To empower and inspire youth to be catalysts for change in their communities.
A community strengthened through constructive youth engagement in all aspects of society.

Lead2Change is a leading career-readiness organization that engages young people in leadership opportunities and equips them with essential tools to be successful in college, their career and the community. Young people who experience our programs enter the post-secondary world confident and clear about their career interests and their position in the ever-evolving workforce.

As part of a national movement, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation founded the Youth in Service Fund in 1996.  The program was created to engage young people in youth leadership and philanthropy.  After many years of success and granting nearly $550,000 to youth-led projects, in 2009, the Youth in Service Fund transitioned to Lead2Change, a career-readiness non-profit organization. This initiative was spearheaded by Dionne Grayson and a group of young trailblazers. While philanthropy is one tool used to help young people develop career-readiness skills, we also offer 16 nationally recognized career clusters to help young people find their passion and follow their path.


Executive Director Dionne Grayson is a visionary leader who has dedicated her career to empowering youth and strengthening the organizational capacity of institutions in the Milwaukee area. Serving as Lead2Change’s President and CEO, Dionne’s work is driven by her passion to see youth manifest their destiny. Dionne has served youth for more than 20 years and has consulted with several organizations, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, Marquette University, and 88Nine Radio Milwaukee. Prior to founding Lead2Change in 2011 along with 12 youth co-founders, Dionne served as a Senior Program Officer at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

Through Lead2Change and her patented program, Dream.Explore.Build., Dionne empowers youth to live their life by design and not by default. Dionne’s tenacity for youth leadership programming has earned her many accolades, including being named a 2017 Women of Influence (Mentor category) by The Milwaukee Business Journal.

Dionne received her undergraduate degree in Clinical Psychology from Alverno College and her graduate degree in Social Work Administration from UW-Milwaukee. She currently resides in Milwaukee with her husband.


Administrative Staff

Dionne Grayson: Executive Director 

 Ashleigh Heard: Program Service Manager

Amanda Aliperta: Fund Development Consultant

Jerel Ballard: Communications Consultant

Bonnie Murphy: Accountant

Tanika Reesnes: Human Resources Consultant

Program Staff

Katherine Polace: Lead Brick by Brick Instructor (Dream.Explore.Build)

Ifadha Rihma Jayah: Interact Advisor (Wednesdays), Success Partner Coordinator 

Dawn Adams: Instructor

Claude Grant: Instructor

Franchesca Robinson: Instructor

Olivia Reel: Career Advancement Coach

Va’Na Barki: Career Advancement Coach

Eleanor Liebherr: Career Advancement Coach

Board of Directors

Board Executive Committee

Marcus Taylor: Rockwell Automation

Linda Hogan: Bader Rutter

Christian Braverman: Colliers International

Board Director
Suzanne Zwaska: US Bank

People + Performance Committee Chair

Sam Smith: Capri Senior Communities

Board Members

Maggie Beckley – Aurora Health Care

Barry Weatherall – Design Garage MKE

Suzanne Zwaska – U.S. Bank

Board Standing Committees

Events Committee

Marcus Taylor – Rockwell Automation, Chairperson
Stanthia Grier – US Bank
Susan Guma – Medical College of Wisconsin
Paige Hunt – Lead2Change, Inc.
Roshonda Jones – The Parenting Network
Joanna Rivas – Vision Forward
Dorinthia Robinson – Make Elevated Plans

Megan Roche – City of Milwaukee

African American Chamber of Commerce
Anon Charitable Trust
Bader Rutter
Cardinal Stritch University
The Commons, WI
Ebony Esthetics
Goodwill Industries of Southeastern WI
Greater Milwaukee Foundation
Innovative Fiber
Kohl Foundation
Kohls Hometown Giving
Marquette University Diederich College of Communications
Marquette University Education Opportunity Program – Talent Search
Milwaukee Public Schools Contract Compliance Services, Office of Accountability & Efficiency
Milwaukee Public schools Partnership for the Arts and Humanities
National Association of African American HR Professionals
Neo Soul Productions
Potawatomi Foundation
PumpFive Fuel Delivery
Rockwell Automation
Reasons for Hope MKE
Secure Futures
T.A.L.K. Publishing
Townsend Foundation
Union Pacific
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Helen Bader School of Social Welfare
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts
Department of Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres
Vibez Creative Arts Space
World Outreach Church