My name is Manoel Reichel and I am a futuremaker. I started on my college journey with one destination in mind, but rarely do we ever end up exactly where we thought. I think it’s in between where we think we are headed and where we end up that we learn and grow the most. The experiences and hurdles I’ve been through and have had to overcome have made me a stronger person, and have prepared me for a future of success.

It was easy for me to feel like I was alone after I left UW-Madison and the uncertainty of my future weighed on me. I was always certain I was going to get my Bachelors degree, and so when that goal started to disappear I felt defeated. I had to figure out what I really wanted to do and how I could steer myself back on track to the goals I had once envisioned.

I looked to the technical college to help me gain a new and more positive outlook on where I was headed. The perspective I was given gave me a chance to believe in myself again, and when I was given hope, that’s when I knew I could start achieving.

Life is full of the unexpected; sometimes negative, and sometimes positive. I’ve learned you can’t look at those unforeseen situations as permanent roadblocks but as opportunities to making the best of the situation. The technical college ended up being one of the best unexpected detours in my life thus far. What you perceive failures as can end up being one of the most rewarding experiences and situations presented to you.

The opportunities that presented themselves to me were continuous as I continued to succeed academically, in my jobs and my internships. It was over a year ago that I began my internship with the Wisconsin Technical College System and the knowledge I gained is invaluable. My leadership skills became enhanced as well as my ability to market ideas and strategize. My ability to build relationships and communicate at multiple levels was strengthened through this internship experience and will help to ensure the success of my future endeavors. My goal of getting my Bachelor’s degree is back in reach and I could not have envisioned it again without the support of the technical college.

As my time with the Wisconsin Technical College comes to an end, I think of all those who are just beginning their journey at one of the 16 technical colleges. Your future is full of possibility and opportunity. Your college experience will be what you put into it, so don’t be afraid to get involved on campus, or take part in student jobs. Your time at the technical college will set you up for success in the real world and provide you with the chance to be futuremaker!

Summer is flying by as it seems to do every year. This summer I have been keeping busy working in the enrollment center at Madison Area Technical College, as well my marketing internship with the Wisconsin Technical College System, and teaching tennis for the Madison School Community and Recreation. Having these jobs has allowed me to network and meet some wonderful people. By working with WTCS and in the enrollment center I have been able to advocate the importance of a technical education. I believe strongly in the Wisconsin Technical College System because it has gotten me to where I am today, and where I am headed in the future. Higher education in Wisconsin provides possibility and a chance for past and present generations to secure a future. The focus of my internship and jobs centers on students. Whether working as an orientation leader, assisting in the library or interning for a private student housing company, I have enjoyed the chance to make a difference in students’ lives.

President Obama spoke at James C. Wright Middle School in Madison, Wisconsin back in 2009 and said “over the course of a lifetime, those with a college degree earn over 60 percent more than those with only a high school diploma — 60 percent more… Four out of every 10 new jobs will require at least some advanced education or training within the next decade…There was a time when if you just got a high school education and you were willing to work hard, you could get a job in a trade or in the factory that paid a middle-class wage.  And those days are declining.  The currency of today’s economy is knowledge.”

Wisconsin was considered a Midwestern leader in the education movement following the Civil War in the United States. The “Wisconsin Idea,” emphasized service to the people of the state. It demonstrates the progressive movement within colleges and universities. Public education in Wisconsin includes both the 26-campus University of Wisconsin System, and the 16-campus Wisconsin Technical College System. A vast majority of Wisconsin Technical college graduates stay to live and work in Wisconsin and contribute to the state’s economy. Eighty-seven percent of the employed graduates who responded to the graduate survey are working in Wisconsin and 63% are employed in the technical college district where they received their training.

It’s hard to believe that this is my last summer in Madison, WI. There is so much I still need to experience such as attending the farmers market, visiting Henry Vilas Zoo and making it up to Picnic Point. I also plan on going to The National Mustard Museum where they have more than 5,300 mustards from more than 60 countries. It is unusual places such as this museum that keeps Wisconsin attractive. Another place I am eager to go to this summer is Noah’s Ark Waterpark. Noah’s Ark claims to be America’s largest water park, with 49 water slides. It is located in Wisconsin Dells-nicknamed the Water Park Capital of the World-with 18 indoor water parks. The Milwaukee Art Museum is another place worth visiting. This summer’s main attraction at the Milwaukee Art Museum is Chinese art and culture. Last spring I attended an exhibition called Street Seen which provided an in-depth look at six photographers during the 1940s and 1950s whose photography centered on the excitement and unease that characterized the era, as popular culture, the arts, and everyday life went through changes during World War II. I enjoyed learning about history through art.

It doesn’t take a trip out of Wisconsin to experience something new. It really is a state that has a lot to offer. Wisconsin has been a great state of employment, education, and enjoyment for me. There really is no place like home, and no matter where I am, Wisconsin will always be mine.

Endlessly Changing Horizon

Posted: June 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

One Of My Favorite Quotes:

“I’d like to repeat the advice that I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. And so, Ron, in short, get out of Salton City and hit the Road. I guarantee you will be very glad you did. But I fear that you will ignore my advice. You think that I am stubborn, but you are even more stubborn than me. You had a wonderful chance on your drive back to see one of the greatest sights on earth, the Grand Canyon, something every American should see at least once in his life. But for some reason incomprehensible to me you wanted nothing but to bolt for home as quickly as possible, right back to the same situation which you see day after day after day. I fear you will follow this same inclination in the future and thus fail to discover all the wonderful things that God has placed around us to discover. Don’t settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, Ron, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience. You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living. My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.”

-Christopher Johnson McCandless in a letter to acquaintance Ronald A. Franz”

— Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)

Congratulations to all those who recently graduated, we did it! Looking back at the last few years I am able to see just how far I’ve come. I can’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment, and am sure I share this feeling with my fellow graduates. I am looking forward to spending the next three months enjoying summer in Madison. I am keeping busy with my internship as well as two new jobs. I am also looking forward to going to a variety of festivals, making a trip to WI Dells, traveling to Minneapolis and Chicago, and spending time with my family and friends.

I recently got news of my acceptance into the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where I will be going on to school to complete my B.A in Communication Studies. This will be a new and exciting time for me as I continue my educational journey. I will be sad to leave Madison as it’s become home to me. Most of my friends are moving as well to start careers, continue their education, or to travel. It’s an exciting time for us all!

As an incoming transfer student there is a lot to think about, from transferring my credits to finding housing. At times it can be overwhelming to keep track of everything that needs to get done before I make the move come September. Multiple trips to the Twin Cities have occurred the last couple months to get acquainted with Minneapolis, and the University of Minnesota campus. Each visit up to the twin cities has made me feel more and more comfortable with moving up there.

I decided to pursue my educational goals at the University of Minnesota because I wanted to attend a school that was out-of-state but also affordable, which is possible due to the reciprocity agreement WI has with Minnesota. I wanted to be in a bigger city than Madison, but still close enough to WI so I could still get home when need be. I am very excited to be living in a new place, and am looking forward to all the new opportunities and experiences I will have.

Transferring from the technical college to a university, I am expecting a lot of changes. I feel that the technical college has prepared me to make an easier transition into the University setting. The technical college system has aided me in improving my studying skills, helped me gain real world job experience and given me the chance to pursue my educational goals.

For now though, I am going to enjoy my last few months in Wisconsin, especially now that summer is here!

Social media is a large and evolving tool used for a wide variety of purposes. As sites like facebook and twitter are becoming increasingly popular, people are using them to their advantage. Social Media is a fast way of spreading information via the web and in doing so has created a global word of mouth phenomenon. While many people’s intention of using social media is to do well or benefit in a positive way, there are others out there using it to do bad. Ethical concerns are being brought to light in many different aspects when it comes to the use of social media. Companies are being questioned when it comes to honesty, transparency, respect, privacy, relevance, and responsibility. While social media ethics is important to understand for businesses, I found myself wondering about the importance of ethics when social media is used for personal use and amongst students. It seems to me that social media has taken a turn for the worse with the increasingly alarming number of suicides amongst young adults taking place due to cyber bullying happening on social media sites.

While bullying has been a serious problem in American schools for an ongoing time now, social media development has caused the effects to multiply. Bullies now use social networks, cell phones, text messaging, and other online services to distress fellow students. Experts call it cyber bullying, and it may be more dangerous than previously thought. The recent attention comes in the wake of nine recent suicides stemming from bullying, including Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers University freshman who jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his freshman roommate filmed him without permission having a “sexual encounter” in his dorm room and broadcasting it over the Internet. Another recent suicide by a North Dakota teenager also shed light on this growing problem. According to an article published November 6th in the Inforum, Cassidy Joy Andel, 16, hanged herself early Thursday morning. Authorities believe it was over relentless bullying through text messages and social media websites such as Facebook. North Dakota had already been on its way to establishing anti bullying laws, and with this latest incident legislators are hoping to make it a priority.

So who is to blame for these individuals taking their own life? Is it these social media sites that make it easy to post negative content that can hurt people, or the parents, or even the school? I think society is to blame. People think because you didn’t say something mean to someone’s face but instead through technology it doesn’t hurt or is not considered bullying, but they are wrong. MyWebTimes uses the example that having hateful words about you make their way onto the Internet can be just as humiliating as getting a wedgie in front of your gym class. With Social Media being a quick way to get information out to a lot of people, cyber bullying can be even worse than it being non cyber. We as a society must come together and realize that what is happening to today’s youth is unacceptable and we must put our foot down to make sure that we are doing everything we can to protect young people.

Putting strict laws into place on cyber bullying, will show just how serious this issue is. For the first time in the state of New Jersey, the proposed “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights” would specifically extend protections and requirements to address actions off school grounds, including intimidation or harassment over the Internet and through cell phone texting. “We must accept that kids can be bullied at any time and any place, whether it be face-to-face or through hateful messages” said state Sen. Barbara Buono, a sponsor of the bill. States of America need to make a priority in coming up with laws that protect our youth from bullying, especially when it comes to the use of social media. The following website provides a resource for state cyberbullying laws and policies.

While social media has been criticized for it’s involvement with cyber bullying we can not ignore the fact that is has also played a positive role in supporting anti bullying. An online campaign titled “It Gets Better” has gone viral in recently. Thousands of people, including celebrities have posted personal testimonies to YouTube to let gay, lesbian and transgender teenagers know that it does gets better. The YouTube campaign is sending a positive message to an audience of millions.Another positive anti bullying support that attracted millions due to social media sites was the wear purple spirit day. According to the Seattlest news website The “Spirit Day” event was viralized by social media like Facebook and Twitter and was meant to send a message of support and hope to LGBT youth and encourage tolerance within our communities. A lot of my friends on facebook even changed their profile pictures to purple or had some sort of purple on their social media sites. More events like these can only help support the anti bullying movement.

If social media sites work with social organizations to decrease cyber bullying we are already on our way to making the internet a safer place for young people. According to CNN, The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has teamed up with Facebook to reduce the amount of hate speech and anti-gay bullying that goes on around the internet. Facebook has also come up with a “Find Help” application.  MTV who has always been known for it social issue campaigns has also stepped up to help in this growing effort to fight bullying. MTV has launched an interactive visualization tool called “Draw Your Line” to help young adults band together to fight online abuse.

While social media ethics is important to follow in the business world, it is also important to keep in mind when using these sites across school campuses and in your personal life. Recent cyber bullying on social media sites has led to an increasingly shocking number of suicides amongst young adults. As a society it is our responsibility to take action and help stop cyber bullying. Putting stricter laws into place, having social media sites pair up with organizations to help support anti bullying, using social media sites to send out positive viral messages and create events to encourage anti bullying will help in making sure social media becomes and stays a positive media tool.

Career Pathways

Posted: March 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

Career pathways are a great way for students to plan out their educational and career future and develop core academic, technical and employability skills. What are career pathways? Career pathways are an advisory tool that begins at the high school level and provides options for your post-secondary education and career journeys. Career pathways can lead to placement in high-demand, high-opportunity jobs by bringing together community colleges, primary and secondary schools, employers, labor groups and social service providers to help us students.

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis describes it this way: “Career pathway programs help get Americans back to work by ensuring that individuals of varying skill levels can earn credentials that are highly valued by employers. That is the right thing to do for the unemployed and the smart thing to do for the nation.”

Our employers and business leaders are becoming aware of the importance of supporting successful education models in their local communities. President Obama has a goal of America having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. By staying dedicated to the Career Pathway program we can ensure that we are on the road to making that goal a reality. It is a great way to find out more about yourself and help you to focus in on your unique talents and skills, and assist you in finding a career pathway that is right for you.

There are 17 different career clusters in the career pathway model. These career clusters represent the diverse types of education that our Wisconsin provides. By choosing one of these career clusters; like Marketing for example, we can narrow down our field of study and career preference.

How do you know if Marketing is right for you? You’ll want to check out the Marketing Career Cluster Knowledge and Skill Chart. If you are preparing for careers in the Marketing Cluster, the chart lays out skills you should have. The Marketing cluster is divided into 5 pathways; Merchandising, Professional Sales, Marketing Communications, Marketing Management, and Marketing Research. Click on a pathway in the Marketing Cluster to learn more. Under Marketing Communications, it asks if you would like to

  • Prepare advertising and promotional material
  • Plan advertising campaigns
  • Write interesting and effective press releases
  • Maintain the corporate image
  • Draft speeches for executives.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in then you may have found the right pathway for you.

The next step would be to look at educational options beyond high school. The WI career pathways website shows you different educational routes to take based on your career pathway choice ranging from WI Technical schools, to University of Wisconsin System schools, to private universities and colleges. It also shows the different specific careers in Marketing Communication that may interest you. Use the Wisconsin Career Pathways website to see how informational, beneficial and guiding it can be.

Click here to check out the Wisconsin Career Pathways Website!

Wisconsin Technical College students have put their creativity to good use and have submitted their Futuremaker videos! These short videos that are student produced are created to show how students are making their futures. Now through March 16th you can rank the video entries in the Video Gallery of One video will be chosen from each technical college region for the semifinals. The semi-finalists from each college will then face a panel of judges on the state level. One of three technical college students will be awarded the Futuremakers’ Video Competition top prize of $2,500. Two other students will receive second and third place prizes.

Don’t Wait! Check Out These Great Videos Here and Vote!

Click Here For last years winner!


I am a former Elmbrook School district student, a former University of Wisconsin student and a Current Wisconsin Technical College student. The last 22 years of my life I have been raised by my family, my friends, my co-workers, my peers, and my educators. Combined they have made me who I am today, and who I will be tomorrow.

A majority of my life has been spent in a classroom being educated. Saying my teachers have influenced me is an understatement. They have not only influenced me, but have shaped my life, and helped me move forward in the direction that will be most beneficial to me. I believe that teachers are like another set of parents for us students. They open up new doors for us, and teach us things that they are passionate about. One attribute that all my favorite teachers have is the ability to adapt to different students needs. It makes me feel like they really do care about me as an individual. The small class sizes that the technical college offers help me as a student to learn better.

Society places a high value on education. More education means more money, greater employment options and better job security. In current times of economic weakness, you see more and more people furthering their education or returning back to it.  Now more than ever is a time when we need to be supportive of our teachers. Our nation cannot afford to lose sight of how important our teachers are. Our teachers are our education, the way to a better future, and an inspiration to all.

Each teacher I’ve had has brought different opinions, teaching styles, and ways of looking at the world. These teachers put in so many hours outside of the classroom to prepare their lesson plans and to make sure that we are getting the education that lives up to and beyond our expectations. Instructors I have had in the marketing program have made a point of connecting with businesses in the community to make our education more relevant and up to date. Our education lies in the hand of our educators, we must not take them for granted.

Remember the words that John F. Kennedy once said “Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.”

John F. Kennedy once said “Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”

Last year the Wisconsin Technical College System which is made up of 16 colleges around the state graduated over 20,000 students. That is 20,000 students that are on their way to making a difference and brightening our nation’s future. Enrollments at Wisconsin Technical Colleges are increasing semester by semester. Nationally 14 million students participated in secondary and post-secondary CTE programs during the past school year.

Gaining job skills and preparing to face the tough competition in the job market is what a technical education can give you. With today’s job market and economy being so unstable people are turning to the career and technical education programs to gain greater job security. Career and Technical Education is becoming the way of the future. It’s an answer, and one that is likely to help you as an individual.

Our whole community is affected by people who have training in Career and Tech Ed. We come across CTE graduates on a daily basis as we go through our daily lives. Our firefighters, nurses, dental hygienist, chefs, police officers, and EMTs to name a few, help to feed us, keep us healthy, and protect us. 86% of Wisconsin Technical College graduates, of over 300 programs, found jobs within the first six months of having graduated. This shows the success and the relevance of CTE programs.

Opportunity is a word that describes advancing oneself, taking a chance, an opening, a favorable advantage, and making progress. The word opportunity represents a Wisconsin Technical College education. Everyone deserves an opportunity to succeed in life, to change their circumstances, and to feel better about him or herself. The success stories I have come across in my time at the technical college have been incredible to hear. Career and Technical colleges have put hope back into my life, into student’s lives, into parent’s lives, and into the lives of adults. They offer an affordable solution to an education, and a place to not feel alone.

February marks Career and Technical Education month. It is important we recognize that Career and Technical Education is becoming a way of the future. It is shaping our lives, and opening new doors. CTE month is a great time to think about your educational goals, your career goals, and your life plans. Give yourself a chance to succeed, to be open to new possibilities, and to be a futuremaker!

Happy Career and Technical Education Month!