Posts Tagged ‘Alumni Association’

Call it another exclusive.

Since 2016, the Milwaukee Public Schools has been doing an intuitive of a thing called Rethinking High Schools. Part of this is engaging a group of folks that know the feeling of that previous work, the Alumni.

Us Alumni in the MPS world have been long forgotten in terms of the Students, Staff and Parents whom seem to be the bulk of Milwaukee’s largest school district. In 2015, there was a meeting at my old high school about this intuitive, and it was good to see the various ideas then to flow. But until 2016, as we knew, that changed a step further. It changed with the first MPS Alumni Reunion in which many of the MPS High School attended the Bradley Center and greeted by the dignitaries, and even Mayor Tom Barrett.

From there, we even had a Alumni Summit in discussing about our Alumni Associations and various ways to reach out. Plus even we discussed about the name changes of the schools, such as why John Marshall High School became “Morse*Marshall” and the reasons behind it. Not a very good one by the way. Even we discussed about those wanting to start an Alumni Association or Foundation that involves commitment from those that want to keep them open and active. We also had networking series events, Alumni luncheons/picnics as well as Panel Questions/Answers at the MPS Headquarters.

That was in the first two years since the idea was launched. And it worked.

Callout: Now the question is: why does this matter? Why now this idea? And also why didn’t we didn’t get this treatment when we were coming up in MPS?

This should matter to a point that the MPS Alumni Forever Family is part of the community. We are in our careers, families, activities and yes we do hold our titles to a prompt thought. We have been long forgotten in other means, but I think it’s time to celebrate us no matter where we are.

Why now this idea, you asked? Again it’s about us. If we can celebrate our kids and parents of the Milwaukee Public Schools, as well as teachers, principals, staff workers, recreation in all, even other schools; this also SHOULD include the Alumni. Many of us whom are alums probably have connections to MPS in some point based on experience, lessons and also support. As former students.

And why didn’t we get this treatment when we were coming up? Easy answer. It was never thought about. It was never indicated to the times that we had those great times in High School and frankly it was never invented the thought that MPS should create an Alumni Group for every alum that has graduated from Milwaukee’s largest school district.

I mean if the Colleges and Universities can do this, and they do this a lot as we know based on the mailings, emails, Social Media Posts in all, why not Milwaukee Public Schools? I mean we got successful alums in medicine, politics, journalism, science, architecture, business ownership, ministry, and many more areas of work we are currently in. We know this very well.

And I have to say that yes, MPS has problems. MPS has issues. And MPS has concerns with the Teachers, Staff Workers and most of all: our Kids! As an alum of the district, yes I recalled that MPS had concerns about Me. But however as I looked back, even though I had to highs and lows from grades to activities. And a one time suspension from fighting of being provoked and bullied in High School. Overall, I survived being a Milwaukee Public School Student. And I’m sure that many had survived that as well. The thing is many forget that yes, there are good things that MPS provides. And there are bad things. Just like the real world. Do I think about the bad things about the District? All the time. But I also remember the good as well.

So what can I expect at this new year of the Milwaukee Public Schools Alumni thing? What can I expect this year overall even more?

First I think that the idea must flow and continue into every single Milwaukee Public High School Alumni Association and Foundation. Period. They are the foundation for the MPS Alumni and hopefully they are the way to get those whom are engaged, stay engaged.

Second, the younger alumni must work! Like every group from Churches to Organized companies, even Alumni groups must need to have young folks. This is an Achilles Heel in all groups. If we want groups to survive, it’s the need for the younger alums to continue. Now I heard they don’t do Alumni Council Meetings, or be at a Reunion full of older folks. But what do they really want to see? They are MPS Alumni folks too and they need to be at the table voicing their ideas to support. For you younger MPS Alums between 18-35, we need to hear you. We know this is not your thing, but still we need to hear what you have to say. Seriously. Fill us in! There was talks about an idea of having their own Reunion Get Together. Have them! Organize it. But the seasoned vets would like to stop by and give you some tips to keep the Alumni ship going. Hear them out of respect.

And also: this needs to be said, if you say you would to come out and do this and that, and don’t put in the work, that is a problem! Regarding reunions, events and planning. Take notes, young Alumni!

Back in 2011 when my old high school was about to turn the golden age of 50, I was selected to be a new board member at 34 years old. And the date: May 2nd, 2011. 7 years to the date. I’ve worked my way up the ladder and I’m still learning. Plus I serve as a treasurer. I take pics and go to my 90’s reunions and share those whom are not familiar with that decade to give them some insight of who we are and what we did. And here is the kicker, for a while, my Alma Mater’s Alumni group never had anyone from the 1990’s to represent as a board member. But that changed in 2011 when I joined. Again, at 34 years old. And I’m from the Class of 1995. Go figure.

Now for all those that escaped from Wisconsin to go to Texas, Georgia, Illinois, California, New York, Tennessee, or even overseas. If you’re just now looking at this, and still asking what this is, and you are living in your new digs, and still are just wondering what this is: yes you’re missing out! But you can still support your alumni groups.

If I were one of you, I would go to this site right now:

This is the website for the MPS Alumni that has all the information in regarding the reunions, profiles, Alumni Directory, and other events.

Another is social media. If you haven’t killed your Facebook Page or Twitter handles you should be following them via MPS. Including Instagram.

Plus since many in the Alumni has a JOB, and likes to DONATE, this is an idea from one of my uncles who is an MPS Alum: “If I don’t come, I will donate!” I urge you the transplants of the MPS Alumni (as well as living in the state) to donate to the MPS Foundation or even donate to your Alumni Associations/Foundations to whatever area of the school you want. For example, if I lived let’s say…..Utah, and I’m just now reading about the MPS Alumni stuff and I can’t make it to a Networking event, or the Alumni Reunion due to distance in all, I would EXTREMELY donate to the cause of music of my Alma Mater or MPS! And I remember being in Band Classes back in the day. I’ll either send in a check or pay online. Why is that so hard? It’s not! You pay your bills online in all, right? You tithe online to your church, right? Why not this?

Folks, newsflash: It’s not rocket science.

One of the things about the ongoing suggestions that if you are going to be apart of this, it needs to be pushed and examined.

Pushed as to a point to let those know of what is going on in their Alma Maters. I’ll bet many others are asking, “How is the school now after 30 years since I’ve been gone?” Or “Does the school do drill squads, or music?” “Does it still have a football team?” Or, how can we the Alumni support this cause of Education of the school? We know this. We hear it all the time!

Examined as an example to preview and attempt to take part in some sort or many capacity. Now a days, when folks hear about certain events, or groups, they need to see it. Show the receipts, as the young folks would say. If a person that is interested in their Alma Mater Alumni Committee, and/or the MPS Alumni Hub to support or partake, I think he or she needs to see what’s going on. I think they need to ask questions, get information about the status of the Alumni Groups, even if they never heard of one. I think all Alumni Groups needs to have meetings, specifically interest meetings with the Alums to get a clarity of who they are dealing with. From the Chairperson, President on down. They need to see faces, and shake hands. And yes, Skyping.

They also need to go out into the community, particularly the school’s community to the events or meetings and support ideas of fundraising or services. If it’s for a Football Team, or a Jazz Ensemble it does not matter. Even if it’s a bake sale or a Open House, go and do it. Let them know that you (the Alumni) are here to donate your time and money to support this cause. The faces will lit up! Trust me. Many schools do have websites, and again Social Media Pages. Feel free to explore them! If they have an alumni page online, check that out also! If they have an Alumni Badge Lapel or shirt, wear that everywhere you go! Also let the future Alums know at their graduation ceremonies, and grad parties!

Even if you hear about a class reunion or another some sort of get together announcement, see if you can attend and get a table for the Alumni Association.

*Sidenote: Alumni Associations/Foundations, you might want to update your online pages to keep current of the news and contacts. JUST A THOUGHT!!!!!!!!

This is an also an idea: If you are an MPS Alum that is out of state, and the MPS Alumni Reunion is going on, take a pic of yourself with the school colors/MPS Alumni Lapel Pin. Let them know you represent the school district that gave you your first break! And it doesn’t matter where you are working. Even send a video message!

If you are in the working world and a MPS Alumni Member, guess what? You can network! You might want to do that to keep potential and future alums engaged in the company you are working in. Colleges do it all the dang time! Even network with clubs and organizations like Fraternities and Sororities. Veterans Clubs, Rotary Clubs, Elk Clubs, American Legion Family, Toastmasters, and more. How many of the MPS Alumni are in these organizations? And still active?

*Second Sidenote: If you are asking about a milestone reunion or a ideal reunion, and heard nothing back about it, you need to organize and also get assistance from the Alumni Association/Foundation. That goes for everyone!

Finally as I close, with the 3rd Annual MPS Alumni Reunion is coming up on Mother’s Day Weekend, I hope that the ideas would continue to flow beyond the event. I know that there will be pics taken and memories added. And contacts made. However, after the event is over, I also hope that the event would encourage others who have not yet came out once to actually try. This is still a young event, but eventually it will grow and be successful. And it has to start with the foundation of us Alumni to begin the engagement!

Plus I’ll save a piece for the Class of 2018 after they graduate!

Oh, you know I had to do it. Last year I did this and got rave reviews. But I kept it real. Last year for Black History Month, I scratched my head. Now this year, its a repeat. With new updated questions that kept my head scratching since. But for this, it’s for Black History Month 2018. Buckle up! I’m not pulling no punches!

Question: is this statement still relevant? With no substance? Let’s be real. Seriously!

BET has a new show for the black brothers called Mancave. Yes, a black man’s show featuring Tank, Jeff Johnson, Kosine and Slink. They talk about the current affairs of news that goes on. But I have a question: why are you females are watching it? Y’all got Sister Circle on TVONE! No females in the Mancave. I’m just saying!

Is black news really missing NewsOne Now since it got canceled?

Why are folks late reading stuff? Especially about black history? And what I have written?

If Black History is really supposed to be “American History”, why there are some school districts don’t want to hear our history?

Spoiler Alert: Not all Black History is American History! It’s not! Other countries have a Black History too. (Canada, England, France, Italy, Jamaica, Haiti, etc.) Any questions?

Attention Black Authors: we write about our history as well our stories. Past and Present. Does it really matter we do it more?

Again: if we are to supposed to acknowledge our black history everyday, why don’t we at times? Oh were at the lines waiting for the Air Jordans to drop or non big issues that we forget that is meaningless at times. Or were just not engaged!

Black Churches: we have a lot of black history to share up. From the founding of our churches to community involvement. Does it still matter today despite of those hating or assuming that we’re just about the money or praying in circles/tongues? Or going out to eat after the sermon?

Every February 7th, it’s National Black HIV Awareness Day. Want to know the reason?

This week was the start of the original Negro History Week that was the prelude to Black History Month currently. Some ask what was the reason? They should know by now.

Do Black Superheroes Matter? We know Black Panther is coming and Black Lightning is on TV. Either way, black superheroes are winning.

Does Black Archiving Matter? Ask yourself if you are a black historian of any kind.

Does Black Employment Matter? And I’m not talking about just owning your business!

10 years ago, am I the only one followed the momentum when Barack Obama was gaining to be the first black president?

For my Alumni Black Educators and Family! Does forming or being involved in a Black Alumni Chapter really matters to us? Especially at the PWI Schools that have or had minor population of black students with Black Student Unions? By the way: ALL COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES who don’t have an Black Alumni Chapter need to start one!

For my Military Black Families and Black Veterans, and Families of Black Veterans: Do we matter? After all, many of our Fathers, Grandfathers, Uncles, Aunts, Mothers, Cousins, Grandmothers, etc all have a history of serving in Uniform that is part of the tradition since the American Revolution. Even in times when America didn’t love us back! Keep up other folks.

I need to ask this: How many African-American Sons and Daughters right now are apart of the American Legion Family? I need to ask this for real! And how many actually don’t know what the American Legion Family is whom have or had Veterans in the family that lived or died?

For those saying Black Future Month, you know the things you doing now will be history, right? Not trying to spoil the parade here.

So folks want to make a joke about Black History Month as a punch line to pop off at the mouth for hate. Ummm… many don’t do it around Hispanic Heritage Month or Women’s History Month?

Recently in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, one my local journalist commented about former Interim Mayor Marvin Pratt about the city not having a full term mayor of African-American decent. If you know Milwaukee historically, majority of the Mayors are white and known to have popularity. Why does Milwaukee’s problem with black mayors of ideas have a concern? And the city is 172 years old with a segregated past and present.

When ABC’s Scandal is done, and it’s the last season, what ranking will the show be on the best list concerning black television?

There was a indication of Black Slave traders that sold their own into slavery and also managed the slaves. True or False?

Who’s looking forward watching Black Olympians in the Winter Games? You know they are in Korea. Oh, and by the way: Shani Davis is in competition.

Here in Wisconsin, one candidate of the democrats is African-American named Mahlon Mitchell. Could he be the man to take out Scott Walker? Better vote up, Wisconsin!

In Wisconsin: what is the Black Community’s real response to Foxconn? Mainly for those who don’t have their own transportation!

If you are woke and black, you need to see this clip over and over again. Why you ask?

It seems that every year that those who say “I’m black every month” is probably bored around Black History Month. What are the reasons? Are we not engaged enough? What is the problem? We still don’t know everything as we know some to say at least.

For my Black Motorcycle Riders: is the Iron Elite still on point for Harley-Davidson? And are you coming to Milwaukee for HD’s 115th Anniversary in the Summer?

You non-Black folks: as you explore Black History, you realize that not every black folk is considered a thug or a N*gger, right? Many of us were raised way better than that.

Which current African-Americans in the companies is the best OWNER and Supervisor right now that is making history? And got the inspiration from those that MADE HISTORY?

Who were and are the best UNSUNG Blacks Heroes that never got any recognition that deserved recognition right now?

Bonus question:  In honor of those whom are not here with us, which of our Black Ancestors were a beacon to have us move forward in life and career?

And the last question: yes we know this question, do we believe that Black Excellence is still available and hopeful?

Happy Black History Month!


The time has come: Class of 2016 you are about to go to that next world that many of you have been dreaming of. And yes, for some of you, many of you will be making that mark so badly. I know this. But guess what, before you or some of you will walk across that stage: Just know that many or some will or will not have your back. But also, as newly fresh grads as you are, it’s time to claim “your Sweet 16” in a way that is known: your opportunity. So here is for the newly grad class of 2016: your blog letter.

Dear Class of 2016:

It’s me Stephen. You know, that black blogger guy from a city like Milwaukee.

Congrats to you! Many of you have finally made to the final level about to be graduates and soon to be, Alumni Members of the schools that you have to give back to.

I’m assuming that many of you will be getting your plans together . The same ol’ “after college” plan that will be asking you even after you get your degree. You know what they are. However it is something that is going to be asked of you every day just to keep in mind. Just a sidenote to you High School Grads making the next level: you’re in this too! No matter if your next level involves College or the Armed Forces.

But yes, it’s your time to be recognized. It’s your time to be appreciated of the four, sometimes 5, or 6 years of work that you put into. No matter if it was High School, College or University, you made your stamp on history! And no one can never take that away from you. NOBODY! Defend your degrees. And also, there will be folks will might say, “So you think you’re so fresh or better than me just because you got a degree from some school!” Just a word of warning. But don’t let some goober with a half-pint brain never tell you any different. Many of you had to go through hell, fire, and brimstone just to get to the commencement. Some of you, who had to drop out years ago, for some other reasons, probably made the journey back to finish and get your degree! Some of you whom had served in the military, came back or entered college to finish the goal that was previously started. Many of you who are 1st gen, 2nd gen, or 3rd gen who are from various backgrounds of historical accomplishments in family education, are adding something new to the trophy case. And some of you, (kind of myself) are graduating just to prove a point to belong or actually proving some goobers wrong with all the negativity that was swirled around with bad unethical thoughts who are now just eating crow. That happened to me 10 years ago this month graduating from UW-Stout. Graduating in the area of Industrial Management and used Distance Education to do it. Don’t front old school trads!And by the way, 2006 still rocks! I should also point out, that you might inspire someone from the audience that watched you walk with your class to go and work on their future degrees to get. I’ve seen it happen and it worked.

But in all seriousness, you have your power. Just use it. Not just for you, for those who got you to the dance. Just like President Obama said at Howard University, the very same Howard that Diddy said his address, he spoke about: “be confident in your blackness”. Since Howard is a HBCU, why not he spoke to that notion. And of course the Obama haters via Fox News had to say something dumb. But yes, the President was on point when  he said be bold in your blackness. I know that yes, the College has other folks walking the Yard, but in that speech, I knew whom he was talking to. Sort of like what Jamie Foxx said on the BET Awards years ago when he said “This is for all the Black People! ” Not racist! Understand that.

Now I need direct my attention to the jack off idiots whom are “Soft Administrators” and idiots who feel that high school seniors who got Valedictorian status and many other status that many will not obtain.

CALLOUT: Louisiana: I’m calling your non gotee facial rules what it is. Flat out BS!

CALLOUT: And to the school district who wouldn’t allow a senior to walk across the stage with her class all because she said some poem with the N word printed. You have jumped the gun, but obviously failed to realize that this could be a warning that she might go through once leaving the school. Matter of fact this happened to a white kid at my High School 10 years ago, but the dude almost didn’t graduate because the truth he wrote on MySpace about the crime and concerns of Milwaukee. Um hello! The date was 06-06-06. No kidding. And were still taking about it 10 years later with the crimes taking place now.

*Just a sidenote, that senior who almost got yanked for not walking with her class, has now graduated.

And the last thing, why would any school administrators would take away a black dudes chance of graduating, and having on a Kente Cloth?! As in representing the black culture?! Really?!

Man, some of our school administrators in the schools are so soft! I’m sorry. As a Alum I feel disgusted by which these silly rules are being enforced by the schools to not allow our Black children to participate in the event they worked hard for. And I also blame these scared racist voters whom feel afraid or anguish against black folks trying to make to grad day. And I’ll bet those same folks whom are stuck on stupid with not making it themselves. Watch your back, 2016 grads! Keep making the haters mad by doing your thing. Sooner or later they will realize that your success will turn heads and crack skulls! Trust me! And watch overtime how they disappear. Knowing the thought, some might even be kissing your butt for a spot on the job line. And I know many of you are VOTERS! If you didn’t like to be yanked from your Graduation spot because of facial hair, a poem that reflected the truth, or having a Kente Cloth on your graduation gown, THEN YOU MUST VOTE to change the game! Let your Administrators, or Council Members, or Mayors, or School Superintendents know that this matter does not sit well and yes you have a right to complain. These person(s) work for you, and you have a right to hold them accountable of what they do. If they don’t work for you, as in progress, VOTE THEM OUT! Or matter of fact, you can challenge their seats to compete for their jobs!  And if you’re not yet a voter, it’s time to become one.

Well Class of 2016, you’re Alums now. And every single year, I come on here to tell you that your old High Schools and Colleges/Universities need your help in support the future causes. I urge all of you (even though most of you are younger than me) to join your school’s Alumni Associations. Donate to your alma mater by donating some of your time and effort to support this life long cause. I know many of you are getting some of those Grad Dollars of checks or cash from your mama and them. I mentioned this 2 years ago, why not donate some of your grad cash to your alma maters to support a lab, library materials, or new gym lockers, new computers, or donate to the arts that need new instruments, or just donate some cash to help a new cause to your old school like mixers or metro area alumni groups, or future Alumni Chapters. Even start a subgroup Alumni Chapter like African-American Alumni Chapters or Black Alumni Chapters  and alike. I know one school needs one! And also, you can go to your reunions or meetups. Even serve on Alumni Board of Directors to read scholarship essays, select future speakers,  fix up your old classroom/dorm or go to a homecoming game, and maybe as a idea: you might be called to speak at your old high school or college at a future commencement ceremony! Better get cracking on the donations, philanthropic needs and JOBS now!

And yes you can still buy that swag of stuff!

Class of 2016: take a freaking bow! The celebration has been summarized and concluded. Time to get to work.






Ok, Milwaukeeans: This is a test. If you went to an MPS School or Schools, yes you have graduated. You probably got an invite or visit from MPS to your old High School and possibly an invite or info about a potential First MPS All Alumni Event scheduled for February 2016. You probably got it via email, Facebook, the MPS Alumni Hub online, or possibly word of mouth through your community announcements and/or Radio. No matter what or where you got the info, it spreaded out. Now you probably went to other “all alumni” high school reunions in all, but none of them were under MPS. Until now. This event was indeed 170 years in the making.

Here’s the thing, last month, the City of Milwaukee celebrated 170 years. This MPS District or Organization, is now 170 years young.

I went to the All-Alumni reunion Tuesday night, the day after the Milwaukee Bucks beat the LA Lakers with Kobe Bryant’s last game in the city. And almost hundreds of folks had gone in with the old school High School Colors of North Division, South Division, Pulaski, Marshall (my alma mater), Washington and others. The largest and most obvious to show up: Tech. The oldest alum had shown up from 1938, with a 1949 grad whom is ready for it’s 67th Anniversary of the 1949 Reunion for North Division. The generations collided with new friends, old friends, connections, and most of all: getting us Alumni connected to rekindle our old schools with new energy.

In the middle of the program, MPS Superintendent, Darienne Driver, Alumni Coordinator T.R. Williams, and even Mayor Tom Barrett all acknowledged us MPS Alums for coming out, and also to continue to do the thing we do most: Give back to our old schools! Plus also in the program, there was a acknowledgement of Sweaters and Jackets. Now for you younger bloggers, our elders in High Schools used to wear sweaters that have their names on them, plus chevrons, years, pictures and also medals. Now as we know, it’s mostly Jackets. And my customized (and I mean customized) Band Letterman Jacket from Marshall was noted as a contender! Yep, I showed out with it! And yes bloggers, I have a Band Letterman Jacket that I wore in my student years at Marshall. It’s a Customized Jacket that looks like a Varsity Jacket, but on the front, it had the “John Marshall Band” lettering with the medals and pins that I wore in school. Also it had my name with the Band patch underneath. And on the back, it had the “Milw.Marshall Eagles” patch along the back. Plus on the sides, I had two chevrons and a long waited 95 that I wanted so bad to customize. All were in the school’s colors of Columbia Blue and Scarlet. So yes, it’s been acknowledged. And long ago, it was a mixed bag, but I repped the school with that mixed bag!

And the event concluded with some of us doing some dancing, and showing out infront of the news cameras!

Plus I ran into my classmates and connections that I know on a MPS level. Even former Administrators or aides whom are current principals. And family members, community, and former church members all connected with the Milwaukee Public Schools. From the 1940’s to the 2010’s.

Overall, this first event of an All-Alumni Reunion was SO SPOT ON! I know many have individual reunions or small reunions, but this All-Alumni Reunion was so needed to have a new diverse spark. With all the stuff that happens in the city from Carjackings, Unemployment, Racism, Killings in all, yes America: Milwaukee can have one night of joy without anyone getting killed or going home in a casket after a carjacking. Do you hear me?!

Most folks would probably denounce this event, but like many times you need to step out and try. This was the first, the VERY FIRST Alumni Reunion for us MPS Alumni folks. And hopefully, this should continue. So as an MPS Alum, from 38th Street School, Jackie Robinson Middle School and John Marshall High School it’s a pleasure to come out and party!

Even as an introverted black guy.

I am #MPSProud, lifetime member of the #MPSForeverFamily, and #MPSAlumni!

Side note: the event has additional pictures via the Milwaukee Public Schools website and Facebook.




For many of you, it’s that time again in which that the current senior class of 2015, or Class of 2015 in general will have to be let go. The ceremonies, the final walks, or whatever have probably ended via your commencement exercises. Of all the classes, I think the Class of 2015 really showed out this year, but NOT over my classes of 1995, 2000 and 2006, lol! But anyway, this blog letter is for all of those who got their caps and gowns with pride.

Dear Class of 2015:

It’s me Stephen. I’m a black blogger of hobby that is in Milwaukee.

CONGRATS! You have earned the degrees and diplomas that were given to you to move forward with your lives. Yes, many of you walked the aisles, said your last speeches, and most of all, walking across the stage and actually got your pieces of the documents that shows that you have made it! Again congrats.

I hope that the lessons that you got in High School and College should be valuable ones, and I hope that there are those whom you are representing have been influenced to make the move in their lives to get to the level of academics that you helped either paved the way, or making a statement. Come to think about it, I used my Graduation things of what I’ve learned to make a statement to continue on to be active and also giving back to those who gave me love in all. But what I’m really trying to say that even though that you got your degrees, and accolades in all, I have some advice: Don’t get the big head! Also whatever you decide to do, always give your dead level best no matter what. Everyday is a struggle and yes, we’re all taking a life lesson each time.

Yes, Class of 2015 the choice is yours. And even those choices needed might come with some guidance and wisdom. Yes, this is your time to shine for what good reason that maybe, but it is your time.

Also since many of you are going off to college or the working world, it’s time to talk about investing in your Alumni Associations. Check this, for me 2015 is my anniversary from graduating from High School and Tech School . For the high school side, I’ve been out for 20 years as of June 8th. I was told 20 years ago that to go to your reunions. Well, I have done that. Plus, I also invested in my old high school by taking part in it’s Alumni Association group. I helped assisted the school’s Open Houses, appeared at High School Basketball games, Homecoming,helped Alumni Receptions, took pictures of the current student activities of Musicals and Concerts, Alumni Receptions and Commencements, and most of all, donated. And attended Alumni meetings. And as for the Tech School side or Technical College, its been 15 years and I keep up with the Alumni Association activities of workshops and events advertised and planned. Get it? 20 and 15?

What this means for you 2015 folks, GIVE BACK! Give back to the schools that gave you love all those years. Donate to the causes of upcoming scholarships, events, class reunions, and feel free to network with alums that used to go to the same schools that gave you love! And just to think about, many of you got those Grad cash and checks from your peers right now. As an idea, invest some of that to your Alumni Associations for memberships, and others. Let the Alumni know what you’re doing and if you need help or assistance feel free to ask. And I know its a long way off, but in your later years, you might even serve on a Alumni Board, or maybe even, give a Commencement Speech to a future graduating class. Something to think about!

Speaking of Scholarships, here in Milwaukee, the Class of 2015’s High School groups had the highest scholarships and they are still counting as of right now. That is huge! Can it be done again for the Class of 2016?

So yes, Class of 2015: you have cemented your legacy for your now former schools. Continue to soar, revolutionize the world, and also give back to those that gave you your start!




For all of those graduating this year: CONGRATS!

No matter if it’s High School, College, Universities you all made it. Now, the level of responsibility has to be taken a new level. A new level in which many of you are prepared to beckon. A new level, indeed.

Many of you will graduate from your colleges, high schools, or universities for the first time. A first time for your families because there might be someone from your family who didn’t finish to help to raise your kids or you in general. Or to get a job. Or if  they enlisted in the military for a long time and served. Or they haven’t  finished early but thinking and wishing that they want to go back.  I have message for those who wished, or thought about going back: It’s not too late! If you are sitting in the seats watching your son, daughter, nephew, niece, granddaughter/grandson, foster child, GodFather, Godmother, Godsister, Godbrother, neighbor, co-worker, or any other person you know well,  should that motivate you to go back?

Long time ago, a member of my family once said that 31 years old was too old to got back to college. This was in the 60’s during the Vietnam War. However overtime, that age thing of 31 in all means nothing. I’ve seen 60 year olds, 70 year olds, and 80 year olds go back. And even almost 90 year olds who are still living, went back  and got their degrees. It’s NOT TOO LATE! Aaliyah once said that age ain’t nothing but a number. She also said that you can accomplish anything regardless of your age. Which is now a new staple.

Now there is a question I want to ask: which of you 2014 folks are ready to be the new players to get this ball rolling? Which of you class of 2014 members are ready to pull in the grind, and the heart and the dedication to this life long work of building things anew? Who from your class of 2014 is going to rise up and accept the jobs of new radicals, revolutionaries, and many other uses of new effective leadership that this world or your community is thirsty to have? Are you that radical? Are you that next revolutionary person in the making that I want to read about? What about those that can’t wait? It’s not something to answer right away. It takes time and you have plenty of it!

I don’t know who is going to speak at your Commencements. I’m not calling it a “graduation” as of yet until you get that piece of paper in the mail after your grades have been checked. Now there was this “concern” about Howard University and Diddy speaking. This has been a big debate in which by now, he already got his Doctorates of Humanities Honorary Degree. And yes there was time he was at Howard University and dropped out after two years. Uh-Oh! Really Howard?!!


Ok, there is nothing I can do about the protests. But it seems that Howard U has made it’s decision in him speaking. And he did address the Howard Class of 2014 of his struggles, successes and also determination. He also addressed infamous rap lines from “It was all a dream” to “Can’t stop won’t stop.”  And even to address the question, “Do you know how powerful you are?” Well, I looked at the speech of the commencement, and yes he killed. And I will say this also: I’m more of an old school guy. Which means that I want to see those who have made it out with a degree, risen up from the bootstraps, worked hard, made a killing of money, and still gives back to their former schools, families, friends and acquaintances. That’s just me. Many now in this era, probably don’t matter, but I’m just saying. I want those of us or any of us who have been there with the mentality, and able to give back and talk to the current students now and beyond.

For you Howard Bison folks of this year’s class, hey congrats. It seems that “The Yard” along with the hardwork and dedication has taught you well during your 4+ years. But after all of that, and your Commencement Walk, and your name being called out, and celebrating with your families and friends, here is my question that I will say to those also who are graduating this year: What’s next?

What’s next C/O 2014?  Many of you will probably are going to Grad School, the Military, Work, or many other prospects. But no matter what you do, make the best effort as possible. Yes, it’s hard out here, but there are improvements. However, in regarding that, here is another challenge many of you need to know. If it hasn’t been addressed by your schools ceremony of commencement,  join your Alumni Chapters. Or as I like to call them, the Alumni Association. GIVE BACK! If your High School, College or University has given you love for those 4 years or more, as an new member of the Alumni, it’s time to give back. Donate to your alumni group by donating your cash to help those with supplies, construction, computers, Ipads, band equipment, scholarships and even Alumni Memberships. Even go to your Alumni Networking Events at a Baseball Game or a bar (yes I said a bar) if owned by one of your folks who went to the same school as you did.  Even for those who didn’t attend the campus full time, and had to take courses in your hometown, and had to make it to your commencement for the first time, for you distance education folks, don’t let that stop you for going to Alumni Events. Share your Online Class Experiences of Distance Education! Even though, the other alumni members aren’t so “peachy keen” about Online Classes or the thought of not being on campus like the traditional folks, you have a school story to share with your Alumni. Even find those in the Alumni who knows your pain or understanding of doing the Distance Learning thing, and make a networking thing with that to get that started. Or check this, START an Alumni group, chapter or division and get your networking on that way. Here’s a thought, many of you are getting that graduation cash from family and friends. Use part of that to donate to your Alumni groups. I’m just saying. Save it up along with your job, and donate the funding within a year. In regarding your Alumni again: Class reunions! I was told about 19 years ago out of high school this message, “Go to your reunions.” Class of 2014, go to your class reunions. Rekindle those connections and give back. I’ve gone to my class reunions, gatherings, and also I serve on my Alumni Board for my old high school. And I have gone to College and University Alumni networking events also. Go to them. Know what is going on from your former schools. And if you need work per say, to change careers, in addition to with your other networking folks like family, church and others, don’t forget your alumni folks! Who knows, the same guy you try to get a job with, could be an alum of your old school. Use social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Phone Numbers, emails; hey you know what time it is.

Just a nod of respect to my University Alma Mater: “When in doubt, come to Stout!” – Shout out to my UW-Stout Family. 


So Class of 2014: You have  made your mark, and you have made your move for your spotlight to shine on you. Now take your spotlight and feed it to those that are needy and wanting to have your communities and you personally a good difference in life.


If you have worked hard and climbed the ladder of success in your educational game: Congrats. Nothing is the best feeling in the world to have your name called and receiving your Diplomas infront of your peers and family. No question that your time has come. And those of us who graduated in years past, it’s still our time! Not to take anything away from the current graduates, but I think that the speeches coming up for the current class should also coincide with those completed the exercises as Alumni should get the same notion.

Now: I was looking at the speech that President Obama gave at Morehouse College. If you don’t’ know, Morehouse is a HBCU, a Historically Black College and University in the state of Georgia. Plus also, it’s the same college that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr attended, which we should know. But the occasion wasn’t about reminiscing about Dr. King’ s academic years, it was about these graduates, black men in all, who passed all the requirements and getting prepared for the world that awaits them. Yes, Morehouse is all black male college. Just so you know. But in the speech, and I know that those who heard it probably got negative thoughts now of what the President said. Really? Ok, so graduation speeches don’t usually hit the high marks. We know. But after listening to the President telling the graduates, predominantly African-American Men, that there are no excuses! This also reminds me when I was in my first two years in High School, my former band teacher always have displayed these words:

Results Matter. Excuses Do Not!

From an excerpt of the speech: 

Well, we’ve got no time for excuses.  Not because the bitter legacy of slavery and segregation have vanished entirely; they have not.  Not because racism and discrimination no longer exist; we know those are still out there.  It’s just that in today’s hyperconnected, hyper competitive world, with millions of young people from China and India and Brazil — many of whom started with a whole lot less than all of you did — all of them entering the global workforce alongside you, nobody is going to give you anything that you have not earned. 

Later on in the speech:

Nobody cares how tough your upbringing was.  Nobody cares if you suffered some discrimination.  And moreover, you have to remember that whatever you’ve gone through, it pales in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured — and they overcame them.  And if they overcame them, you can overcome them, too.


You now hail from a lineage and legacy of immeasurably strong men — men who bore tremendous burdens and still laid the stones for the path on which we now walk.  You wear the mantle of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, and Ralph Bunche and Langston Hughes, and George Washington Carver and Ralph Abernathy and Thurgood Marshall, and, yes, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  These men were many things to many people.  And they knew full well the role that racism played in their lives.  But when it came to their own accomplishments and sense of purpose, they had no time for excuses.

So I have ask: what was so bad about this speech again?

It kinds of pales in comparison  of what Bill Cosby said a couple of years ago in which the black community have to be responsible of have an accountability instead of being permanently “held back”. This is what I think most are not understanding. And I’ll bet there are some who are African American who heard that probably had an attitude indicating that’s just a load of hogwash. Well let me tell you, that is real talk! And more importantly  real truth! At times, I’ve seen and read about black men being held down for many reasons ranging from being held back for job offers due to experience, and race! I went through that. Plus also problems dealing with upbringings and having a notion of going to prison in which more black men get to more than going or graduating from college. Yes, we’ve heard them. But partially, there are those who been through the storm and kept going. President Obama commented Dr. King, Thurgood Marshall, Ralph Abernathy  and others came before him that dealt with those issues of being held back while trying to maintain their cause. In which they did.

My question is, and this for the class of 2013, and other classes BEFORE 2013, what is our current goal for reversing this notion in which those of my African descent can get a fair shake? They say that “African-Americans have to work twice (TWICE) as hard” just not only get into the game, but stay in the game. Even I have to work twice as hard in getting a good paying career that I can rekindle and revive my use of my Industrial Management Degree that I received in 2006 from UW-Stout. This past Mother’s Day Weekend, marked 7 years since going through the Commencement Exercises. In addition to my Distance Education experience, I had to work three times as hard to maintain the focus and get the degree with going through the B.S. of getting the B.S. Yeah I said it!

Now what happens if I go to get the M.S. if encountering the M.S.? And I’m not talking about Multiple Sclerosis.

So for this, congrats Class of 2013. Plus also, welcome to the Alumni Association. GIVE BACK! Give back to your schools/universities that gave you love for education for four years. You have invested in your education and it’s time to take it to the next level. Where it might be in the workforce for a while and/or to another degree. The reason why I drew up the Alumni Association Angle, we hear about schools being in the red for financial concerns, and also how to strengthen the schools better. Even if the schools name change based on past previous poor enrollment.  No matter if its a High School or College. We’ve seen them. And my former High School has got a name change with Gifted and Talented. By the way, what really defines a school? Is it the name,  the building , or those who went there and still remain family?

But still, when you (Class of 2013) join up with the Alumni Association, you will have an extensive network of Alumni that can or could give you the drive to get to your future endeavors. And stay informed about your former schools in order to donate or contribute. If you can tithe to the church, tithe to your Alma Mater! And that deserves no sermon subject or an commencement speech.

And  just to add: The student loans have to be repaid.

Last week in Milwaukee, there was a huge discussion about the issue of violence to the students of the Milwaukee Public Schools System. Even though that it’s one of those issues that no one doesn’t want to touch (ala businesses) but it is an issue that does effect those who are going to class, and working in the schools. Earlier this year in Milwaukee, there were  at least 8 killings occured around and after the first weekend of the New Year. Some of that, was harming the students. Knownlngly it’s a problem that not only in Milwaukee, but also occurs in different parts of the country.

Now the main question is: who’s responsible for some of these kids who are not clamping down the violence the most? If you say the parents, yes you’re right. If those parents who should have been using the responsibility juice to discipline their kids, (like hello) they would not be in the position of their existence now. I’m just saying. Yes, it’s boils to parental responsibility, or in this case like Bill Cosby would say, proper parenting. Now, I don’t have kids. Really, I don’t. But if I did, I would be on them like the old school way of their grades, who are they hanging out with, and etc. Like my parents did me. Admit it!

With all the talk with the parents, and schools trying to clamping this down. There was one group that didn’t get mentioned. I’m being forward about this: The Alumni Association. I belong to three Alumni Associations in the State of Wisconsin, and I want to know is what can the Alumni groups do to help the schools against violence? I’m being real as I say this. I see the colleges and Universities doing this. Last year, my University Alma Mater, the University of Wisconsin-Stout had a rally cry against discrimination on campus: Not Here, Not at Stout! Everyone who was pitched in supporting that, was not only the students, and teachers, but guess what: The Alumni Association was in full support as well. Did you hear me, the Alumni Association! Now what are the MPS Alumni Association members are doing? Are there programs being implemented? Well, my High School Alumni Association is thinking about having a Learner’s Program in conjunction with the school’s historic beginnings. And also adapting change in the culture. Even though that it’s not a requirement, but the key element is Change! Sort of like the United Methodist Church, and the ability to “Rethink Church” in term of goals, objectives and values. Sometimes it can’t be the same ol “well it was taught to me so I’m giving it to you in the same way.”

I know what you’re assuming: Most of today’s kids wouldn’t even go the route of what we went through. You’re right. But you have to find a new way. I mean for Marshall, it was about the school identity of the symbols of the colors and the Eagle, but however, in this day in age, it needs to be renewed for understanding .

But I’m asking those who went to Madison, Juneau, Tech, Vincent, King, Riverside, Pulaski, Reagan and many other Milwaukee High School Alums, what is YOUR Alumni Association doing to help the kids in the schools you went to, in curbing violence in the city?

Ponder that. Even though we went to rival schools but as “MPS Alums”, we need to seriously ponder right now!

Last Saturday in Milwaukee, my Alma Mater of John Marshall High School turned 50 years old, and opened a new chapter in the life of the school. Nostalgic, yes. Lots of history share, most definitely. This was the first time that the school had an All-Class Gathering like this ever. Hopefully, it shouldn’t be the last. The day started with the tour in which the common places around Marshall were reflective: Ranging from the Auditorium dedication of Clifford George, who was the longest serving principal in the school’s history. Another area was the cafeteria, no not to remember the Mock Chicken Legs or the milk pouches! There were many merchandise items on sale ranging from yearbooks (both print and electronic versions) T-Shirts and Hats, and plus the Alumni Association table where three proclamations from the city and county of Milwaukee were displayed along with another from the State of Wisconsin. (And by the way, those were my ideas. Telling the truth).

The Library was another area of the tour, which has changed slightly. The mural was featured in which it was displayed to show the various symbolism of past Alums of the school. Plus it was dedicated around 1995 before my graduation. And in speaking of that, the now Library Media Center was formed during my years at Marshall. And also my class and other mid 90’s classes were alive when the internet was becoming mainstream.

During the Clifford George Dedication, (and later at the evening event) Dr. Eric Gallien who is the principal of the now Samuel Morse John Marshall School for the Gifted and Talented, indicated to us Alums that the legacies and many other symbols of Marshall will not be phased out. The students of the school will continue to carry out the legacies, and traditions that we alums remember. Including the Columbia Blue and Scarlet colors. And yes, they are learning the pep song of “Hey Look Me Over” and the Alma Mater; only difference is, it would be slightly different, lyrically.  In addition, several former Marshall teachers did appeared, ranging from John Schissler, to Thomas Marx, Carol Abraham, and Jacque Sommers.
In addition former administrators such as Richard Tolefson made an appearance as well.

The interaction between the classes was funny. When the older classes approached me about the class I represented (1995) they often replied, “does your mommy know you’re here?” “did you drove here?! or “this young whipper snapper”.  I found it hilarious and weak. But all in all, it was in good fun. Meeting the classes of the 70’s were cool, especially the class of ’76 which were nice folks. Some also told me that they were around when Marshall was starting to bus minorities in Milwaukee.  Didn’t know that. Also I had to tickle them that the year they graduated, I was born! Yes, I am a 1976 baby of course. The majority of the alums attended were indeed the 70’s because of the history they knew with the school when, in their words was a “junior-senior high school”. That’s like saying a combined Middle-High School in one. And the largest attendance record over 3,000 students at the time. Marshall was one of the first schools in the state to have this honor when it was opened since 1961, and at the time, President John F. Kennedy was in the White House, and our first African-American President Barack Obama was just born. Alums came near and far, especially from Hawaii also.

John Marshall HIgh School Library Mural

In addition to the 70’s in attendance, there were other classes of the 60’s appeared, as well as the 80’s. Even yes, my decade 90’s and the 2000’s were there also. Yes, all five decades of Marshall made their representation. (I had to state that on Facebook recently) The Evening portion was filled with music, food, an appreciation to John Schissler, silent auctions and also I had a chance to do some dj’ing of the music between the 80’s and 2000’s. And also, I shouldn’t say this but I did danced with the class of ’76. Again, nice folks. I also met folks from the 80’s, especially from the class of 1981 who were celebrating their 30th. And plus, I had the chance to meet a member of their class that made history, Barbara Duffy, Wisconsin’s first female firefighter. In addition I had to take pics.

Overall, the Centerpiece celebration was a success. Yes there some issues, but overall it was decent. I wish alot more would come and appreciate. Especially more in my 90’s classes! But that’s OK. At least they knew what was going on. There will be more events and activities following this towards 2012 with Mentoring programs for the Alumni and others. Including the Membership of the Alumni Association. It’s $25.00 per year and it’s tax deductible. I also think that now that the “Marshall Alumni Universe” or the Marshall Nation, or the blue & scarlet, or the Marsh-house crew should display their Alum side with pride like the mascot it has: the eagle. Talk about reviving. This was indeed a chance to be revived with the school I once bragged about. Even if it is 16 years later. No matter it was the infamous Eagle’s Nest, or the famed “Marsh-House”.  All the same.

Go Eagles!

Class of ’95 is still in the building!!!!!

The Milwaukee John Marshall High School Alumni Association is online at

This message goes out to every member of all Alumni Associations, and those members to be, and I don’t care if you are a 90’s and 2000’s graduate: you need to start reinvesting in your schools! Here in Milwaukee, a well known High School is closing up shop this year and it’s almost pushing 100 years old. If you are a member of Milwaukee’s Washington High School’s Alumni Association (yes I went to John Marshall H.S. thank you for asking) you need to step your game up. I don’t know you. But you need to step up your game up. Take a page from the John Marshall High School Alumni Association. A couple of years ago, there were heard “rumors” about John Marshall closing up shop. Yeah, Milwaukee, I heard about the stories being passed around about closing up. But then I was reading about a sport event for Marshall, which was track and it was in 2008 which the student made the papers about winning the track meet. This guy I read about, was a bright student, and also made the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  It was a first in a number of years since Milwaukee Marshall Alum Floyd Heard won his track meet since the 1980’s. Since then, still the comments and questions about the school closing up pushed further. Again, I heard the truth from the source, which was Marshall’s Alumni Association. (via one of the teachers of Morse-Marshall) These are a group of individuals that went to the Milwaukee Public School Board and told them that “you can’t do this”.  They had to fight the board just to convince them that shutting down the school would lead to a big mistake on them, the students, etc. In other words, they stood up for what they believed in. They kept the fight, and kept their role of defending the Eagles Nest. Or in this case, the “Marsh-house.”

I can laugh about them, but you know what, I have to respect them. And now, I joined them. Look, WordPress this is my old high school, and I remember years ago that being an Alum, you have to have a responsibility. What that means is that it’s OK to talk about the good ole’ days of getting back and also ruling the hallways and classrooms. But now, since the classes have been dispersed into the real world, I’m hearing about the school closing up? I have a general question, to those who well: “don’t care.” Where were you when the school was about to go under?  Where were you when you heard about the news about the school was getting closed up in all? Where were you? And why didn’t you help to donate? Just because of the name on the building? Hey now.

Again, this is what our “now generation” gets. Yes, we went to our former schools, and we went away, had reunions, and also have this “don’t care/leave it in the past attitude”. Somebody, particularly an elder might come along and comment that you might watch what you say. Yes, here is something that I do admit, I was one of those people. I was one of those who helped in all, and complained about not caring. I’m admitting this Marshall alums. I’m admitting this Milwaukee. And yes this goes for my friends, family, and state. But after seen what has happened, I think its time to start reinvesting in the schools. And the Alumni Associations are a good start to reconnect with the school. So I had to recommit myself to John Marshall High School for this. Yes, I did the activities and academics in all, but I’m using my skills to help out the school that gave me a chance to shine up. This is what they called the folks “true alums”. Because if you are true at something, it means you’re real. You care. Or in this case you really give a you know what. That’s what it is.

For me: I have been accepted to be apart of the John Marshall High School Alumni Association as a member, plus soon to be, a member of the Board of Directors. Let me say that again, Board of Directors. And guess what? I am the first from my class and my class decade of the 1990’s that has accepted this, and this I will do. (Class of 1995 has struck again!) And even thought this decision may not be all for some, but I hope that this would attract those who are my age, and class decade would be able to follow this. My Alma Mater will be celebrating 50 years in Milwaukee. When you celebrate 50 years of anything, it’s a joy like any other anniversary. And I am blessed to be part of this. Not just because I got love for John Marshall, but now it’s time to uphold the responsibility of calling myself an Alumnus. And plus, I hope that with me being apart of this group, this would also should start a new chapter of getting the younger alums involved. Because if they (the Alumni Association) haven’t gone to me to join up, and others like me in my age to join up, it would die out. Yep, just like the church.

So I want to pass along to the Washington High School Alums. Yes, your school and my school had great battles. But there is something you need to know. That school of yours, you need to defend. And take it from my school and just stand up for it. Don’t just sit there and let it die out. If you really (and I mean really) care about your school, you better get off of your rear ends, and take action. Write to the Milwaukee Public Schools and tell them how you feel. Write to your senators or congressmen or congresswomen and tell them how you feel. Put your editorials in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and write your comment about your concerns about the school closing. Even use the radio, the blogs or any form of communication you can grasp on. Washington, you have been in Milwaukee for 100 years, are you going to let this slip up? Or are you willing to stand up and fight? Your move, Purgolders.

John Marshall High School maybe going into a new phase in all, but it took commitment from the Alumni Association to keep the building open and also to get this 50th Anniversary Celebration to continue on.

The Milwaukee Marshall Alumni Association is on the web; go to

Go Eagles! – The Mighty Mighty Eagles!