Our Next Generation

Nonprofit Excellence Awards

La Toya Sykes
La Toya Sykes
La Toya Sykes

NONPROFIT COLLABORATION WINNER

Our Next Generation
3421 W. Lisbon Ave., Milwaukee

Milwaukee-based Our Next Generation Inc. knows the importance of counteracting negativity in a child’s life. The organization serves as a community center and after school mentoring program for students in grades 1 through 12 in some of Milwaukee’s most challenged neighborhoods.

Crime, drug use, gangs and violence surround children in the organization’s service area. The high school graduation rate is less than 50 percent.

For many, this is the only world they know, and studies show poverty and a child’s exposure to violence, neglect and chaos have profound negative effects on his or her ability to learn.

Our Next Generation recognized the need, and sought out partnerships in the larger community to establish Outbound Learning partners, community organizations that welcome Our Next Generation members at their sites each week.

The goal of these collaborations is to provide one-on-one mentors and tutors at the partner sites to expose students to worlds they would otherwise never see.

Programs are designed to stimulate their imaginations and introduce them to other adults who care for them.

Past and present partner sites include University School of Milwaukee, Milwaukee School of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Froedtert Health, St. John’s on the Lake, ManpowerGroup, and soon, Congregation Shalom. These partner sites allow Our Next Generation to serve more students.

Outbound Learning sites offer youth in the community a different learning environment and help challenge their thinking. Each site offers unique and diverse opportunities, and encourages youth to remain engaged. More than 90 percent of ONG’s high school students stay in school and graduate.

The collaborative program also allows the partner sites to provide much needed volunteer opportunities conveniently in their locations.

This spring, Our Next Generation was one of 26 organizations worldwide honored with a $50,000 grant from Northern Trust Corp.

In choosing nonprofits to support, Northern Trust sought missions centered on improving educational opportunities for disadvantaged children.

“The vision and opportunity provided by Northern Trust is a prayer answered,” said La Toya Sykes, president and chief executive officer of Our Next Generation. “We greatly appreciate the financial resources and the employee volunteerism that our Northern Trust friends provide Our Next Generation.”

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