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Unique program making sure children are not wasting their summer days

Posted at 7:38 AM, Jul 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-09 08:38:10-04

MILWAUKEE — A unique program is making sure children are not wasting their summer days.

Our Next Generation, or ONG, nourishes students on the north side with not just food, but knowledge.

9-year-old Hodan Abdi describes ONG as family, "There's a lot of people who take care of me here."

15-year-old Markayla Milton described the President & CEO La Toya Sykes as a second mother, "For her to say that is like pretty cool because I'm hard on them sometimes, but her [Markayla's] growth and dedication since she's been at ONG is just immeasurable."

Milton started coming to ONG in second grade.

"I was falling behind when I was coming here so tutoring the different people coming it really helped me," she said.

She now volunteers as a mentor for the 100 children there this summer.

There are many more incentives for the children to learn. Abdi has a favorite.

"The more books we read, we can go to [free] Bucks games!"

Sykes says they now hold parents responsible for their child's school attendance, "And created a policy that if the kid doesn't go to school then they cant go to ONG."

When she heard some of the children overslept? "I went and bought a ton of alarm clocks and I said 'here's an alarm clock for you show you how to set it and wake yourself up."

One more way Ms. La Toya wants the children to know the entire community cares about them adding, "These are my babies."

Click here to learn more about One Next Generation.