Ready to Make Her Mark

In her first semester at Alverno, Ryleigh Provencher has a plan to change the world.

Ryleigh plans to major in psychology and biomedical sciences so that she can become a psychiatrist and psychologist. She says these two professional degrees will allow her to start her own therapy and treatment program that integrates medicine and counseling into one process.

“I want to create a holistic approach to how mental illness is treated,” she says. “Today, counseling and psychiatry are very separate, which creates problems in effectively treating a specific disorder. I plan to build a new approach to the treatment of mental disorders and make it accessible to those who need it most.”

Ryleigh, a Muskego High School graduate, chose Alverno because, quite simply, it felt like home.

“Alverno has held a special place in my heart before I even got to middle school. This is because my mom graduated [from Alverno] in 1994,” she says. “Because of her passion for the school and its ways of teaching, her only wish was for me to go to Alverno.”

Ryleigh says her mom gave her the space to conduct her college search and make her choice. It didn’t take her long to decide.

“I came to find on my own that Alverno is the place where I belong. Everyone at Alverno is so welcoming and genuinely cares about the well-being of every student. I didn’t want to be a number in a college where no one would know my name, and Alverno is certainly not that college. I’m amazed by not only the beauty of the campus but the people. I see sincerity in the eyes of everyone I walk past and I feel at home. People I have never met express such pride in having me attend Alverno — I feel valued and like a part of a family.”

Ryleigh is this year’s winner of Alverno’s Eleanor Roosevelt Scholarship, which honors an excellence in leadership and service with a four-year, full-tuition scholarship. Ryleigh was president of her high school’s Best Buddies chapter, which pairs differently abled students together to form friendships. And she provides respite care to parents of children with disabilities.

“Allowing parents to have a break and the children to have fun and be with friends gives me a feeling that is greater than joy,” she says.
Ryleigh says receiving the scholarship gave her an invaluable confidence boost.

“This scholarship changed my perspective on my education. I always believed I couldn’t, but now I know I can,” she says. “I think it took Alverno seeing my potential for me to realize it as well.”

This article appears in the fall/winter 2019 issue of Alverno Magazine.

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