Team Members


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Michael Chavez  

Senior Urban Programs Coordinator

Humbled to meaningfully engage with, learn from, and create social-emotional learning based programs for all participants (1st-12th grade) through our year-round programming and as Lead Counselor during our Day Camp season.

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois (Uptown neighborhood)

Inspirations: The HERstories of our ancestors, Paulo Freire, bell hooks, mi familia, mentors, and every person who has taught me to appreciate life and others wholeheartedly, curiously, and resiliently.

What you like to do in your free time: As a new resident of MKE, I’m learning to embrace the slow walks rather than stride through this experience. I do my best to plan, perform, and revise personal life goals, remain physically active to heal and grow, and give back to the community. Hopefully you’ll see me at a location near you! 

How did you get started working with non-profits?

Navigating life as a teenager (in Chicago) is like holding onto your roots while the wind pulls the branches and leaves in every direction. My high school peers and I wanted to make money and fortunately came across a pilot program called Community Action Team as part of The Neighborhood Recovery Initiative in Albany Park, Chicago which eventually became a three year commitment. I was able to connect with other amazing teens, create memories of a lifetime, and ultimately, stay focused after-school and during the summer all while drawing me closer to the work of community-building with the purpose of creating impact-- and having fun with it!

With LVC?  

After working in a higher education setting to later traveling overseas, I decided to move to MKE where mi familia had recently settled. It was an opportunity to reflect and walk in the direction of my passion for youth work. I came across the words “Teach, Lead, Inspire” on the website of an organization that was hiring a youth worker who I intuitively felt could be me. After my bike decided to fall apart within riding 30 feet from my home on my way to the interview, I ambitiously swiped my M-Card on the bus and with every minute, gave thanks to the people who helped make it possible, including the bus driver. I made it on time and thankfully, I am now in a space that embraces mistakes as much as they support learning, where I am empowered by exchanging ideas with young people as much as I do with adults, and can nod my head each time I realize there are endless ways to create change and make impact knowing there is a team beside me who believes it is possible. 

 

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