Abriendo Puertas, which translates to “Opening Doors,” is a free, professional preparation and mentorship program for Hispanic and minority college students in Milwaukee. This program is made possible by financial support from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation and has a goal of expanding the talent pool of young Hispanic and minority students successfully completing college degrees, becoming quality job candidates of choice for employers, and commencing promising professional careers.
Abriendo Puertas has been providing programming for more than four years, and has served more than 302 unduplicated students from 14 institutions of higher education, including Marquette University, UW-Milwaukee, Alverno College, and Cardinal Stritch University.
- Program Advisors: Students are paired with program mentors who interact with them repeatedly during the semester and assist them with the development of an Individual Development Enrichment Action (IDEA) plan to meet their academic, financial, and career goals.
- Career Development: Participating students attend professional development workshops, where they learn everything from how to build professional resumes to how to prepare for job interviews.
- Career Coaches: During the professional development workshops, students are given opportunities to network with professional mentors who volunteer as career coaches, sharing advice and teaching soft business skills essential for success in the workplace. To get involved and volunteer as a career coach, please fill out and submit the Volunteer Form.
- Abriendo Puertas has helped 72 students graduate, prepared to enter the workforce.
- Abriendo Puertas has helped more than 100 students secure internships and job placements.
- The program has averaged a three-year student retention rate of 96% and persistence rate of 92% of cohort members re-enrolling semester to semester and year to year.
- More than 95% of the students in the program have received grade point averages equal to or greater than a 2.0.
"Abriendo Puertas is not only a program to help students improve their professional skills but also a program that allows students to create long lasting relationships with the advisors and professionals that attend events. Without the Abriendo Puertas program, I would not have obtained the soft skills necessary to take on leadership roles in my student organizations, and would not be in the position that I’m in today to succeed in my field of study."
-Antonio Martinez (Marquette University 2017)
"Abriendo Puertas has helped me connect with many professionals in my field of study and it also helped me secure the internship that I have today."
-Adriana Cordero (Marquette University 2016)
"Prior to joining the Abriendo Puertas program, I always felt nervous initiating conversations with working professionals. Today, with the help of Abriendo Puertas, I feel a lot more confident in my ability to network."
-Joel Lopez (UW-Milwaukee 2016)
- For students interested in joining the program, please contact Marisela Rodriguez-Gutierrez (email@example.com).
- For professionals looking to volunteer as career coaches, please contact Joanna Rivas (JRivas@unitedcc.org).