PROMISE Wisconsin Newsletter
March 2014 


Visit our NEW website
March Calendar of Events
Connect with us
National Website
Call Us
Steering Committee contact information
New Personnel
Contract Updates
Workgroup Updates
Steering Committee Profile

Visit our NEW website


March Calendar  
of Events


Connect with us

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter


National Website

Can be found HERE

OSEP Ideas that work
U.S. Office of Special Education Programs


Call Us 

If you have a group that may be interested in hearing about the grant, recruitment and enrollment, or other aspects of the project. Call 608.261.0050 or email:

Steering Committee Profile members and emails

Project Director
JoAnna Richard
Project Manager
Ellie Hartman
Cayte Anderson
Wendi Dawson
Meredith Dressel
Janet Estervig
Allison Gordon
Wendy Henderson
Aimee Jahnke
Suzanne Lee
Jessica Thompson



New Personnel 

Data Sharing Coordinator

Mike GuenthermanWe are excited to have Mike join our Promise Grant staff as the Data Sharing Coordinator. Mike has vast experience working with state government and brings the type of collaborative spirit that epitomizes the Promise Grant effort. He will help coordinate the many data elements needed to meet the national evaluator needs as well as our formative evaluation needs to keep our grant goals on target. Promise Wisconsin is lucky to have his talent and we welcome him to our team. Mike starts on March 3, 2014.


UW Law School Interns

We are very pleased to also welcome two UW Law School students who will spend the semester with the Promise Grant as policy and legal research assistants. Lissette Ortegon and Meghana Joshi joined our team in February and have already hit the ground running by providing assistance to many of the teams with their resource mapping efforts.

Lissette Ortegon is a 3rd year law student and currently lives in Madison after transferring from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. She is affiliated with the Latino Law Students Association, and the Public Interest Law Foundation. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising from the University of Illinois. She also works with Disability Rights Wisconsin and is fluent in Spanish and proficient in ASL.
Meghana Joshi is a 2nd year law student from Hoffman Estates, Illinois. She is a Samson Fellow, a member of the Wisconsin Law Review, and affiliated with the Health Law Association, Public Interest Law Foundation and the Women's Law Student Association. She received her undergraduate degree from University of Illinois with a BS in Psychology and Political Science. Meghana is conversational in Marathi, and has basic language skills in Hindi and Spanish.


Case Coordinator

Kelvin Hogans

Contract Updates

Agency contracts have been completed for Department of Children and Families and the Department of Public Instruction as well as for UW-Stout for:  Evaluation; Soft Skills Services; and, Recruitment and Enrollment. 

Workgroup Updates
Amanda Schlegelmilch and
Mary Brodhagen

The Evaluation workgroup welcomes two new Research Specialists, Amanda Schlegelmilch (Master's degree in Applied Psychology) and Mary Brodhagen (Bachelor's degree in Cognitive Neuroscience), to the team. The workgroup further developed and finalized three versions of the baseline and annual survey and loaded them into the electronic/online survey tool. There are separate but similar versions of the survey for youth participants, their family, and the DVR counselors who will be working with PROMISE participants. The surveys have been tested for use with iPads and tablets to ensure ease of use once enrollment begins. Additionally, all staff that will be handling participant information have submitted the information necessary for the federal security clearance process.
Case Management 
On March 3,2014, eight DVR staff will be assigned to the PROMISE grant. This last week they have participated in in-depth training on the PROMISE grant which includes the goals of the grant,research plan, enrollment process, required services and changes to the case management system. In addition, ERI provided additional training on public benefits, including SSI, to understand the systems in which participants may be involved. Later this month, an additional three counselors will be hired to serve the Milwaukee area. The Case Management group will be meeting on March 18th to review the dispute resolution process for family members participating in PROMISE.


The team is working hard to collect all resource links. Three subgroups are also being established for Parent Training, Community Conversations and Learning Communities


Plans are moving forward for the establishment of the data warehouse. Mike Guentherman will now head up the data sharing effort and will work with the various stakeholder agencies to gather the necessary data for evaluation.      

Career Exploration & Work Experience

Workgroup members worked hard during the month of February to gather statewide and local resources to train the Promise staff for their use as they deliver their services. The areas included: Career Exploration, Academic Career Planning, Postsecondary Training Planning, Self-Advocacy, GED, HSED, Literacy Training, Adult Training, Job Readiness, Project Search, On-the-Job Training, Work Experience, Youth Apprenticeship, Long Term Care System, Post-Secondary Training Disability Services, and Job Development Career and Work Experience.

Recruitment and Enrollment
February was a busy month for Wisconsin's recruitment and enrollment activities. On February 13th the national PROMISE evaluator Mathematica held a Wisconsin-specific training on the recruitment and enrollment process and the Random Assignment System that will be used for the random assignment of all enrolled PROMISE participants in the program group and usual services group. Click Here for article 
Financial Services 
The Financial Services workgroup will be meeting on March     5th to continue developing the work incentives benefits counseling and financial awareness/coaching/asset development strategies for the project. 

Steering Committee Profile
Meredith Dressel is the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Meredith Dressel, Chair of the Case Management Workgroup
Assistant Director for the Bureau of Consumer Services.She has worked for DVR for over 16 years in various roles in different areas of the state.Meredith also leads the statewide team on transition of youth with disabilities in addition to collaborating with statewide stakeholders and partners to increase employment outcome success for this important population.