Adia Rogers was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin by her parents Sherri and Derrick Rogers. She is only 16 years old and will be attending Milwaukee School of Languages for her junior year of high school this year. Adia has made it a point to strive for her goals academically and physically, which is nothing less than her biggest dream.
Adia plans to pursue a degree in pre-physical therapy and/or early childhood education because she has a great heart for young children and helping them. One of Adia’s dreams is to become a therapist, both physical and mental for older teens and adults.
As for now, she is working towards making her imaginations become her reality. Adia is active in the talented Lady Hawks Girls’ Basketball team at her high school. Her dream is to excel well enough and to receive a basketball scholarship from one of her dream universities. Those universities happen to be North Carolina A&T, Alcorn State University or Florida A&M. She is working really hard both academically and physically so she can become great in any and everything she does. In her spare time, Adia loves to watch movies, play basketball, and spend time with family and friends. She would definitely love to see more of the USA/world once she gets comfortable in her adult life.
Charde Brown is a 15-year-old sophomore attending Frisco High School in Texas. She is staying with family in Milwaukee for the summer. Some things she likes to do are go shopping, listen to music and eat. In the future, I hope to become a veterinarian as well as start my own animal rescue center. Not too long ago I began my journey at Urban Underground. My role for Youth Rise Magazine is photography. Some things I’d like to change in Milwaukee are youth job opportunities, positive opportunities for young men and segregation.
Damion Harris was born here in Milwaukee. He is a junior attending Shorewood High School. Damion was first introduced to Urban Underground in the summer of 2015 through the City of Milwaukee’s Earn and Learn program. He was randomly assigned there, but after a great experience he decided to return this summer.
Damion is obsessed with 90’s culture. He loves to travel and play sports, and he used to live in Brooklyn, New York. His favorite thing about Milwaukee is the numerous available activities In the summer and the winter. If there is one thing Damion would change in the city of Milwaukee, he would change the fact that there are not enough resources for kids, teens or people in general. He said he would do this because he has seen the way that such resources can change people’s lives in a good way and send them down a great road.
Darion McDade is 16 years old, and he attends Holy Redeemer High School. He will be a junior this upcoming school year, and this summer was his first year at Urban Underground. He really enjoys being at Urban, and he looks forward to being a part of the program during the school year. Darion’s role with the magazine is to take pictures and record certain things with all the other groups involved. His favorite parts about growing up in Milwaukee are all the basketball gyms around the city, like the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center, Boys and Girls Club, Holy Redeemer, and the YMCA. In his city he sees a lot of homeless people and would like to live in a city where all people have access to the resources they need to succeed in life. He is committed to making that happen. Since being a part of this magazine, he has really liked the fact that he can engage other teens around the issues he cares about. Also he enjoys how they came together as one and focused their thoughts on their goals.
Donald Beamon is a 17-year-old born in Milwaukee. He attends Whitefish Bay High School. This summer was full of new people and great experiences with Urban Underground. His involvement with Urban was getting out in the community and coming up with solutions on how to change the community.
Donald still has a life outside of Urban that consists of working hard to be successful and spending time with loved ones. Milwaukee has lots of fun things that you can do, but in his spare time he likes to just go play basketball or go to the movies or even go shopping because shoes are his thing. Then again Donald sees a lot of stuff that can be fixed around this city such as the roads, the police, more jobs for young people, better paying jobs and more activities for the youth so they can stay busy and out of the streets.
Donald has dreams of his own that he hopes to pursue, and it starts here. He has always wanted to be an architect, but he has also thought about being an entrepreneur. You never know what life may bring but either way, Donald plans on being very successful.
India Smith is a bright-minded teenage girl living in Milwaukee. She is a sophomore attending Rufus King High School and strives to attend UC-Davis for college, studying veterinary medicine. This 15-year-old girl is very active throughout not only her school, but also her entire community. When she’s not playing volleyball or cheering at her school’s games, she volunteers at local animal shelters or works for a wonderful organization by the name of Urban Underground. She hopes to graduate from her college and open her own animal rescue shelter.
India says that she loves her city. Her favorite part about it are the youth and others that live here. She cherishes her fellow black youth as she says they are beautiful beings filled with potential that are often mislabeled and given up on. Many know India as a very quiet and laid-back person with a surprisingly strong gift of leadership. She is a very fun person who loves to laugh and make people smile, but she knows how to quickly get serious and adapt to any situation she is placed in. She is also a great listener and speaker as her job in the Youth Rise Magazine as an interviewer/reporter requires her to be.
One of India’s favorite things about herself is her rich brown skin. She says her melanin is loved by many but hated by so many more. India worships self-love and empowerment. She stated that her motivation to do what she does comes from her mother Pamela, her heaven-bound father Earl, her grandmother Iris who she lives with, her dog Lucky, and all of the youth, specifically African American youth in Milwaukee. She says she wants to break all stereotypes given to her race, her gender and her city. Overall, India is an astounding young lady living in northern Milwaukee with a mind focused on changing and improving the world around her.
Jaisha Roundtree is 18 years old and has been attending Urban Underground for a year. Jaisha joined the team late but has been in support of the project from the beginning. Her favorite part about Milwaukee is the 3rd Ward. It is one of the last historically preserved spaces in our city. One thing she wants to change about Milwaukee is the lack of economic opportunities here. She believes that a lot of the issues that urban areas deal with steam from the lack of jobs.
Her favorite part about the magazine is the opportunity to interview people. “There is a lack of communication between people in Milwaukee, and interviewing people is a step in the right direction,” she said.
Jaisha likes to draw cartoon characters and hopes as the magazine progresses she can draw comics for the magazine. The one thing that makes her unique is that she can keep smiling in the roughest situations. She hopes to bring joy to young children’s lives by becoming a cartoonist.
Jaylah Monet Rayford (Jaymonae) was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Jaylah’s mom was also born in Milwaukee, but her dad was born in Tallulah, Louisiana. She is mostly African American, but also she is of Creole, French and Indian descent. Jaylah is the youngest of five children. She enjoys watching Netflix, swimming, playing basketball and chilling with her group of best friends nicknamed the ‘Toro family.’ She has a shy personality when you first meet her but then she changes into a cool, smart, funny and artistic young person.
Jaylah attends Milwaukee School of Languages. She is trilingual, speaking spanish for 10 years and Japanese for three years. Jaylah is motivated by her mom, granny, her best Chloe, her favorite teacher Laplant and her favorite principal Kuxhause. These five people shaped Jaylah into who she is today. Her favorite teacher and principal made sure she stayed out of trouble, that her grades stayed good and that she was hanging with the right group of people, and she is thankful for them.
Jaylah feels as if the youth of Milwaukee have been characterized as doing bad things, which is already setting the youth up for failure. When Jaylah is grown up, she wants to be an orthopedic surgeon. One thing that she has learned from Urban Underground is how a group of teens can work together not just as co-workers but as a family.
Le’Nya attends Milwaukee Collegiate Academy and has been a member at Urban Underground for one year. In regards to Youth Rise Magazine, she is a part of the design team. Her favorite things in Milwaukee are the water parks and being able to spend time with her friends and family. Le’Nya would like to change the murders and other crimes that are being committed both in her community and around her city. Her favorite part about the magazine is the design aspects because she gets to draw, and that is one of her talents and something she is passionate about doing.
Mariah is a junior at Pius XI High School. She is a returning member at Urban Underground and loves to sing, shop and hang out with her friends and family. Mariah was one of the reporters for Youth Rise Magazine and wrote the story ”Anyone Can Make A Change” about Dontazsha Duncan.
Mariah struggles to find positive things about her city of Milwaukee, but she has lots of ideas on how she can make it better. She is passionate about making sure that their are more job opportunities for youth in her city. In the near future Mariah wants to attend a Southern university and major in child psychology.
Nakeysha Alexander Haywood is 18 years old. She graduated from Rufus King High School in the class of 2016. Keysha will be attending UW-Stevens Point to study Biochemistry and Veterinary science. This is Nakeysha’s 2nd year with Urban Underground. Her favorite part about Milwaukee would be the festivals that take place. Something that Nakeysha would like to change in Milwauke would be the amount of violence in her community. Nakeysha is working on a magazine with Urban, and she is a part of the design and social media team. During her free time she likes to draw, listen to music and hang out with friends. Nakeysha is the middle child out of her three sisters. Most people would say that Nakeysha’s personality is what makes her unique. In the future Nakeysha wants to start her own daycare and be a veterinarian.
His name is Nathaniel Maclin, and he is from Milwaukee. He is a sophomore at Milwaukee Collegiate Academy, which he described as an awesome school that aims to send scholars to and through college. His school has had 100 percent college acceptance for the past six years and was named “Charter School of the Year” of 2015.
Nathaniel is finishing up his first year as an Urban Underground member. He believes that Urban Underground is an awesome youth organization that helps young people do better. He fits perfectly with Urban Underground and is familiar with every staff person. His role for the magazine is as a photographer.
Nathaniel’s favorite part about Milwaukee is that it is an awesome city with great colleges. He dislikes that there are plenty of young kids getting killed. He would like to change the theft of vehicle rate. His favorite role in the magazine project is that he is a camera director.
Ni’Sea is 15 years old and attended Wauwatosa East High School before she recently moved to Arizona. She was a member of Urban Underground for two years and represented the organization at various events and speaking engagements around the community. Ni’Sea served as the photography editor for Youth Rise Magazine. She is a talented photographer who hopes to use her art for activism in the future. In her free time, Ni’Sea teaches swimming lessons, hangs out with her friends and is very present in the community at gatherings, festivals and other events.
Ni’Sea loves Milwaukee and likes that the community is engaged with one another even though right now it is hurting due to all of the violence. She is passionate about issues of social justice and in her home city is especially upset by problems related to drugs, segregation and racial tension. She will continue to be a witness to the experiences of those who are often marginalized and silenced, shedding light on people and artists who offer hope and solutions.
Payton Stovall, 15, attends Whitefish Bay High School. She is a youth leader at Urban Underground. In this role, Payton coordinates reports for Youth Rise Magazine, a team providing positive youth stories within the city of Milwaukee. She is a big believer in youth voice. Payton supports young people in her community to follow their dreams no matter what. She believes the best part about Milwaukee is the fact that there are programs such as Urban Underground that teach youth the importance of using their voices to make a difference in their communities.
Payton is an athlete and singer, and she also loves the arts. She has dedicated her life to excelling in her passion. Payton enjoys working with children and teaching them the importance of expressing themselves through the things that they love. Payton would like to be a part of the change to integrate Milwaukee as a whole.
Raevun Perry is a Milwaukee native who attends Carmen High School. This is her first year in Urban Underground, and she loves the support she receives from the staff and her peers participating in the program. Raevun is on the social media team working on engaging the community via different media outlets. Growing up in Milwaukee she loved the fact that this city did not have to worry about natural disasters. Being a part of Youth Rise Magazine, she loves the fact that this project was thought of and implemented by young people. She looks forward to seeing the product of all the work she and her peers have put into this magazine.
She prefers “S,” but her real name is Shateria Wiley. “S” is a 19-year-old freshman at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. She has goals in life, and failure isn’t an option. If someone were to ask “S” who she puts first, most definitely God she’ll reply. “S” plans to major in journalism and continue her roots of volunteering throughout college. “S” has an outstanding personality and is very outgoing! She ended Urban Underground as a third year member and now is officially an alumni of Urban Underground. Her role in the creation Youth Rise Magazine was the editorial leader. “S” loves the city she was born and raised in, but if should could take one thing out it would be the violence. If she could add one thing it would be peace.
Shira Higgins was born in Milwaukee Wisconsin. She is an 18-year-old high school graduate of Rufus King High School. Shira enjoys the different festivals that takes place every year such as Summerfest, State Fair, Bastille Days and others. She has lived in Milwaukee her whole life and has witnessed many events that caused her to want to move out of her city and let it fall apart. Shira realized that there were many community organizations that work to bring the community back together, so when she got to high school she decided to join one called Urban Underground. She was a member for four years and is now alumni.
Shira will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the fall on the road to becoming a nurse practitioner. She loves being in a space where she can help people, whether in a hospital or a doctor’s office, she chose to be a nurse practitioner because they can treat patients without a doctor being present. She’s on a positive path getting ready to impact thousands of lives as a nurse, activist and friend in her community.
Stephania is a senior at Messmer High School. Growing wiser everyday, she is now a youth activist, aspiring artist and is on the path to becoming a veterinarian. She also plans to have a food truck named Annie G’s in honor of her great aunt Annie and great grandmothers Gertrude and Georgia. At the end of each day she will drive to random homeless shelters every night to give away leftover food. Her favorite parts of this magazine were the creative processes and when she interviewed Arthur Clements. She wishes both the communities and different community programs would work together to accomplish goals as a whole instead of trying to do it separately and prolonging the process. Lastly her favorite part of her home, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the countless summer festivals that come and go every year.