Recently, a video appeared online of a UW-Madison student making some racist remarks. In the…
A little more than 10 years ago I had lunch with Ginger Morgan at a buffet restaurant in the shadow of the Wisconsin Capitol. She was visiting Madison from Colorado and interviewing at Pres House for our newly created Director of Residential Community position. I knew by then that Ginger was just the right person to take our Pres House Apartment programming to the next level. In addition to trying to sell her on moving to Madison (not hard to do!) I put forward a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) for the future of our apartment community. I told Ginger that we wanted to grow the percentage of residents involved in our purposeful living scholarship communities from 8% of the building (about 20 residents) to 50% of the total residents living at PH Apartments (almost 120 residents).
Ginger was not dissuaded by this ambitious goal. Nor was she put off by the fact that we didn’t have the funds to create all those scholarships or the staff to manage that many programs. She moved to Madison and took the job anyway.
Ten years later, Ginger is still with us. And we have reached our goal! Half of all residents in the PH Apartments this year are involved in one of our seven distinctive purposeful living programs and receive a scholarship toward their rent. Together in community, they receive wellness and mental health support, volunteer, discuss their core values, keep each other accountable in addiction recovery, and much more. Since 2012 we have given away almost 700 scholarships totaling more than $900,000. A conservative estimate suggests that our Next Step Sober Housing community has saved the state of Wisconsin $652,800 and contributed $1,711,680 in benefits to Wisconsin as reflected by active recovery time of our program participants and graduates. More important, since the inception of this recovery housing community, 78% of participants have remained in recovery.
Ginger’s warm, thoughtful, and committed servant leadership has been instrumental in achieving this remarkable goal. Her job title has changed a few times over the years but her steadfast presence as a strategic leader and compassionate mentor for students has transformed Pres House and the lives of our residents. We wouldn’t be here without her.
And we wouldn’t be here without our donors as well. Five years ago we were making steady progress toward our goal of offering scholarships to half of our residents, but more funds were needed to get the rest of the way there. We launched an ambitious campaign to raise half a million dollars to fund the expansion. You, our donors, stepped up. Your donations make these scholarships possible. So thank you! Thank you for doing something amazing. Today we celebrate. And tomorrow we keep on moving forward.
Click here to support the continued growth of residential programs and scholarships in the Pres House Apartments and/or to make a gift in honor of Ginger’s decade of service.