The heart of CUW’s mission—“service to Christ in the Church and the world”—was visible earlier this month as 153 Milwaukee students came to the CUW campus explore their God-given gifts and future purpose.

Being all 8th graders, these students from LUMIN Schools were very interested in finding out more about careers, college, and our distinct mission at CUW. LUMIN Schools is a network of PK-8th grade schools in Milwaukee providing educational success, leadership development, and spiritual growth. This makes LUMIN a perfect partner for Concordia University Wisconsin.

The theme for the day was “Opportunity.” Devona Wright Cottrell, chief legal officer and general counsel at GMR Marketing, spoke about persistence and problem solving. A message from Campus Pastor Doug Bender on vocation reminded the students of our God’s gracious gifts. CUW advisors and staff met with students in small groups to offer guidance and advice on future college and career pursuits.

Our Black Student Union and admissions’ representatives provided key tours answering all of the 8th graders questions. The generosity of American Family Insurance allowed everyone to enjoy a fabulous lunch. In the afternoon, over 20 local businesses gathered to hear LUMIN 8th graders share their “elevator speech,” resumes, and future goals. Business experts offered key critiques and feedback to the students. This productive day ended with high energy and excitement as there was collective reflection on the lessons of the day.

Christy Call, director of community outreach and veteran engagement, and Stacy Tolomeo, assistant director of industry relations, offered key leadership from planning to execution of this important project.

“Seeing CUW’s impact on our area businesses and special partners like LUMIN Schools defines our university’s purpose of living lives reflective of God’s grace,” said Dr. Steve Gerner, dean of students at CUW. “You could not help but pause and be ever thankful for the young LUMIN scholars as they eagerly embraced the grace of our loving Savior and boldly learned how they can grow and identify in our world. If we could capture the day in a word, it would be ‘opportunity.’  We were reminded of the opportunity that each of us has to go forward with boldness knowing the strength and love of our Lord and Savior.”

The day was so powerful, we spent the last few minutes talking about what we can do next year. As everyone was leaving, an 8th grader stopped us and said: “Thank you, I will be coming to Concordia.”

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