Milwaukee Promise Zones End of Summer Celebration

The Milwaukee Promise Zones initiative celebrates the Summer work of youth throughout the city

By - Aug 11th, 2018 11:47 am
Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton speaking at the 2018 Promise Zone graduation. Photo by Zach Komassa.

Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton speaking at the 2018 Promise Zone graduation. Photo by Zach Komassa.

Approximately 200 young Milwaukeeans celebrated a summer of work as part of the Milwaukee Promise Zone initiative on Friday afternoon City Hall. Youth involved in the program were given the opportunity to gain real work experience all around Milwaukee with different businesses and organizations

The Milwaukee Promise Zone initiative is intended to not only give educational opportunities to youth in underrepresented neighborhoods, but also to create jobs and improve economic activity resulting in more stable communities throughout the city.

Speakers at Friday’s event included Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton, Milwaukee Promise Zone leaders Cheryl Blue, Que El-Amin, Elizabeth Coggs, and of course, the youth involved in Promise Zone.

“This year we have over 200 youth working all throughout the city,” remarked Blue in her introduction.

The Milwaukee Common Council led the development of the initiative in association with various organizations and partners, including the Milwaukee Police Department, Southside Organizing Committee, WestCare, Northwest Side Community Development Corporation and more.

The leaders and youth involved celebrated what they hope to be the first of many student graduations after a summer of valuable work experience and educational opportunities.

At the celebration, Hamilton admitted to giving most of his speech without even reading his script, since he couldn’t hold back his passion and honesty for the program. “I refuse to not stay committed to the mission that wakes me up every morning,” said the council president.

There was mention of recent crime happening in the same area the participants were working in, and Hamilton made a plea to the media to look at what these students are trying to accomplish for their communities, rather than all of the negative things surrounding them. “They’re gonna talk about everything else, except for what you’re giving back to the community,” Hamilton proclaimed.

The neighborhoods being targeted include Old North Milwaukee, the near south side, North Division/Harambee, and Washington Park.


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