Vaun Mayes talks about growing up in the South, the importance of empathy and the forces — including racism, profiteering and crime — at work in Milwaukee.
Brittany Komperda’s sister passed away from bone cancer when she was 12 years old. As a result, Komperda learned to cherish life, and family.
Rufus Sampson talks about the importance of mindset, taking care of the future and being willing to sacrifice.
William McGee has struggled to find meaning in a life where the next day is never guaranteed. But, through self-reflection, he’s been able to see himself, and the world around him, differently.
Despite growing up in a strict and narrow religious tradition, Brian Anders has pursued experiences to broaden his perspective and, in doing so, has learned to rely on himself.
If we don’t ask where we have been, if we don’t listen, we won’t be able to grow in the way that we should. We won’t be able to move forward.
Jose Vasquez, a former gang member, talks about the emptiness he felt as a young person, his personal journey of change and why he has dedicated his life to working with youth who are experiencing many of the same challenges he did.
Vanessa Plant sits on a yellow, vintage sofa in the living room of her first-floor Riverwest apartment. Plant, whose multi-colored hair and bright, flowered chest tattoo give a bold first impression, has lived around the world but eventually came back to her childhood neighborhood to put down roots. “I was born on Pierce Street, in a home,” she says. “Homeschool and church, those were my things. I mean, I was 6 so I don’t remember a ton — mostly just from old home videos.”