The Trinity Fellows program aims to develop urban leaders committed to social and economic justice, and last month the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee honored the program for doing just that.
Carolyn Swabek, assistant director of the program, accepted the recognition in July from Mayor Tom Barrett and Tony Pérez, housing authority secretary-executive director, at the agency’s annual meeting held at the Convent Hill senior housing development near downtown.
“This award was truly an honor for our program,” Swabek says. “It shows us that while so much still needs to be done to realize justice, equity and inclusion, we are making progress together.”
Last year, two fellows were placed with the Housing Authority, which provides affordable housing options to over 10,000 Milwaukee residents. Like other fellows, these two were assigned to professional work placements at Milwaukee agencies as part of a 21-month study-work program while earning a master’s degree.
Kyle Hagge, Grad ’19, a Trinity Fellow studying political science, will earn his masters in 2019. Hagge assisted with the Choice Neighborhood Initiative, a comprehensive strategy for transforming Westlawn, a public housing development owned by HACM, and its surrounding neighborhood into “an inclusive community of opportunity with quality housing, schools, businesses, services and amenities.” Hagge assisted with Choice Neighborhoods communications, community engagement and neighborhood building. And combined with his Trinity coursework, the experience has helped prepare him to “successfully do my part in making our society a more just and equitable place for everyone,” he says.
Jodi Lemmer, Grad ’18, is also studying political science as a Trinity Fellow and is working to finish her degree this month. At HACM, she was under the direction of the chief financial officer and helped develop a comprehensive housing plan. Lemmer says that the Trinity Fellows program encourages her to be more compassionate and a better leader. “In short, I believe that being a Trinity Fellow means thinking of and putting others before self,” she says.
“Our fellows live out Marquette’s values in their work placements, embodying what it truly means to be men and women for others,” Swabek says. “The staff of HACM provides a strong example of compassionate leadership to our fellows, and we hope to deepen our partnership with HACM for many years to come.”
According to Perez, that is likely. “The Trinity Fellows Program epitomizes the best of our national service tradition,” he says. “In engaging students to actualize servant leadership, our nation stands to strengthen its moral compass.”