‘Achieve Brown County Program’ Will Help Children From Birth Through First Job

Initiative Will Coordinate Groups To Help With Children's Education, Well-Being


There’s a new effort in Brown County to guide children from cradle to career: Private donors have set up a fund that will better coordinate programs to follow children through their schooling and eventually getting them into a good job.

Achieve Brown County will begin by making sure children are prepared for kindergarten, and go on from there. John Kress runs the George F. Kress foundation, one of the program’s initial donors. The foundation was started by his grandfather, the founder of Green Bay Packaging.

“My grandpa always said that it wasn’t possible to have a successful company without having the whole community around you, and as a successful company you owe it to the community to do your best to make it a better place,” Kress said.

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Other major area employers also chipped into the fund, bringing it to a total of $1.4 million. The money will be invested to pay for support staff, who will be dedicated to coordinating many different programs.

Adam Hardy, Achieve Brown County’s executive director, the county can no longer rely on volunteers to figure out if help is getting to the people who need it. He said the program is based on one in Cincinnati.

“We’ve heavily adapted it to our resources here in Green Bay,” said Hardy. “There are some elements to what we’re doing here in Green Bay that is very unique, no one else is doing it. We have some data infrastructure and integration that no one else is doing.”

The ultimate goal of Achieve is to get participants into a family-supporting career by the time they’re 26.