City Year Milwaukee to grow mission with $3 million challenge grant

A $3 million challenge grant awarded to City Year Milwaukee will help the nonprofit expand its mission to motivate students through elementary, middle and high school grades toward college and career opportunities.

The grant, awarded by the David and Julia Uihlein Charitable Foundation, will push City Year Milwaukee to raise an additional $3 million from the community.

“This campaign helps City Year build on our already solid foundation of community support in order to increase our impact on students and young leaders in Milwaukee,” said Jason Holton, executive director of City Year Milwaukee.

The nonprofit organization, which just turned 5 years old, has 85 City Year Milwaukee AmeriCorps members working in Milwaukee schools to support and mentor students on the brink of dropping out. Along with directly assisting teachers in the classroom, corps members hold afterschool programs and school-wide activities in order to better engage students and enhance school climate.

City Year Milwaukee, which is part of an international City Year organization, has ushered 270 corps members through its programming since its inception.

The challenge grant was announced Monday evening during the organization’s fifth anniversary celebration, themed “Ripples of Hope.” The celebration, sponsored by BizTimes Media, was held at Turner Hall with a crowd of about 350.

Julia Uihlein, board chair of City Year Milwaukee, joined Holton at the event to highlight the foundation’s gift.

“The work that City Year is doing is important and it is clear to us that there is a strong return on investment, as we see the academic outcomes of students improve and more highly trained young professionals – corps members – staying in Milwaukee after their service year,” Uihlein said. “That’s the impact we know this challenge grant will have: on the community, students, and corps members: Milwaukee’s future. This is why I’m excited that we have committed to helping City Year stay in Milwaukee and grow.”

Uihlein, who led discussions to establish a City Year branch in Milwaukee, also received the Ripples of Hope award during the anniversary celebration as a thank you for her commitment to the organization.

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