Milwaukee Powered by Service 2014 – Day 1- By UNL Alumni, Rashad Cain

Rashad Cain, UNL Code Name: “Baby Shaq”, is a New Look Atlanta alum. He first joined New Look 2005 as a Camp New Look attendee. He is a graduate of Georgia State University, where he majored in Film and minored in Music. He is currently completing an MBA at Georgia State. Rashad has interned with NHL Corporate Headquarters and The Atlanta Dream. Today, Rashad works at the Atlanta Braves Stadium and is an avid volunteer in the New Look Community. This week, he assisted in Powered by Service training of 8th graders throughout Milwaukee. Check out his blog piece below!

Milwaukee Powered by Service Day 1

Site: Milwaukee College Prep

Each training is always a different and unique process. No two schools, sets of students, or even environments are the same. Today’s sessions took place at Milwaukee College Prep (MCP), which I found out was where a current New Look MIT formerly attended (Angie Ross). Upon arriving, we met the Principal Tim Trzcinco who gave us a small tour and a background on the school. MCP has come a long way, starting from one campus and expanding to four campuses currently that serve over 2,000 students. The school that we were in today was once one of the worst performing schools in the State until it became MCP, and after just three years, is now one of the schools of excellence, a shining star that is making major strides.

The students looked forward to the day of their Powered by Service Training. Many of the teachers were also anxious to see what we had in store as well. Teacher Josie Lunar said that their school has a “very structured schedule throughout the day, the students cannot even talk at will, only at certain times.” She also went on to explain that the schools aim is to “teach the students that in the real world, there is a time and place for all activity.” She spoke so enthusiastically about the students’ will to learn from us.

2014-MKE PBS-Percy and Students

The training covered Leadership 101 and broke down the different styles of leadership, examples of leaders, how different leadership styles can have different faces and how the students identify themselves in positions of leadership. When asked if the students knew anything about Leadership, we received responses like “Leadership is being independent and not following others,” also “Leadership is having courage and standing up for yourself and others.” One that stuck with me was when New Look Coordinator Tommy told the youth, “You are not that much different from these leadership examples, you can be great!”  This session of Branding 101, was one of the most informative I have ever witnessed at a UNL PBS training. Something about extra nuggets of knowledge being shared around the room, really hit home for me and I know it did for the students. I believe this part was really stretched out for the students to get a inside look at applying themselves and thinking through their personal brands.

2014-MKE PBS-Expressions 2Expressions came next because we saw the need for a release. The students had so much energy, and looked so ready to share, and this was opportunity not typically allowed outside of their lunch period. During expressions we had rappers, singers, and dancers. Ms. Lunar said that some of the students showed a side of them that they never really showed before. These student may exude these talents often but not at the level that we witnessed today.

Lastly, Creativity to Solve Community Issues was also a tremendous success. I saw students thinking outside of the box with the topic ideas that were presented. Usually it’s the same few tha get picked like Teen Pregnancy, Drugs, Bullying, etc., but I saw issues like sports season being over, not having time, and other creative issues.

All in all, it was a very fun and informatative. Judging by the responses from both youth and educators at Milwaukee College Prep, Powered by Service was something that was very needed!