Meet Alyssa Dawson of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee
YNPN Milwaukee's December Featured Member
What is your experience in the nonprofit sector?
I began in the nonprofit sector in 2011 at the Salvation Army in Eau Claire, WI as their Special Events Coordinator & Christmas Coordinator. It was through this experience that I found my passion for nonprofit and events. When I began my time with Salvation Army, I was in the middle of a semester off from college because I was feeling a little lost and didn’t know what to do. But through that experience, I found a passion I didn’t know I had and declared Organizational Communication with a topical minor in Event Planning for Nonprofits and a Leadership Certificate.
The following summer, I began working at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Greater Chippewa Valley in Eau Claire. Everything changed for me here. I found a love of working with kids and a home that I didn’t know I wanted. I moved into an AmeriCorps position with the Clubs which, after my service was up, landed me the full time position as Program Coordinator – all while I was still a full-time college student. After graduation, I wanted a new experience in a new city and found my current position with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee (BGCGM). The entire experience is something I wouldn’t change for anything. I love the nonprofit culture here in Milwaukee and I’m excited to become more involved!
Additionally, I have been a Big Sister through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for just over a year here and I absolutely love it. It’s such a rewarding feeling to serve our youth!
What is your favorite nonprofit event or program?
Some of my favorite events that I’ve attended (besides the Clubs’ events – just a little biased J) are the events of United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. They are so well put together, spotlight some amazing people and programs, and are so fun! I look forward to any one I can experience.
I do have to say that BGCGM holds some pretty amazing events as well – I usually leave crying or hyped to do more. Our ‘Can You Hear Us Now’ event which highlights the voice of our youth is so incredibly powerful. The ‘Celebrating G.I.R.Ls’ event spotlights the amazing talents of the youth girls we serve and the opportunities that the community provides for them. And then our ‘College Signing Day’ is a very powerful event which is run much like an NFL draft day. Students are brought on stage and recognized as they sign the paper officially accepting their admission to college. It’s so amazing to see the youth we serve move on to higher education with so much excitement and pride.
Who do you look up to as a professional mentor or role model?
I actually look up to my current supervisor, Denisha Tate, tremendously. Denisha is exactly who I want to be when I ‘grow up’.
She is driven, motivated, passionate, and so caring when it comes to the work we do and the member we serve. Even though she is our Chief Strategic Officer, every decision she makes is with the best interest of the youth we see every day at heart. She’s amazing and I’m so privileged to work with her.
How has networking proven beneficial to you?
This is all a new experience for me, but I’m already finding a community in the networking scene in Milwaukee. I have met so many people and learned so much about the community. I’m excited to meet more people, learn so much more, and become more involved. There’s so much opportunity here.
How did you become involved with YNPN Milwaukee?
I was referred to the organization from my supervisor who suggested the group to become involved in the community after I moved down here. I’ve been to a few different talks now and I’m excited to attend more!
Alyssa and her co-worker who recently chaperoned two trips to Washington, D.C. for over 70 youth this summer.
Connect with Alyssa!