"I'm second generation in Wisconsin. My mother was born in Arkansas, my dad was born in Mississippi, and they moved up here to go to college. I grew up on 47th and Center; that's where I was raised my whole life, the north side of Milwaukee. I went to MSOE for college. I like the size of Milwaukee; It's not too big, it's not too small, and I’ve had a lot of unique opportunities here.
Milwaukee definitely has it's challenges and it's issues that have been documented many times, and there is always a debate with Milwaukee people: should you stay or should you go? For me, I feel like I want to stay and try to provide opportunities for young people that may not have it. You know what I mean? That is one challenge I like to take on. To make sure there are opportunities for the young people."
-Tyrone, 2nd Generation, Milwaukee WI
"When I met Matt, I really didn't talk very much and I didn't look people in the eyes. I moved to Madison when I was 19 and was pretty aimless. Matt was in Nashville with this other band at the time. When he came back, he was kind of floundering too. He asked me to do a show and I was really apprehensive. Now I can say that I always wanted to, but I was just really afraid. I didn’t want to address why it was hard for me to sing. Now, I feel like singing is the only thing I want to do. It's the only thing that makes sense, singing with people.”
"There was one year we went to state for basketball. The team we were playing against was making all kinds of stereotypes about Milwaukee Public Schools, calling us thugs and criminals. Sometimes people look at us like we're set up for failure, but I feel like we're proving them wrong. We're attending UW and achieving a higher education. We're going into medical fields and business schools. Just kind of proving them wrong...it feels really good." -Cheng Fu, 2nd Generation, Madison WI
“We’re hunters, so I took her out hunting when she was little. I got her a bow when she was 5 years old and we would shoot together in the backyard. Then we found these local archery tournaments. She started winning those, so then we found bigger and bigger tournaments and she won those too.
It's always fun to see your kid excel at something. We get to make family vacations out of a lot of the trips, so we get to spend a lot of time with her. It's fun to go travel with the family and watch her compete. She makes us very proud. The biggest part is, there's a lot of colleges that have archery teams, so she could get a scholarship. That's a big goal right there, college.”
-John, 4th Generation (with daughter Aliyah, 5th Generation), Lodi WI
"I have the only Native American owned, woman-run cheer gym in the nation. It's neat because it brings a little bit of a different edge to it. The business I own is actually on the reservation, and the tribe was great in helping us start. Being a Native American woman, being successful, being hard-working and positive... being a role model to young ladies is such a huge thing for me. I feel so honored that it was meant to be in my home-town: Oneida, Green Bay, Wisconsin."
Cherokee, 7th Generation, De Pere WI
“Joda has been a friend of mine forever, she’s like my sister. When she came to me with the story of her illness and asked me for help... nothing was more challenging and difficult than sitting there with her family in that room to take her hair off. Her hair is like her third arm. It's how she's known. But she said to me, ‘I don't want anyone to know that I'm sick. I need you to replicate my hair.’ And I knew I could do it, 100%. I used human hair, I created the length, the style, the shape, the feeling. It was beautiful, and no one knew.”
-Josif (with Joda), Appleton WI
“We wanted to do something valuable for our community, to be of service, and to live a healthy lifestyle, so farming kind of fit the bill. We’re first generation farmers and we’re just trying to learn everything we can. About 90% of our farming advice comes from YouTube.” - Stacy, 2nd Generation, Athens WI
"When I first started dancing, my dad was not okay with it. 'You're not going to become a dancer, it's just not going to provide.' But I stuck with it, and two weeks ago my dad asked me to make choreography for his 50th birthday party. We've come a long way, and he's finally come on board. I think I'm showing him that anything is possible." -Kobby, 1st Generation, Madison WI
"The best thing about going to the Milwaukee Public Schools is that it made me really open-minded to a lot of different people. Our school really pushed heritage and culture. We always had the Latinos Unidos program, the Asian Club program, the Black Student Union programs...we had a big ethnic fest too. We had our challenges, but I don't know that I would have gotten that perspective and that open-mindedness if I hadn't gone to MPS." -Izzy, 2nd Generation, Madison WI
"Today we're helping out at the Thanksgiving Basket Event. I've fundraised for the food pantry a long time, but volunteering at this event was the first time I got to see the direct benefit. We get to hand out food right to the people that need it. Knowing that you can make somebody else's day a little brighter...it's always a plus."
-Olive, 3rd Generation, Madison WI
"I'm from a suburb of New York City, and you just don't talk to people there. So I went back this past summer and my friends were saying, 'Conor, what are you doing talking to everybody? What is this?' I was like, 'Huh, I guess I'm a Sconnie now...I'm Midwestern at heart." -Conor, 1st Generation, Madison WI
“Farming becomes a part of you. In fact I heard a term yesterday… blood farmer. Not as in like being a vampire, but when you farm it’s more than just a job, it’s a way of life that gets inside you. You can’t give it up. It’s emotional. It’s my family heritage. So yeah, I’m a blood farmer.” - Joel, 4th Generation, Milladore WI