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 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 global 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 2011, the Youth in Service Fund transitioned to Lead2Change, a career-readiness non-profit organization. Since 2011, Lead2Change has empowered more than 500 young adults, ages 16 to 24 years old, to be catalysts for change in their communities through interactive career-readiness classes, professional development workshops and paid internships.
Dionne Grayson, Executive Director
Dionne Grayson is a visionary leader committed to helping youth and young adults discover their purpose, believe in their potential, and boldly pursue their dreams. Serving as Executive director of Lead2Change, Mrs. Grayson, along with 22 youth, co-founded Lead2Change. To date, nearly 1,000 young people have successfully completed this program.
With a career spanning more than 25 years, Dionne has earned many accolades; in 2017, she was named a Woman of Influence by The Milwaukee Business Journal. In 2018, Mrs. Grayson was recognized as a Leading Woman in Business by O, The Oprah Magazine. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is the title “mentor,” given to her by small business owners and young people across the country.
Mrs. Grayson received her undergraduate degree in Clinical Psychology from Alverno College and a graduate degree in Social Work Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She resides in Milwaukee with her husband Vern.
Board of Directors
Marcus Taylor – Rockwell Automation
Linda Hogan – Bader Rutter
Christian Braverman, Colliers International
Kristiyan Trukov – R.W. Baird
People and Performance Committee Chair
Anna Oakes, Oakes Co.
Leo Ries, LISC (Retired)
Board Co-Chair and Program and Community Engagement Committee Chair
Megan Roche, City of New Berlin
Suzanne Zwaska, US Bank
Board Standing Committees
Kristiyan Trukov, Chair
Linda Hogan, Chair
People + Performance (P2)
Anna Oakes, Chair
Program and Community Engagement
Megan Roche, Chair
Dionne Grayson: Executive Director
Amanda Aliparta: Fund Development Consultant
Cheryl McMurtry: Accountant
Brittany Nash: Marketing & Communications Consultant
Norm Smaglik: Accounting Administrator
Leslie Zingapan: Executive Assistant
Bryan D. Evans, Sr.: Lead Brick by Brick Instructor
Kofi Abaidoo: Brick by Brick Instructor
Kinen Fleming: Brick by Brick Instructor
Katherine Polace: Lead Career Advancement Coach
Mia Valenzuela: Career Advancement Coach
Cheri Hegwood: Career Advancement Coach
Paige Hunt: Interact Coordinator
Donia Abu-Saif: Career Advancement Coach
Anon Charitable Trust
Cardinal Stritch University
The Commons, WI
Goodwill Industries of Southeastern WI
Greater Milwaukee Foundation
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
PumpFive Fuel Delivery
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