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On Thursday, August 6 from approximately 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Milwaukee high school students celebrated their accomplishments and ‘completion’ of Lead2Change’s Dream.Explore.Build (D.E.B.) program, which is a career-readiness program designed to engage high school students in cultivating their dreams, exploring their strengths, and building their futures. The completion ceremony took place in the parking lot at the James O. Wright Center for Work and Training at 6055 N 91st Street in Milwaukee. The event also marked a milestone in the community partnership between Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin, Inc. and Lead2Change to help build Milwaukee’s talent pipeline.
Families, Lead2Change representatives and Goodwill Industries representatives safely celebrated the students’ accomplishments by gathering during a drive-in-movie-styled event. From their cars, attendees will be able to experience the ceremony by directly watching the stage and listening on the radio in their cars.
With similar missions to serve and advance communities, Goodwill Industries and Lead2Change partnered to bring this transformational career-readiness programming to youth on Milwaukee’s northwest side. Lead2Change is a leading career-readiness organization that engages young people in leadership opportunities and equips them with essential tools to be successful in college, their career and the community. Employment and training are Goodwill Industries’ primary focus, assisting men and women to develop their job skills and secure work opportunities that fulfill their personal and professional goals.
As a part of this community partnership, Goodwill Industries provided a site for Lead2Change’s signature program, D.E.B., at the James O. Wright Center for Work and Training during the 2019-20 Lead2Change programming year, which took place weekly on Saturdays starting on November 2, 2019. Prior to this partnership, Lead2Change had not been able to offer classes on the northwest side of Milwaukee, which is a more accessible location for the students’ families. Having a site at this location eliminated the transportation barrier faced by many of the students and offered an opportunity for students to learn outside of their traditional classrooms in a safe and supportive environment.
“It has been exciting to partner with an organization that has a mission focused on workforce development,” said Dionne Grayson, president and CEO of Lead2Change. “We are excited to expose our students to Goodwill Industries, and we look forward to future opportunities to expand our impact by engaging parents and connecting them with the resources and services that Goodwill offers.”
“Meaningful community impact requires deeper levels of collaboration. Prior to COVID-19, we were able to open our doors to host an amazing program – a program that’s shaping and building a robust, diverse talent pipeline in Milwaukee,” said Angela Adams, vice president community relations, Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin, Inc. “Today is a day that we can celebrate our youth who successfully navigated our current reality in order to complete their Dream.Explore.Build. program.”
Based in Milwaukee, Lead2Change is a leading career-readiness organization that engages young people in leadership opportunities and equips them with essential tools to be successful in college, their career and the community. Young people who experience our programs enter the post-secondary world confident and clear about their career interests and their position in the ever-evolving workforce.
As part of a national movement, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation founded the Youth in Service Fund in 1996. The program was created to engage young people in youth leadership and philanthropy. After many years of success and granting nearly $550,000 to youth-led projects, in 2009, the Youth in Service Fund transitioned to Lead2Change, a career-readiness non-profit organization. This initiative was spearheaded by Dionne Grayson and a group of young trailblazers. While philanthropy is one tool used to help young people develop career-readiness skills, we also offer 16 nationally recognized career clusters to help young people find their passion and follow their path. For more information, visit https://lead2changeinc.org.
About Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin, Inc.
Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin and Metropolitan Chicago is the largest Goodwill organization among 158 agencies in North America and has been providing services to the community for the past 100 years. With over 90 locations, Goodwill’s mission to provide training, employment and supportive services for people with disabilities or disadvantages who seek greater independence helps those in need across a 23-county territory. In 2019, Goodwill served nearly 43,000 men and women with disabilities and disadvantages and helped 7,932 individuals enter employment. Visit www.goodwillsew.com for more information.