Local program gives students foundation for success

Could this be the secret to keep millennials in Milwaukee? One local program seems to be doing that, and giving students the foundation to build careers they love.

On a recent trip to West Allis Central High School, local students reflected on their career goals.
It was all a part of the Lead2Change program that gives students job skills and work experience. It helps young people find the career that suits them best.

Founder Dionne Grayson explains, "a lot of times we say graduate, go to school, go to college, get a job. But nobody really asks you what is it that you think you are designed to do be?”

Students get mentors, training, and education. Real life experience prepares them for the workforce.

Jerel Ballard is a student at Columbia College in Chicago. He says Lead2Change helped him grow. He recalls, "When I started I was kind of shy. I didn't look people in the eye. I had confidence, but it just wasn't brought out. Going through this program I was able to bring it out."

"Throughout those years I learned how to write a resume, public speaking, I learned how to communicate with people. I learned how to properly dress and prepare for interviews. Thanks to Lead2Change I had the experiences I've had past high school,” Ballard adds.

Ashley Hines is another success story. She manages the office of diversity at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She says Lead2Change changed her life.

Hines exclaims, "From an early age I knew how to maneuver in the business setting, how to dress, how to present myself in a professional setting."

Bader Philanthropies recently gave the program $75,000.00 to expand.

Mary Osumndsen of Bader Philanthropies explains, "What they are doing to unlock what kids are born to be is actually unique."

Hines and Ballard discovered another benefit of Lead2Change. They realized the positive side of their hometown. Both plan to stay in Milwaukee. Hines exclaims, "I will shout it to the mountain tops. This program has invested so much into me I credit it to where I am. Without a doubt it's kept me in Milwaukee."


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