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The Noel Compass Scholarship (NCS) is a privately funded scholarship established to encourage and reward academic achievement, leadership, and citizenship for students of color from Wisconsin high schools attending UW-Stevens Point (UWSP). This $6,000 a year renewable scholarship is more than just a scholarship—it’s a student success program that focuses on what we call the Five Ships (Fellowship, Internship, Leadership, Mentorship, and Scholarship).  Scholars are paired with a community host member or family who will help them navigate their college and life path from the moment they receive the scholarship to graduation and beyond. Additionally, scholars work with the Noel Compass Scholars Coordinator, who will coach and guide them through their years at UWSP and the NCS program experience.


The Noel Compass Scholarship (NCS) program serves Wisconsin students from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP). It is grounded in the idea that through diversity, we can discover all the enlightened ideas of the world. It’s how we learn about the world around us. We believe that the best ideas and the greatest solutions come from people who actively seek out different points of view. They know that diverse viewpoints and backgrounds lead to diverse thinking that solves problems, advances discovery, and makes UWSP, our community, state, and the world, a better place.

The NCS was created to help a group of diverse, talented UWSP student leaders, carefully selected, nurtured, trained, and mentored, serve as effective campus leaders. And after graduation, they serve as leaders prepared to serve, lead, and shape the future in their workplace, career, and community.  Our goal is to train these leaders of tomorrow.

The Noel Compass Scholar Program was founded by John and Patty Noel, lifelong entrepreneurs, and philanthropists, at UWSP in 1996 to identify and recruit promising diversity students from some of the most underserved and challenged high schools in Wisconsin. The program awards a yearly $6,000 scholarship to a group of new and continuing UWSP students selected in a competitive process. Additionally, the Noel Compass Scholars participate in a leadership education program that pairs scholars with a community member or family for support and fellowship, a NCS student organization that serves the campus and Stevens Point community, a career-based internship, leadership training workshops and experiences, and a NCS network of scholar alumni across the country. These programs

provide them with the tools and support they need to graduate from college and become productive, thriving citizens. In the past 25 years, ?? NCS scholars have participated in the program and ?? have earned college degrees.

Patty and John Noel, both graduates of UW-Stevens Point, founded Travel Guard, the Noel Group, and Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection and created the Noel Compass Scholar Program, a privately funded initiative specifically targeted low-income high achieving students of color from Wisconsin’s urban communities. According to former UWSP Chancellor Bernie Patterson, “John and Patty’s tireless support of humanitarian causes have transformed – and in many cases saved – the lives of thousands of individuals.”

The Noels also co-founded the Boys and Girls Club of Portage County and are major benefactors of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, including a substantial gift for the renovation of the Noel Fine Arts Center. The Noels have also been very active in the Milwaukee area, involving projects ranging from Children’s Hospital to economic development initiatives.  “I’ve known John Noel for several decades,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett at the Groundbreaking for a new BMO Harris branch in the Sherman Park community. “He and his family are committed to improving the economic realities for people who live in our city. We appreciate all that John and his family have done for Milwaukee.”

John and Patty’s generosity and vision transcend Wisconsin and the United States. In 1993, the Noels established Make a Mark, a nonprofit humanitarian project that funds sustainable building projects in developing countries.  The current focus is a cooperative effort with the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point called Trees 4 Children, in which forestry principles are utilized to help contribute to the financial self-sustainability of a village in Kenya with over 1,000 HIV/AIDS affected children and elders.

The Noel Compass Scholarship (NCS) leadership and retention program focuses on the FIVE SHIPS— Scholarship, Internship, Mentorship, Fellowship, and Leadership. Each of these “ships” is designed to help each NCS Scholar through their journey at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, help them thrive at UWSP, become a student servant leader, and prepare them for the next chapter of their life after graduation. Scholars participate in the following activities:

Community Host Program—The Community Host Program aims to create a home away from home, meaningfully connecting scholars and community members through informal friendships between alumni, faculty, administrators, other friends of UWSP, and NCS scholars. Scholars are paired with a community member or family for periodic communication, interaction, dinners, and social events.

Internships—NCS scholars may arrange for their internship or be paired with an internship with the help of the NCS Coordinator. NCS scholars are required to have a ?? hour a week internship for each semester. Internships allow scholars to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom to a professional setting. These opportunities are the perfect way to use the concepts they learn from their major to earn experience. Sometimes internships come along with academic credit or compensation.

Work Experience—We believe that there are many benefits to working part-time while in college, and those benefits aren’t all financial. Well-chosen college jobs, on and off-campus, can also help scholars gain career-specific experience. Additionally, they develop in-demand soft skills, expose students to valuable networking opportunities, and even increase graduation rates. Scholars are expected to have a job and work no more than 15 hours a week. Scholars may arrange for their work or be paired with a job with the help of the NCS Coordinator and the UWSP Campus Activities and Student Engagement Office.

NCS Student Club—NCS scholars are automatically a member of the NCS student organization. As a member, scholars will work to advance the FIVE SHIPS on campus and in the Stevens Point community and experience personal growth benefits. Scholars will:

  • Learn more about themselves.
  • Develop soft skills.
  • Learn how to work with a team.
  • Experience networking opportunities.
  • Use the skills they’ve learned in class.
  • Learn how to engage with diverse groups of people
  • Gain leadership skills.
  • Get a break from their studies.
  • Expand their resume.
  • Give back to the community
  • Have fun!

Tailored Guidance and Advising— Scholars meet with the NCS Coordinator once a month as a group and individually every two weeks to review academic progress, student life issues, NCS activities, and important social issues identified by scholars.

Max Ngalamulume is a Noel Compass Scholar and finance and data analytics major.
“I’m incredibly grateful to be a Noel Compass Scholar. I value the networking and family relationships I have built aside from the financial help. Being a part of the program means you will get to meet other scholars, get involved in the community, volunteer and grow as a leader.”
Max NgalamulumeFinance and Data Analytics Noel Compass Scholar

Eligibility for First Year Students

The selection of a Noel Compass Scholarship (NCS) scholar is a dynamic process, and it begins with your application. If you’re a student of color and a high school senior and meet the scholarship selection criteria, you’re eligible to apply. We actively seek diversity students who are positive, motivated, talented, and ambitious, focusing on leaders in their high schools and communities, committed to their education and those who demonstrate academic potential, and interested in teamwork and diversity.

To be considered for the scholarship, you’ll have to meet the following criteria:

How to Apply

2023-2024 Selection Application Timeline Updated 04/04/2023

Application Process:

  1. Download the Noel Compass Scholar application here.
  2. Complete the application and essays. (Save it to your device and name the file as your first and last name)
  3. Upload your completed NCS application to this survey

Contact Us

Diversity and College Access
Student Services Center 220
1108 Fremont Street
Stevens Point, WI 54481 | (715) 346-3225

John and Patty Noel at the Noel Compass Scholar luncheon.
“We are ambassadors of diversity while motivating and encouraging others through exemplifying leadership and open-mindedness. In addition, experiencing the wholesome education required to bring forth successful citizens of the world.”
John and Patty Noel, Founders

Meet Our Current Scholars

Lexa Alexandra Silavanh

Major: Biology, Biochemistry (Pre-Optometry)

Hi there! I’m Lexa from Wausau, WI. I’m Laotian and I love learning new things about my culture and those around me. I enjoy and participate in a variety of things: I play the clarinet and drum set, I love staying active and being outside (biking/hiking/ice skating/rollerblading/etc.), but I also enjoy staying in and watching movies and shows (especially anime). However, I’m full of surprises! Oh, I also have a cute cat named Mia! I am open to trying new hobbies and definitely new foods! I’m excited to meet and connect with new people with all sorts of backgrounds!

Isabel Zuniga-Meyer

Major: Marketing, Business Administration

Be present, capture the moments and share the story are key aspects to my personality. Growing up in Brookfield, Wisconsin, I learned the value of hard work and service to others. I am present in my community as a soccer referee, umpire, camp counselor, PGA player’s assistant and serve on the Board of Directors for Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast. My passion for photography allows me to capture moments within my community and earned Congressional honors for artistry. As an avid sports fan, I am always ready to attend a game or photograph the action. I am enthusiastic about sharing stories using my photography, digital imaging and team management skills developed as Editor-In-Chief of the Brookfield East Yearbook. As I turn to my next chapter at UW-Stevens Point, I will study Marketing and Business Administration and tee-up for the Pointers Women’s Golf Team.

Maxime Ngalamulume 

Major: Finance, Data Analytics

My Name is Maxime Ngalamulume(He/Him) I am an aspiring FP&A, I migrated from the Congo-Kinshasa to Milwaukee back in 2018 and graduated from Riverside HS. Now I am pursuing two degrees at UW-stevens Point in Finance & Data Analytics with an interest in insurance, banking, and Data science. I also have a huge interest in international trades, hence my certificate in International Business and my minor in French.

Makhi Etheridge

Major: Biochemistry (Pre-Physician Assistant)

My name is Makhi Etheridge. I’m from Manitowoc Wisconsin. In high school I was involved in sport and different clubs, I played soccer, Basketball, and Track and field. I also have the honor on competing in track and field at UWSP.

Yangmee Yang

Major: Nursing

My name is Yangmee. I am going into my 4th year at UWSP and hope I get to graduate next Spring. I am in the 1-2-1 nursing program and am also attending NTC to complete my ADN. I live in Wausau and am currently working as an LPN at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Sheamus Roelle

Major: Graphic Design

My name is Sheamus Roelle, I’m a senior here on campus this year and I love all things in the arts. From digital artwork to painting to photography, music, theater, dance and so on, I love the expression of oneself through various artforms. I’m very excited to see what this year brings!

Brianna Tucker

Major: Political Science Minors: Criminal Justice and Spanish

My name is Brianna Tucker, and I am currently a Junior at UWSP. I am from Milwaukee, and this is a large reason why my major is Political Science. I am looking to graduate a year early to gain work experience and maybe even apply to law school! My interests include cooking/baking, reading, and doing DIYs around my apartment! I work at Starbucks because I love to be busy and I enjoy the fast-paced environment! I am so excited to be a Noel Compass Scholar for the 22-23 academic year!

Destiny Lloyd

Major: Political Science Minor: Criminal Justice

My name is Destiny Lloyd, (she/hers) and I am currently a student at The University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. I am originally from Chicago but was raised in Madison for majority of my life. I have two younger sisters and one younger brother. I love animals, taking dance classes and going to the beach. I am majoring in political science and minoring in criminal justice. I am also working towards earning a pre-law certificate. After receiving my bachelor’s degree, I plan to attend law school and pursue a career as a defense attorney. I am currently serving as a Caucus Chair in UWSP’s Student Government Association and will be serving as President of the UWSP Student Legal Society.

Nia Thompson

Major: Sociology Minor: Criminology

Hello, my name is Nia Thompson, she/hers. I am a 21-year-old from Milwaukee WI. I am also a senior at University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point, majoring in Sociology with a minor in Criminology. In my time at Stevens Point I have worked with several programs and organizations on campus as well as off campus. I am currently a Residential Assistant in Watson Hall, while also completing a fellowship with Leaders Igniting Transformation. When I am not on campus, I enjoy going for walks in Schmeeckle, hanging out in the Multi-cultural Resource Center with friends, or reading a good book.

Chiamaka Daniella Obinna

Major: Sociology, Minor: Criminal Justice

Greetings all! My name is Chiamaka Daniella Obinna, and I am beyond honored and excited to be a part of such a prestigious scholar program, as well as being one of the scholarship recipients for the 2022-2023 academic school year. I am the oldest out of 4 and with being the oldest comes with a lot of responsibilities, a lot of knowledge and wisdom. It has not always been roses and cherries and many of times I have failed and stumbled across obstacles, but I always made it through. Before anything else I am Nigerian- very proud to be an Igbo. My parents have trained me and if I must commend very well; they have raised me to the best of their ability. I enjoy being successful, whether it be mentally, physically, and spiritually. I want may siblings to follow my footsteps in hopes of one day making something of themselves.  My family is what motivates me to reach out as far as I can to the stars. I can’t wait to see all that I accomplish years from now. Being a leader is all I know, but to be a great one is what I am learning.


Knowing our alumni is the best way to know more about the Noel Compass Scholarship (NCS). NCS alumni exemplify the qualities of our scholarship program. The careers of our alumni are as varied as the life stories of our alumni. What’s not varied is their demonstrated focus on making a positive difference in their family, community, and world, their dedication to serving others, commitment to personal and professional growth, respect for others, and devotion to diversity and inclusivity.

Nigel Golden doing lab work in the College of Natural Resources



“One of the things that a scholarship does is it really gives you expectations that you wouldn’t have for yourself, and expectations that you want to live up to.”

Noel Compass Scholar students at a luncheon


Scholars participate in an internship, leadership workshops like the Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, social and community activities and events, and an annual retreat with NCS founders John and Patty Noel.

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