Youth leadership organization guides teens

Posted at 6:22 PM, Jun 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-03 19:22:46-04

A youth leadership organization is guiding Milwaukee teens toward a successful future.

TODAY'S TMJ4 recently stopped by West Allis Central High School to find out how they do it. A program called Lead2Change gives students work skills while still in high school.

Co-Founder and Executive Director Dionne Grayson developed a curriculum to help students discover their passion.

Grayson says, "Everybody on the face of this planet was designed to do something very specific and helping them to tap into whatever that thing is, is what really helps them to be productive."

Bader Philanthropies recently approved a $75,000 grant to expand Lead2Change. Director of Bader Philanthropies Mary Osmundsen, shares, "We are really proud to stand beside lead to change in the work that they're doing. They're really lighting a fire under these kids and they believe they are going to change the world. We are so proud and also humbled to really stand beside these young people and their journey."

Student Dionne Price has a 3.9 grade point average. She describes one of her favorite sessions.

"When we were doing the dining and etiquette. I probably say the forks and knives. It was really fun. I loved that part." Young scholars get 150 hours of training, mentoring and a paid internship.

Danisha Nolan credits Lead2Change with helping her get a scholarship to Mount Mary University. Nolan exclaims, "It's just no words to explain how beautiful it is and how magnificent it has been to my life and how grateful I am."

Since 2014, 79 students have graduated from the program. 99 percent have gone on to college, technical school, the military or jobs.

Bader Philanthropies has awarded more than $845,000to after school and summer programs for Milwaukee youth.