Silver Spring Neighborhood Center is Positively Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE - A center in Milwaukee is celebrating 50 years. It's the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center.
It offers dozens of programs for people of all ages. And it serves a thousand people a year.
Here's how Executive Director Jim Bartos describes the site. "They get an education; they learn how to develop socially, (and) emotionally. They build themselves up physically; spiritually... and they wind up being successful people. Self sufficient people and families are the result."
Denise White went to the center 21 years ago as a single mom facing a tough time. White remembers, "I was going through a bad separation with my husband that left me financially and emotionally devastated. It was a bad, bad time in my life."
White first went looking for an aerobics class. But White enrolled in a parenting class that changed her life. She points out, "They taught you skills, not just how to feed and clothe your child, but how to advocate for your child."
Assistant Executive Director of the center Anthony McHenry knows the right setting can shape a young life. McHenry says, "It opens up the door to discussions, and discussions open up the doors to learning. Those learning experiences are what really shapes them and helps them to grow."
White agrees. She goes on to say, "They don't just send you to class (where) it ends then you're out the door. They give you the tools that you need to make it and to become a productive citizen and to make positive steps in your life."'
As for White's son, Kevin, she put him through school and he graduated from UWM last May. Thanks to the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center, a mother and her son now travel a road paved with success.