Through a collaborative project initiated by Marquette senior Allison Dikanovic, a new online magazine is telling the stories of teens making a difference in Milwaukee.
The stories profile a set of compelling young people — including a self-described peacemaker in Sherman Park, a spoken-word poet and activist, and a young woman who became a SafeZones ambassador after experiencing the shooting death of a friend. And the storytellers are fellow teens, a group of high school students and recent graduates who participated in a summer program run by the non-profit group Urban Underground in coordination with the City of Milwaukee’s Earn and Learn program.
It all adds up to a winning effort that fills a void in the city, says Urban Underground Co-founder and Director Sharlen Moore. “It provides a platform for young people to share the stories of other young people who are doing some great things in this community,” she told Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service this week.
The hard work and passion of its teen creative team helped make the magazine a reality, as did the drive and guidance of Dikanovic, a Burke Scholar and senior majoring in journalism and international relations. After learning about Urban Underground at a Burke Scholars retreat during her freshman year and working with the organization for several years as a volunteer academic-support coordinator, Dikanovic had the idea of building a summer youth project there around the magazine. Her aspiration got a boost when she applied for and received a $3500 grant for Youth Rise from the Dorm Fund, a program of Marquette’s Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Initiative. Dwayne Burtin of Marquette’s Office of Marketing and Communication served as the project’s webmaster.
Read the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Services’ coverage of this collaboration and read the work of the students themselves at Youth Rise MKE.