Wednesday, November 28, 2012

More Project Manager Updates!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


The Project Managers were asked what information they have found so far and how their team thinks in will impact them in every day life. It is interesting and exciting to see the different ideas and ways the Project Managers communicate with their team to get information flowing!

“My team and I have found that the water industry in Wisconsin is a huge part of our economy, especially in Milwaukee where some of the largest corporations are involved in the water industry. Also there are a lot of people from the outside directly focused on how Milwaukee will continue to impact and improve fresh water conservation and use. I think my group will use these large corporations and the influential people as motivation to stay focused for a driving force for their success.” – Tahir, Youth Water Website: COA

“The students have recently learned the importance of the water industry in Wisconsin, and will be designing a project that centers on this theme. The group I am working with is excited about the possibility of making videos and taking pictures for the website that we are working on. We hope these videos will inspire other students to learn more about the water industry and its importance in everyday life, and perhaps to pursue education or employment in the field. “ – Julia, Youth Water Website: COA

“This week my team and I continued researching water. I really wanted them to think about how water affects their lives directly. They began brainstorming different ways they use water. They came up with brushing their teeth, cooking, watering flowers, and as well in manufacturing products. The most challenging part of working with the my team is getting students to really focus but still have fun. A little healthy competition to see who could come up with the most information on water did just the trick! My challenge for them was to go home and think of the most interesting attention grabbing way of presenting all of the great information they gathered.” – Holly, Youth Water Website: Good For Neulife

“My team has really seemed to be working toward their previous set goals. So far my team and I have discovered how much water truly plays a role here in Milwaukee and Wisconsin as a whole. In doing so, the students have much greater appreciation of water’s importance here in our local and statewide communities. Knowing what a big deal the water industry is, allows the students to think more deeply about the effects it has on each and every one of us. With all the information that they have found already I don’t see many barriers to our success, because all the students seem voluntarily willing to find more information to gain knowledge not only for other youth in Milwaukee but for themselves as well!” – Chad, Youth Water Website: Bradley Tech 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

First Meet Up!

November 27th, 2012

Last night was the first meet up Lead to Succeed held for the fall term. The high school students, as well as Project Managers were all welcome to Open MiKE for a fun filled night with music, dancing, guest speakers and pizza! 150 students were invited to last night’s festivities and between 45 and 50 students showed up to pack the Open MiKE dance floor!  

To start the night off, the styles of DJ Romke opened up with music and a dance contest. John Murphy won the dance contest and was given ten extra raffle tickets! DJ Romke is the President of Spreenkler; a web, design and marketing agency right here in Milwaukee. He came to inspire the youth of Milwaukee with his story of how he made it. Not only did DJ Romke come in to get the students excited about believing in themselves and working hard, Monti came as well. Monti shared his story about Project Return and hopefully inspired the students to continue their hard work and dedication.

There was plenty of pizza to go around last night as well! After the guest speakers shared their stories, the students got together in their groups and shared their mission statements they came up with for their groups projects with their Project Managers. Lastly, the raffle drawing took place and the students talked about their first paid work experience.

Over all last night was an amazing turn out for Lead to Succeeds first fall  meet up! We all hope that this will continue to keep the students and Project Managers excited and focused on their futures! 

Check back soon for pictures from last nights festivities! 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fall 2012 Kick Off Conference at UWM!

November 3rd, 2012

One of our Project Managers at Lead to Succeed gave us some insight on how to annual Lead to Succeed Kick Off Conference went!

“This past Saturday I attended the Lead to Succeed Kick Off Conference at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. There were groups of kids from many different high schools. The kick off conference was a great experience. Lead to Succeed brought in some great speakers to speak to the kids. The speakers covered all different types of work that can be done with the water industry in Milwaukee. I thought that not only the speakers themselves but the conference was super effective to bring professional insight to the high school students. All of the students seemed very interested to learn about the different careers that there are involving water. I had a great time interacting with the students as well! Many of them seemed to be very involved in Lead to Succeed as well. It is cool seeing the youth excited about their future and taking steps that will make them successful. “ – Stuart, Youth Water Website: PLI

After all of the students went around learning from the activities they were involved in and speakers that joined, they were asked to combine all the information onto sticky notes. On these sticky notes the students put the information they found most useful to contribute towards their project with the youth water website. Here are some pictures of some of the students showing what they thought was most important!

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Closer Look at the Teams!

More of the Project Managers have commented on how the first meeting with their team went and what their expectations are coming into this. 

“When I signed up to be a Project Manager for Lead to Succeed I didn't know what to expect. I met the high school students last week that were going to be a part of my team and they all seemed very happy to have us there. I think it will be fun to work with them and I look forward to finding out what they would like to do for their projects.” – Samantha, Youth Water Website:  PLI

“After two weeks of working with my team, it seems very clear to me that my team is avid learners and is motivated to not just succeed, but to do so on level that is above par. This, coupled with the excitement of what is to come in these upcoming weeks, has me eager to find out what my team is truly capable of! Even though my team is still in the opening phases of our project, their ability to observe and speculate as to what a successful website requires is spectacular to say the least! Individuals within the group are constantly and consistently showcasing helpful thoughts. Needless to say, I have no doubt my team will surpass our set goals!” – Lincoln, Youth Water Website: Bradley Tech

“The first couple sessions have gone pretty well. The first day we did ice breakers and paper work for the high school students to be officially signed up for the program. The second week really focused on exploring both the teen water site and the water boards website. They have many ideas that are unique and can really get their fellow classmates involved in the water industry. My team seems quite comfortable with sharing their ideas, and they aren't afraid to have an opinion. I can tell already this experience is going to be a very fulfilling semester with my team and I’m excited to get started” – Nicole, Youth Water Website: YMCA

“Today was my first day with Lead to Succeed. I feel excited to be serving on a team of committed individuals who are dedicated to youth development and environmental education. I feel that we have a strong team of students as well as a strong group of college mentors who as a team will bring the projects where they need to be. I do see that we need to make sure that our focus reminds specific to goals and the goals must come from the students. I also think that all the teams working on this project must stay in strong communication to maintain cohesion. Overall, this projects success will come down to its organization and student engagement!” – Will, Youth Water Website: COA

“The first session with my team seemed to go well. We seemed to get our feet wet a little bit in terms of ideas for the site. My team seemed to have some great ideas to contribute. So far I don’t see any weakness in my group but hopefully they’ll get more enthusiastic as we progress in the project.” – Daniel, Youth Water Website: YMCA 

All of the teams this fall are coming up with new ways to engage the youth on fresh water in Milwaukee through the website preview teams have created. To find out what exactly they are doing to improve this website click on this link Many of the teams want to add games and visual interactions to help their fellow class mates and future students understand how important fresh water really is and the jobs that surround the Milwaukee area. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fall 2012 Updates!

October 10th 2012

The fall 2012 term has brought along even more Project Managers to assist with Lead to Succeed in helping the youth of our community. The Project Managers this fall will be working with students to help expand the youth friendly website made to help youth understand why fresh water and water jobs are especially important in Milwaukee.

So far the Project Managers have met with their high school students and were asked what they thought were their team’s strengths and weaknesses. All of the Project Managers are eager to put their knowledge to use.  Here is a little insight on how they feel about the beginnings of their project and teams!

"I loved my first session with my project team. It took a little while for my team to warm up to Samantha and I. They are a very energetic team and really opened up once Samantha and I started to tell the team more about ourselves. The team seems very excited to start working on the project and getting to know more about what their future in the water industry looks like. They seem to be very eager in working hard and having a good time while working. I cannot wait to work with them again." -- Olyvia, Youth Water Website: PLI

“In my first meeting with my team I was surprisingly fun! All of the girls on my team had something to say, and made it easy for me to introduce myself. I was surprised to see that I’m working with a huge group of girls. All of my team members seem smart and willing to participate in conversation. This will hopefully lead to full discussions of the topics we are asked to talk about. The only weakness that I see so far is that there is a lot at task and at times it made it hard to know what the main concept of the meeting was for.” – Kendall, Youth Water Website: SJs

“Right now we are collecting information on what kind of projects to do and how to do it creatively. We looked at websites over the past two weeks and saw what other students have done for a project. The website needs work and we are excited to find ways for how the information being displayed can be more interactive and exciting for the youth. I can’t wait for the ideas to start flowing from all the students in the upcoming weeks!” – TaVonna, Youth Water Website: Bradley Tech 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hear from our Youth Advisory Board members....

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lead to Succeed recently established a Youth Advisory Board composed of high school students of all ages and from a variety of our sites. The board meets regularly to discuss grant opportunities, potential projects, and the future of Lead to Succeed! The members were selected by staff as some of the most ambitious and dedicated students who exemplify what it means to be a leader and exceptional student. Here's what they have to say about serving on the board:
"Working with the Youth Advisory Board was an exciting experience. It was a great opportunity for our group to generate and discuss our thoughts and ideas on what we think students in the Lead to Succeed program should be focusing on next year. Being in the Lead to Succeed program has kept me focused on my academics and has pushed me to do more work than usual, while at the same time being a fun and exciting experience. It has also made me think more about my future and what I should be doing to prepare for it. Things like coming up with goals for myself, focusing on what things I need to be successful, and the amount of effort I need to put in to get where I want to be in life have all been my priorities this year. The Youth Advisory Board was a tremendous experience and I hope to do it again next year.” -- Joshua T., Professional Learning Institute
“I really enjoyed being a part of the Lead to Succeed social entrepreneurship project this year, and also the Youth Advisory Board. I had a lot of fun and I learned so much. For my Lead to Succeed project we had to work as a team to create a business around a water issue. For me, the best part of working on this project was meeting different people and working in groups. A portion of the Lead to Succeed project is meeting new people in different environments and working together. By doing so, Lead to Succeed is helping prepare youth for their very near future. In order to be successful you need to have a job and all jobs require that you to meet new people and have excellent communication skills. Teamwork is also an important skill to develop in order to be successful. With what I have learned and experienced all I want to do is help. I believe that everyone else would too if they were educated about the problem. Lead to Succeed is slowly creating a better youth. With the right funding they can spread the word and help youth all over the Greater Milwaukee area. I believe that Lead to Succeed is an incredible experience that all youth should be a part of.” -- Tamera W., Professional Learning Institute

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

End-of-Year Celebration Ceremony

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The 2011-2012 Lead to Succeed term has officially ended! Projects have been perfected and evaluations have been completed! Thank you to all of program facilitators, project managers, funders, and partners for their unending support! & don't forget to check out some of the pictures below from our wonderful celebration ceremony!
The event was hosted at WCTC, one of our program partners
Certificates for our awesome MAWIB employers. They provide great work experience for our students!
Photo collages for our partners & facilitators
The girls from St. Joan Antida presenting their project!
The outstanding Institute for Service Learning from UWM. They provide us with college project managers & much more!

Want to see more photos? Take a look at Facebook page where we've got a full album from the big day!

Monday, May 7, 2012

MiKE and Lead to Succeed

Monday, May 7, 2012

Students participating in the "Social Entrepreneurship Competition" this year have attended monthly meetings at the Open MiKE space, located in the Grand Avenue Mall. Here, Lead to Succeed students have the opportunity to meet a variety of like minded professionals and work on their pitches with people who truly understand what it takes to give a compelling pitch! Their time and effort will show through at the "Battle of the Brands" competition in the upcoming weeks. Check back for more updates and progress from our teams! Watch the YouTube video that Lead to Succeed teams and MiKE(Innovation in Milwaukee) were featured in, below!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Meetup at Open MiKE!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Yesterday students from Lead to Succeed's Social Entrepreneurship sites gathered at the Open MiKE space to pitch their business plans to each other and receive feedback on their presentations. The night went off without a hitch, and there were many dynamic ideas circulating around the room!

Students from the Bradley Tech site pitched their innovative mobile water lab, that they have tagged as "H20 Education on the Go!" that would bring an interactive field trip right to the front doors of Milwaukee Public Schools!

Neu-Life Community Resource Center shared their unique rain barrel brand, called "Beasty Barrels." The group has a working small business already in place, and has even designed a state-of-the-art collapsible rain barrel that could expand their operations to an international scale!

The Professional Learning Institute has proposed an app for mobile phones that would educate children and teenagers about water conservation, sanitation, and accessibility issues. Games that reward players with social currency would give incentive to play and learn at the same time!

The team at SUPAR has decided to offer their knowledge to other businesses in the Milwaukee area by being water ambassadors and reaching out to young people. By acting as consultants for nonprofits and environmentally-friendly businesses, the group has proposed to market these partners' ideas and missions to young people in a peer-to-peer fashion. Way to think outside the box, SUPAR!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Update from Neu-Life Community Resource Center

Friday, April 13, 2012
The Lead to Succeed team at Neu-Life Community Resource Center is participating in this year's social entrepreneurship competition. The group has worked hard to build a complex "business model canvas" and has even made progress constructing these rain barrels that they'll sell throughout the year! Not only are they creating a dynamic small business in Milwaukee, but they're thinking outside the box and proposing to sell an innovative new kind of rain barrel to markets overseas!

As part of a team competing in the social entrepreneurship competition, the students must create a small business plan that they'll "pitch" to entrepreneurs and potential funders in the Greater Milwaukee area. Neu-Life has done an awesome job so far, and have truly started to think outside the box! Through polishing their canvas and practicing their pitch, the group has grown tremendously and will be sure to give a spectacular presentation! We'll keep you updated on their progress!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Industry Tour to A.O. Smith!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Lead to Succeed students from Bradley Tech, SUPAR, PLI, Neu-Life, and Milwaukee 4H had the opportunity to tour A.O. Smith and learn about the company's focus on becoming a global leader in water technology. A.O. Smith Corporation is known for their energy-efficient solutions to products worldwide.

This fieldtrip served as a great way for students to learn about a variety of careers within the water and manufacturing industries. From chemistry to computer engineering, Lead to Succeed students discussed it all!

Monday, March 19, 2012

What project ideas do you see circulating among your team of students?

Monday, March 19, 2012

"The group at Bradley Tech is doing an amazing job of being passionate and innovative with their [social entrepreneurship]  Mobile Water Lab project. They are taking all of the feedback from the last Spreenkler meeting and tweaking their original idea to fit to the best possible plan they can make. They are extremely knowledgeable and diverse group which covers most of the angles. You can really see some leaders develop. They are taking control and keeping the group focused instead of one of the project managers having to do so. Overall this is a great experience and a great way to teach yourself and others at the same time." Nate, Social Entrepreneurship Project: Bradley Tech

"The students like to come up with ideas about water and how it is used. They're interested in showing others what they have learned in the form of an easy to understand & interactive graphic. The students can identify resources that will be helpful in this endeavor." Thomas, Youth Water Website: Milwaukee 4H

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How's the mural at Waukesha South coming along?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"Diversity plays an important role in all of our lives, and for this reason we have, and will continue to work hard in order to show our community just how important diversity is. Through group discussions on the topic of diversity our team has become more invested in the topic, and it has resulted in three beautiful and meaningful diversity murals. This year our group wishes not only to enrich the ideas of the group last year, but also bring all of our ideas to life on the walls of our school." - Zanella L., Multicultural Mural: Waukesha South High School

Painting starts soon! Check back for more updates & photos of the mural!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Updates from our Project Managers!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Our College Project Managers give us some insight into their weekly activities, strengths, and weaknesses:

"Meeting with the Neu Life Center's Lead to Succeed group was an impressive experience. I was surprised to see the artistic talent my group has as well as how much work they have already accomplished. My team’s creativity and dedication are their biggest strengths in this project. My goal is to continue to cultivate these strengths as well as others to help decrease our areas of weakness.  I think a weakness affecting our group is the lack of experience with the rain barrels we are trying to create a business pitch for. My group has fantastic ideas on ways to give their rain barrels competitive advantage, yet the some of these ideas cannot realistically be implemented. However, it’s helpful to our group that I’ve used a rain barrel before, so I’m familiar with their practicality and usage. Together, I’m hopeful that my group and I will be able to create a successful rain barrel business plan that will positively contribute to the Neu Life Community Resource Center while decreasing Milwaukee County’s luring freshwater crisis. - Monica, Social Entrepreneurship Project: Neu-Life

"I really enjoyed my first session with my project team! I was very comfortable around them and they seemed to feel comfortable around me, as well. The thing that surprised me the most was that my facilitator asked another project manager and myself to lead the group in a discussion that we had limited time to prepare for. I believe that one of my team's strengths is working together but their downfall is talking when others are speaking. To prepare for the LTS sessions, I have typed a planning guide that was created by my team. I found out that my team's community would like to encourage people to be more diverse and open to other cultures." - Gamilah, Multicultural Mural: Waukesha South High School

"The first session with my project team went really well! I was nervous as to how the girls would respond to having a mentor, but luckily I was received well and we were able to be productive and personal at the same time. I was amazed by how mature and respectful they were, especially when we needed to be productive. Our strengths are that the girls already know each other so there's no awkwardness between them, and they work really hard. Also, they are determined to do a good job on this project. Our downfall may be that they are such friends and will have trouble concentrating and staying focused- but so far I haven't seen any weaknesses with the girls in my team." - Jenna, Youth Water Website: St. Joan Antida High School

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

2012 Project Managers!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

We are proud to announce that we have 16 new Project Managers working with Lead to Succeed this Spring semester! Want to hear a little bit about their expectations for the upcoming months? Read on!

"As college Project Manager, we are needed because we help to be that "in-between" for the high school students. We are not teachers but we are there to help the students problem solve and stay on track. I know from working with Lead To Succeed in the past that college mentors can help bring some new ideas to a project and have helped open students' eyes to a new way of looking at things. We will be learning with the students and hopefully will help make these project successful- which I am confident we can do. What I, as a project manager, can bring to this position is my previous experience with Lead to Succeed and some of the connections I have made that may come in handy with some of the projects." - Elizabeth, Youth Water Website: PLI & Waukesha 4H

"From my perspective, the role of a Lead to Succeed Project Manager is to guide the Saint Joan High School students to successfully complete their Water Website Project.  I am here to help the project move more smoothly and let each student know that their participation matters.  I am needed to answer any questions they may have about the project, which could be something as simple as “Where can I find credible websites to help my research?”  I feel like I am also a sort of role model to some of these students.  I remember when I was in High School, or even Middle School, and I thought the older kids were always so cool. As far as what skills I bring to the position, I feel like I can lead them in a good direction to complete this project.  I want to celebrate their victories with candy, or maybe a short game.  I’m a pretty organized individual, which also will help my group complete this in a timely fashion.  I have the responsibility of handling a job and being a student, so I know I can handle this too.  I’m excited to get to know my group more!" - Megan, Youth Water Website: St. Joan Antida

"I think a project manager is many things! Most importantly, I think a project manager is someone who leads, without letting the students know that they're leading. Letting the kids know that what their doing is important and that their input is needed is very crucial. Project managers are needed to keep the kids on task and make sure they continue working on what they should be. I am very organized and have been a teacher at my job for a while, so i'm hoping the skills i've learned working there will come in handy during this project!" - Brittany, Youth Water Website: Milwaukee 4H

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

On-Site Discovery Fieldtrip!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

This past weekend was full of adventure as we embarked on a journey of discovery to Karthauser and Sons greenhouse! Everyone had a great time as we learned about water, filtration systems, conservation, and our favorite flowers! Take a look at some of our pictures to get a taste of what our day was like!
Taking a walking tour of the facility!
Overhead irrigation system!
Very pretty! Tropical bromeliads on the right.
For more pictures from our trip, check out our Flickr account!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Project!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2012 is off to a great start! We've been hammering out the details and have finalized an awesome new project that we're incredibly excited about!

Our new Social Entrepreneurship Competition Project- College Project Managers will be leading a team of high school students in the creation of a business plan that will make a positive impact on the community, with an emphasis in the water industry. High school students will have access to Basecamp, a project management website, and attend monthly meet-ups at the OpenMiKE facility at Spreenkler Talent Labs.

Project sites include: SUPAR, Bradley Tech, the Professional Learning Institute, and Neu-Life Community Resource Center.

Competition meetings have already begun, and soon the new College Project Managers will be helping at the sessions! Each team will submit their final business canvas by May 4th and will present it at the Lead to Succeed End of the Year Celebration Ceremony on May 11th! Stay tuned for more updates and pictures from our innovative high school groups!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

First Semester Wrap-Up!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Our fall semester Project Managers have completed their work with Lead to Succeed. Here's what some had to say about finishing up their portion of the projects:
How do you feel that your project will impact the community?

"Our team has not only developed a concrete plan for our project, we have completed it.  Our service learning involvement coincides with a class that is only one semester long so we had to fit a lot into a short amount of time.  We spent weeks volunteering in the community with the students and filming their involvement. We made cookies for the church that Milwaukee Excel works with. We raked leaves in the community, wrote letters to the troops, and started a food drive for the homeless! We documented the students efforts and made a short video for Milwaukee Excel High School regarding volunteerism in the community. The goal was to create a relationship with the community since Milwaukee Excel High School is brand new. I think our video will show the community that the school is full of good kids with good intentions towards the neighbors and the community!"  -Elizabeth D., Milwaukee Excel Youth Volunteerism Project

"I think having them [multicultural murals] will impact the community at Waukesha South High School. After having discussions with all of the kids in our group meetings, it is evident that diversity is an issue at the school. I think that having multiple murals (this year's 3 murals and last year's mural) will really be a reminder to the kids to be open to different ideas and people, and to be respectful. I think respecting others is one of the most important lessons that high school youth can learn! Hopefully parents and people from the community that walk around the school will see these murals, and it will make them think about diversity a little bit, because I think it's definitely not a topic that people think about every day, though it should be because it's such a huge part of our lives." -Meaghann C., Diversity Mural

Friday, January 13, 2012

Check it out!

 Friday, January 13, 2012

You guessed it- Lead to Succeed finally has a Facebook page! LIKE us now and stay up-to-date on all the latest happenings in the LTS community!

Find us here!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Moment You've All Been Waiting For...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Here it is- the fantastic video that our students and Project Managers put together!

The Lead to Succeed students at Milwaukee Excel High School did an amazing job this semester! From outdoor cleanup to writing letter for our troops, they fully engaged themselves in their community and volunteered in a variety of ways.

Check out their video here!