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UW Extension News

Posted on: August 2, 2022

Nia career program joins forces with Building Our Future to teach youth to ‘use their voice’

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University of Wisconsin-Extension in Kenosha County and the Kenosha Public Library are partnering with Building Our Future’s Youth Leadership Cohort to host a new workshop for the Nia College and Career Preparation program.

The “Use Your Voice” workshop series, designed for middle school and high school students, will take place at the Kenosha Southwest Neighborhood Library, 7979 38th Ave., from 3:30 to 6 p.m. on Aug. 4 and 11.

On Aug. 4, youth workshop attendees will learn from BOF’s Youth Leadership Cohort what it takes to plan and execute a town hall, as BOF’s cohort did in Spring 2022 when they executed a Kenosha Unified School Board Candidate Forum. Alderman Anthony Kennedy of Kenosha’s 10th District will also join the program to lead a discussion with youth on what it takes to run for office and where he finds his passion for serving the community.

Youth who attend will learn valuable skills through designing and participating in a mock debate with Alderman Kennedy, something that will prepare them to create and lead events of their own in the future. This workshop will assist youth in developing their ability to speak on issues they care about, while also introducing them to opportunities to get involved in their community, such as with BOF’s Youth Cohort or Extension’s many youth leadership programs. 

Activities on Aug. 11 include a public speaking workshop, coaching on how to answer the interview question, “Tell me about yourself,” and instruction on how to use multimedia to tell “your story” from Kenosha Community Media.

Youth going into sixth through 12th grade are invited to attend either or both workshops. All are welcome, the sessions are free of change, and snacks will be provided.

These workshops are a component of the Nia: Pathways and Purpose for the Future, a collaboration between the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the historically Black university North Carolina A&T, to support Black and Brown youth in sixth through 12th grade to find their purpose after high school.

Following this workshop series, Nia will resume its after school college and career preparation program, which launched in Spring 2022, at the Southwest Library from 3:30 to 6 p.m. every Thursday beginning Sept. 1. 

The signup form for this event can be found here. To learn more about the Nia program or about Extension’s other youth leadership initiatives, please contact Extension Educator Erica Ness at or 262-857-1934.

View the Aug. 4 session flyer

View the Aug. 11 session flyer

View News Release