Updated: Jul 21
The idea that young people should be seen and not heard is a bygone cliché. Today’s youth are informed, expressive and ready to lead. This is certainly the viewpoint of the CLIMB Youth Leaders who are committed to empower themselves with the knowledge and skills to lean forward into tomorrow.
At the CLIMB Youth Leaders’ Capstone which took place as a virtual event on Friday, May 7th, the voice of Milwaukee’s youth resounded through cyberspace with erudite intelligence, critical thought and evolving confidence. These youngsters shared snippets of what they have been learning through the CLIMB Youth Leaders Program about investing, entrepreneurship and building wealth – subjects that engender “the economic way of thinking and living”.
In addition to their analysis of stocks such as Tesla, Amazon and Disney, the leaders expounded on “Poverty and Fatherlessness”, ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) investing and “Basic Economics”. The youth leaders who presented included Cornel and Zora Davidson, who attend the Milwaukee Montessouri Middle School; Rehginae and Regiah Cosey, attendees at Milwaukee School of Languages; and Donovan Clark and Imunique Triplett, juniors at Rufus King. Imunique Triplett, who is studying to become a registered nurse, serves as president of the current youth leaders cohort.
While their voice is important, these youth are more than just talk. They are practicing what they are learning as active members of the CLIMB CASH Investment Club. The youth leaders earn $25 dollars in monthly investment dues as an incentive for their participation in the weekly Youth Leadership Program.
Shannon Reed, Director, Innovative Strategies for Boys and Men of Color at United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County, has been a consistent proponent of amplifying the voice of Milwaukee’s youth. "We know that Milwaukee’s Youth are creative, energetic and resilient. Our job is to create the opportunities and space for them to learn, explore and grow into their own being and voice,” Mr. Reed explained.
The CLIMB Youth Leadership Council is adjourned for the summer. These youth, and hopefully more will resume their weekly education and training sessions in the fall.