Community was this week's theme as nearly 100 teenagers from Greater Milwaukee area schools convened for the second annual African American Female Institute on Concordia University Wisconsin's campus.

Participants stayed three nights in a residence hall, as they engaged in presentations on team-building and college and career readiness, as well as an off-campus service project. On Wednesday, a panel discussion was led by four African American female entrepreneurs: Latonya Peel, a cosmetologist with Flair Designs; Marilyn Mitchell, a tax consultant with A-Tax; Laurence Trimble, from Berkshire Hathaway Metro Realty; and Crystal McClain, executive director of Revive Youth & Family Services.

Other sessions during the week included “My Approach to Being a Successful Suburban High School Student,” “The Power of Confidence,” “Women of Color in Politics,” which included a field trip to Congresswoman’s Gwen Moore’s office, and “Don’t Text at the Table – Etiquette Decorum for Teenage Girls.” All of the workshops and off-campus outings were designed to not only inform, but to promote friendships among the 100 teenagers.


Friday afternoon’s culminating activity was led by Dr. Monica Kelsey-Brown, coordinator of the Closing the Achievement Gap Consortium. She serves as Assistant Superintendent and Director of Teaching and Learning for the Brown Deer Public Schools, and earned her superintendent’s license from Concordia University Wisconsin in 2017.

The AAFI models itself after CUW’s successful African American Male Institute, which will hold its fifth annual event on campus in late July for approximately 150 teenagers.

Concordia is the lone educational partner of the Closing the Achievement Gap Consortium, which currently has 38 public and private school system members in southeastern Wisconsin. “We were thrilled to nearly double our attendance from last year’s initial event,” said Dr. Elliott Moeser, Executive Director of Concordia University Wisconsin’s Educational Administration program and CAGC Director.

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