Success students would be to utilize your resources, ask for help when needed, and step outside of your comfort zone.  Always believe in your future and be willing to work hard to reach your dreams.

Maurcie Mueller- Wisconsin

“I attended UWO summer of 2000 thru the spring semester of 2003. From there I transferred to UW Platteville where I graduated with my bachelors degree in Industrial Studies – Building Construction Management.  After graduation, I moved to Chicago for work and was able to earn my LEED AP BD+C professional accreditation.   I married my wife Kelly in the spring of 2007. We moved back to Wisconsin in 2012.  In February 2015 our first child, James, was welcomed to our family.  Currently, I am working for a Wisconsin based construction company as an Engineer. Words of advise: work hard and take advantage of all available resources through the Project Success program.  Take time to enjoy college.”