Lead to Succeed at Waukesha South High School
Under the leadership of the newly elected County Board Member, Larry Nelson and Lead to Succeed Account Manager, Tecia Sellers, eleven students painted three multicultural murals on the walls of the Waukesha South High School over their spring break. The murals were a result of months of meeting and planning the students had been doing through their participation in the Lead to Succeed program.
"This project brought together students who are committed to promoting cultural awareness and pride in the diversity found in the student population at Waukesha South High School. The Lead to Succeed students have been creative and have worked together to provide an important and lasting message that asks all of us to seek unity while respecting and embracing diversity. These students are community treasures; they are our future and their voices need to be heard. This mural project gave them just such a venue for their voices to be heard." Brenda Ness, Bilingual/ESL Secondary Level Program Coordinator, Waukesha School District
Lead to Succeed is a youth leadership program in which college aged students are trained to lead a team of high school students in a service learning project that empowers them to make a difference in their community AND exposes them to in demand careers and employability skills.
This past year, a Lead to Succeed team at Waukesha South High School has been flexing their leadership and career-building skills by designing and creating a series of multicultural murals right in their own high school.
Waukesha South has an extremely diverse population of students. This diversity is a strength that Lead to Succeed and the Bilingual/ELL Secondary Level Program would like to acknowledge and celebrate. The mural project helps build cultural awareness, both at Waukesha South High School and in the Waukesha community at large. When describing the impact of the project one student stated, “The project has affected us to be more considerate and accepting of others’ ideas.“
The three murals are a skin color palette, a diversity tree and a tribute to the music of all cultures. The murals are located at entrance hall, across the hall from the music room, and in the cafeteria in Waukesha South High School. Each of the murals artistically represent the many different cultural backgrounds of students currently enrolled in the school, and the hope for everyone to be respectful of and embrace each other’s differences.
Students were really inspired by their own work as they reflected on the entire process of the project. “We feel optimistic for what the murals might inspire in our schools and community. We feel encouraged to go to college.”