Here’s what students say about the invaluable help they get from the Future Center!
How has the Future Center helped you?
Class of 2021
“Don’t be afraid to start that conversation even though it might be scary and awkward in the beginning. I received so much help with scholarships and essays. Even just having one person look over those applications can really help. It has been good to bounce ideas off someone who has a lot of experience.”
Eden has always imagined herself making an impact and leaving her mark on the world, and she feels like she has been thinking about and preparing for her future for a long time. “My whole family jokes about this all of the time. It never would have crossed our minds two years ago to be in this position. The Air Force Academy wasn’t on my radar until February of junior year, so to be where I am now is so different.” More
Class of 2020
“I actually don’t know how students at other schools get their things done without a Future Center. What I didn’t expect from Mr. Gordy was that he did not sugar coat things, which I appreciate.
Esther Vang is no stranger to being a trailblazer. She immigrated to the United States from Thailand, starting her U.S. life in California before relocating to Wisconsin. She learned English as her second language. Esther is the oldest of six children, and she is responsible for caring for and supporting those siblings as needed by her parents. Esther will also be the first member of her family to complete a high school education and first to attend college. More
“Mr. Gordy does a good job working for the individual, getting to know his audience. He knows how to read people. He does a great job of giving the students what they need. He’s personable, so you can build a solid foundation to be able to get into more in-depth conversations. He’s someone who comes off as someone who’s easy to talk to.”
Zach Slevin has always been a strong student and athlete. He worked hard at his studies and sports, which created many opportunities for him after high school. With two parents who work for UW-La Crosse, Zach wanted to hear some ideas and perspectives from someone less connected to the local university. With the help of the Future Center, Zach explored UW-La Crosse, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Madison, Wartburg, Bradley, Butler, St. Olaf, and Augustana. Zach appreciated his discussions with Matt Gordy. More
“Use the Future Center as much as you can because Hayley helped me so much with financial aid, scholarships, college application stuff, and writing essays. I feel like I had a really smooth college application process. Hayley taught me to use my resources and to help with my essays when I was stuck.
School did not always come easy to Emma. Growing up severely dyslexic with moderate ADHD, Emma had trouble liking school. “I felt like I had to work harder than everyone else to find what worked for me. Once I figured that out, I really liked going to school, and they were all super supportive.” At Central High School, Emma is an upbeat, outgoing student who is actively involved in sports and supports her classmates at games and events. More
Class of 2019
“I wasn’t sure how everything worked in the process, and all of my essays went through Hayley to make them as strong as they could be.”
Ahmad credits his family for his driven work ethic. He shared that his paternal grandfather didn’t have a formal education but had “street smarts” and was an entrepreneurial and charismatic kind of person. He “moved from Palestine to Jordan and started a printing company with a single printing press. From there he expanded to other industries. He and his friends started a chocolate shop. From word of mouth, it rapidly grew and now is the biggest chocolate shop in Jordan. More
Madeline “Maddy” Ickes
“Mr. Gordy made me see that I had a unique and interesting perspective of my own to share. He was someone I could bounce ideas off without giving me a definitive answer—forcing me to choose for myself what was really important.”
Madeline “Maddy” Ickes came into her senior year at Logan High School with what she believed was a solid plan for applying to colleges. She had been a high-achieving student and carefully lined up her options, many of which were smaller, competitive schools. What she thought was a straightforward process soon became a stressful one. In all, she applied to 16 schools and the option she chose has taken further than she had imagined when she started. In August, Maddy Ickes began an innovative international program in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. More
“She helped me get ready for scholarship interviews that were really stressing me out,” MyLe said. “She read through my essays, forced me to work on them, and to find and fix my mistakes. I wouldn’t have gotten as many scholarships as I did without Hayley.”
MyLe Luong moved with her family to La Crosse from Vietnam when she was six years old. She entered school with many challenges, the greatest of which was the language barrier. She looks back now as a recent Central High School graduate and cannot believe how dramatically her family’s fortunes have changed.
“I didn’t know any English, so when they placed me in elementary school, I didn’t know what anyone was saying,” she said. “They didn’t have a translator at the time. They had Hmong translators but not Vietnamese translators. My sister and I didn’t understand anything—we just picked it up as we went. More
“Having a plan A and B is not enough. Even A, B, C is not enough. You need to fully understand as many possibilities as you can. I had a plan A B C D and even my backup plans fell through, once I started looking more closely. Understand what your choices really mean so you can try to land on a plan you can be happy with. Even from just talking about leveraging offers to different colleges. Learning how to be an advocate for myself.
Keoni Young was determined to attend college far from La Crosse. As an aspiring engineer, he was excited to be admitted to Steven’s Institute of Technology, University of Denver, and University of Colorado-Boulder. As the year progressed, Keoni started narrowing down his selection. He faced the difficulty of paying for these colleges, the cost of living, and travel expenses. His other reasonably affordable and closer options had fallen through for various reasons. He started feeling overwhelmed. More
Class of 2018
“Senior year there’s just so much going on. But I think it was my best year because I accomplished so many things. And finding help from the Future Center about all the different resources that I didn’t know existed.”
Mai Der Lee is the daughter of refugees from Laos who settled in La Crosse before she was born. English is her second language (Hmong being her first). She is also a first-generation college student. She first discovered the La Crosse Promise Future Centers during her freshman year through the outreach routinely done by Future Center Advisors. Heading into her senior year, she was introduced to Future Center Advisor Matt Gordy to address several concerns she had for her future. More
“Without Mr. Gordy’s help, I would have had a lot more stress and anxiety. Students wouldn’t know what to do. They wouldn’t have the push or the drive provided by Mr. Gordy to get through the process. Mr. Gordy is a great man.
Once I got to Logan High School my junior year, I opened up and saw brightness in my future and I really wanted to go to college. I want to be an officer in the military, and I am more driven now to achieve that by going to college, rather than just enlisting. More
“I can guarantee I would not have as much scholarship money if I did not have Ms. Moe’s help in the Future Center. I also would have been way behind on FAFSA, and the little details would have gone right over my head. Ms. Moe has made me more accountable. One example – I wasn’t going to apply to one of the scholarships I eventually got.”
Ms. Moe has tremendously helped me prepare for college. I knew I had to apply to get in, but that was about the extent of my knowledge. I didn’t know all the steps that go into the application through to the enrollment process. Ms. Moe made me aware of all of these things and inspired me to keep up with deadlines. I have learned so much and saved a lot of money because of her. More
“Mr. Gordy taught me how to follow deadlines and prioritize better. I feel a little scared actually about the demands of college, but I feel like I’m pretty prepared now thanks to his help and how he encouraged me to meet those demands head-on.”
Mr. Gordy came to English class to introduce himself and tell us about the Future Center. I set up an appointment and from there, I knew I could come in at any time to ask questions. I began hanging out in the Future Center quite a bit after I connected with him. Mr. Gordy is a great resource for all of us. More
“Thank you so much for all you do at the Future Center. The college process has been one of the most confusing and stressful things I’ve ever navigated, not to mention scholarship applications and more. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without Ms. Moe’s consistent and helpful advice and assistance.”
My friends from previous years spoke highly of Ms. Moe and the help she had given them, so one day I decided to stop by. I had also been informed of the Future Center services by our school counselors. More
“If you want to get on the right path, the Future Center is the place to go. If you come in with baggage or barriers, start from scratch and don’t hold grudges, and the Future Center will help you start with a clean slate and build you up from that.”
I’ve never really liked school until this year. As summer comes, I tend to fall into old habits and I knew I needed to do something different. I’d just go all out night and not think about the future but I knew with graduation coming up, I needed a plan. I didn’t really have any goals. I had not been planning on going to college until late January of my senior year. More
“We really built a relationship, which made it easier to talk through things I was facing for college. The Future Center was a safe haven for me and I felt Ms. Moe really knew my interests.”
I found out about the Future Center my sophomore year when I took advantage of the Hands on Health Day event at Gundersen. I had ideas about health care but didn’t really know what I wanted to do. More
“The Future Center helped me with the little details when sending in my college applications. For example, Mr. Gordy gave me some advice about sending in my transcripts or answered questions I had about orientation and other activities. In doing this, it made me more comfortable with talking to advisors who I’ve never met before.”
I was in AVID for two years of high school, and when I was a freshman, they introduced us to the Future Center and the opportunities they had to offer. I first used the Future Center sign up for college visits, and then my senior year I started looking at colleges with Mr. Gordy. It wasn’t until this year that I realized that I truly needed more of the Future Center’s services. More
“Mr. Gordy helped me try and figure it out. He answers questions about admissions and the process for qualifying. He gave me the resources and consequences of certain actions.”
Despite being informed about the Future Center in class, I never visited the Future Center as I felt I already knew college was too hard to get into and too expensive. This would prove as a great mistake, as the Future Center advisor did not just consult me about US college-related information, such as foreign language placement exams, but they also encouraged me to at least apply for college. More
“Honestly, if I didn’t have Mr. Gordy’s help, I would probably have had a breakdown. I would not have known where to turn. You can’t find all the answers on a laptop. He was able to call people he knew to get information so we could move forward.”
I admit I was a little intimidated my freshman and sophomore years because there was always juniors and seniors in the Future Center. Once the advisors came in and talked to our classes, I felt more comfortable. Plus, I did most of my homework in there every day. More
Class of 2017
“If I didn’t have the Future Center I wouldn’t have had the means or the place to get the college application and the enrollment stuff done as efficiently as I did.”
Ms. Moe definitely helped me work out the things that were preventing me from keeping on task for my college plans. I have seen her helping other students with personal problems. I think that’s fantastic.” MORE
“The Future Center is like a bridge for students to help them build connections. I recommend that students seek help from the Future Center not just during their last year of high school (like me), but any time throughout their high school years.
Yeng says she was pretty clear about what she wanted to do with her future and that the Future Center’s support was crucial to keep her on task. MORE
“I was so confused and my friend told me Ms. Moe helps everyone. I was a little apprehensive about talking to an adult who I didn’t know, but I met Ms. Moe and she was amazing.”
Parker was overwhelmed with the decisions he had to make when committing to college. After he talked to a close friend, she recommended he met with the Future Center advisor. MORE
These were big decisions for me and my advisor knew exactly what facts I needed to help me figure it out on my own.”
Gretchen attended a writing workshop at the Future Center her sophomore year and thought Ms. Moe was really “cool.” Gretchen now has a solid plan in place for college and for her future and she credits Advisor Hayley Moe for the motivation she needed to get this far. MORE
“I know now that’s really important to get these things done and not be afraid. I don’t know if I could have done all of this on my own.”
Coming to the Future Center nearly every day her senior year proved to make life a little better for Emma, she says, and much less stressful. “I spent a lot of time in the Future Center and I know for a fact it not only benefited my future but also made my senior year better and a lot happier, thanks to Ms. Moe’s advice and her advice and encouragement. I loved coming in every day.” MORE
“Logan doesn’t have a lot of Asian Americans who are confident to seek out people when they need help. Mr. Lam makes it a point to reach out to us to make sure we talk to people and become more comfortable in our environment.”
The youngest in his family, Soua immigrated with his parents and sisters and brothers to the United States from Thailand when he was 5 years old. He said it was a frightening and confusing time for him and for his parents because of the language barriers and because they didn’t know anyone in La Crosse. MORE
“My advisor has had a tremendously positive impact on my life and I will always be grateful for everything she has done for me.”
“I might have made these plans without her help, but she helped me solidify my choices. I don’t believe that I would have been as successful, less stressed, or generally as happy during the last years of high school without Ms. Moe’s help. She has had a tremendously positive impact on my life and I will always be grateful for everything she has done for me.” MORE
“I didn’t even know how to apply on my own. It just got a lot easier with my advisor’s help.”
During his senior year at Logan High School, Cody was unsure about which college to choose and how to get in. It was a daunting process applying and eventually enrolling in college once he was accepted. “I know college isn’t supposed to be easy but I was struggling before I even got in.” MORE
I was hoping to start applying to colleges but didn’t know where to start. I was told by the school psychologist to stop by the Future Center and ask the questions that I had. I am so glad I did. Ms. Moe helped me every step of the way during my application process and still at this point in my college career answers any questions that I still have. She helped me with my FAFSA, loan counseling, and the essays for scholarships and applications. She made sure to give me a list of any scholarships to apply for every week. We worked on my short essays for college applications and I believe that those were what helped me get into the schools that I did. After getting to know me throughout my junior year, Ms. Moe was able to pick out different life experiences I have shared with her to put on my resumes and applications for various internships, jobs, and schools. If I wouldn’t have had the Future Center I don’t think my applications would have been as strong as they were.
I really appreciated how working with the Future Center helped me clear my head and alleviate all the anxiety that I had during the application process. Ms. Moe really breaks down the whole process for you so you can take it piece by piece and don’t feel cluttered by trying to do everything at once. The Future Center helps students decide if college is right for them or not — without having to spend thousands of dollars in the process. I went into school thinking I wanted to major in psychology and Ms. Moe assured me it was okay to not be certain on what you wanted to do beforehand because you would figure it out along the way.
I am going to be a senior at UW-Madison and my major is Human Development and Family Studies on a Pre-OT track. Now Ms. Moe is helping me with my graduate school decisions. She has answered questions and provided resources for many things I have needed throughout my undergrad program.
Without the services of the Future Center, I may not be in the same position I am today.
UW-Eau Claire, 2017
“I was a little lost in direction. I wasn’t sure which steps to take and when they were appropriate for my future. When I talked to Hayley the first time, she was informative, helpful, and absolutely kind. I knew as soon as I walked through the doors, I had made a good decision. I feel more confident about my future. I feel I now have an understanding of what my future will look like. I’ve been given advice and choices for new opportunities.”
UW-La Crosse, 2019
“I will be the first person in my family to attend college. Starting senior year was complicated because I didn’t know what to expect. Mr. Lam helped me organize what I had to do in order to sign up in time for everything (college, scholarships, financial aid). He made signing up for college very simple. With his help, things were made possible and easy for me to achieve.”
UM-Twin Cities, 2019
“I had no clear idea of my plans after high school or even how to prepare for the future that far ahead. Mr. Lam took me through, step by step, the actions I needed on a timeline from junior to senior year. Mr. Lam has always been available as a resource to help with the applying process for college, aid, and scholarships, which without I would be lost.”
Winona State University, 2019
“My advisor helped me in so many ways: ACT, homework, papers, questions, college, jobs, FAFSA, financial aid, and college account stuff. It’s a great place for help about your future and can answer many of the questions you may have.”
Western Technical College, 2018
“The Future Center services have been integral to me and helped me realize my career path. They’ve helped me with the FAFSA, financial aid, and scholarships. If students fully use the Future Center they would be much more aware of all of their options and may even find what they want to do.”
UW-La Crosse, 2019
“Applying for college was one of the hardest things to do since my older sister was away in Eau Claire for her first year in college and could not help me with my college things. My mom is a single mother of six who could not help me, so the only person I felt I could turn to was Mr. Lam. At first I was declined as an applicant to UW-La Crosse and he was there for me when I was declined and helped me apply for UW La Crosse’s summer program, ASI (Academic Success Institute) which was an opportunity that will allow me to become a UWL student after finishing the program. Mr. Lam also helped me apply for scholarships. He went over my papers, page by page. He has not just helped me.T here were days where Mr. Lam had a classroom full of seniors, helping each student walk through and complete an application. He deserves a big round of applause. I cannot thank him enough for what he has done for students and for me to make a change in my future. I will forever be thankful for having an advisor like him.”
“I am an only child born to parents without college degrees. Therefore, my parents and I didn’t know how to go about applying for colleges. The school recommended Mr. Lam in the Future Center. I applied for UW-River Falls in less than two hours, thanks to his help. It simply took so much unneeded stress out of my life.With Mr. Lam’s help I had no panic and no worries as it came to applying for college. Any questions at all, go to Mr. Lam. He knows his stuff and is a great asset to Logan High School.”