Upper School students at University School of Milwaukee were visited by special guests in April, who spoke to them about a variety of issues impacting Milwaukee.
On Wednesday, April 5, 9th grade students heard from a panel of local experts about housing insecurity, food insecurity, and poverty, and how those issues affect people in Milwaukee. Panelists included Joana Hemschemeyer, operations manager at Family Promise of Ozaukee County; George Neureuther, director at Interchange Food Pantry; and Christine Jacobs, development specialist at Guest House of Milwaukee, who were visiting as part of the school’s community engagement program.
“I am grateful to our panelists for sharing information about their organizations and also how teens can make a difference and help those who struggle to find food or shelter within Milwaukee and the surrounding areas,” said Renee Weber, Upper School French teacher and Community Engagement program director.
Prior to the panelists’ visit, the students watched “Poor Kids” (a Frontline episode). Other topics studied in the Community Engagement program this year include needs of refugees, advocacy, community service, and environmental concerns.
On Thursday, April 6, Upper School students welcomed Kristela Cervera, judge for Branch 5 of the Milwaukee County Circuit Court. She spoke with students about her work and how she came to be in her current role. The conversation was moderated by Zachary Sardas-Trevorrow ’23 and Dalia Chairez ’24. In addition, students had the opportunity to eat lunch with her and speak to her one-on-one. Her visit was arranged by members of LatinX Unidos, a student club at USM.
Cervera was appointed to the court in 2021 by Governor Tony Evers. Previously, she served as a commissioner with Milwaukee Municipal Court and worked with Milwaukee County Department of Child Support Services. Cervera also served as managing attorney for Esperanza Unida, Inc., a nonprofit that supports Latino workers.