Collab Lab 49: The Role(s) of Mentors

What becomes possible when students can see a bit of themselves in someone else?

The point of community-engaged learning isn’t simply to connect students and teachers to expertise. It’s an opportunity for students to find inspiration in the path someone else has taken, to build a network of relationships that can support a students as they pursue their dreams.  We’ll kick off our 7th season of Collab Labs with a focus on the roles mentors can play to support the work of both students and teachers. This is your chance to connect with K-12 colleagues from across the area, as well as community partners from higher ed, industry, and non-profits to share ideas and explore opportunities.  We look forward to seeing you there!


5:30 – 6:00 Grab something to eat and drink, say hello
6:00 – 6:15 Introductions
6:15 – 8:00 Let’s talk through some ideas
8:00 – 8:30 Share out and wrap up

Food and beverage will be provided. There is no charge for participation but space is limited!

Featured Participants

Among others, you’ll have a chance to talk with:

Kahina Cargile – Regional Manager, Microsoft TEALS
Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) is a Microsoft Philanthropies program that builds sustainable CS programs in high schools. TEALS focuses on serving students excluded from learning CS because of race, gender, or geography. TEALS helps teachers learn to teach CS by pairing them with industry volunteers and proven curricula, provide high school students with equitable access to computer science (CS) education, and create a pathway to economic opportunity. Kahina comes to TEALS from the “I Have A Dream” Foundation Milwaukee provides individualized social, emotional, and academic support to young people from low-income communities from kindergarten all the way through college, along with guaranteed tuition support.

Nate Deans Jr – Director of Black and Latino Male Achievement, Milwaukee Public Schools
The Department of Black and Latino Male Achievement (BLMA) was established in 2017 and focuses on supports specifically tailored to increase success for Black and Latino males in MPS. The important work of uplifting Black and Latino young men in MPS is grounded in three areas.

  • Improving culture, climate, and communication in MPS schools
  • Writing a positive narrative of our students’ successes and accomplishments
  • Connecting young men to teachers, mentors, and leaders with shared backgrounds who have achieved personal triumphs

Jamar Jones – Owner, Foureva Media
Jamar is a business owner, speaker, and author of the book, “Change Your Circle; Change Your Life.” He is a visionary who believes in leadership and subscribes to the notion that we can all connect in a relatable way. Foureva Media specializes in DEI recruitment strategies and employer branding to help companies improve employee engagement as well as find and retain diverse talent. In August, Foureva Media put on the Lead the Movement Business Conference at the Fiserv Forum. This conference supported the community and created collaborations with businesses and leaders to propel diversity initiatives using the power of entertainment. Jamar’s desire to surround himself with good people who challenge him to excel every day is what excites and empowers him. Jamar is proud to serve others as a beacon for excellence; his philosophies and intentional action have changed the landscape of his life and the lives of others.

Erik Lee – Senior Solutions Design Lead, Harley Davidson Motor Company; FIRST Robotics Mentor, Milwaukee Robotics Academy
Erik is a long term mentor for Riverside High School’s First Robotics team, and continues in that role with the Milwaukee Robotics Academy. The Milwaukee Robotics Academy is committed to supporting high-tech STEM education in under-served populations in the City of Milwaukee. It supports the Riverside High School First Robotics program as well as students and teams from several other Milwaukee schools.

LaNelle Ramey, M.A. – Executive Director, MENTOR Greater Milwaukee
MENTOR Greater Milwaukee (MGM) is an affiliate of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership. MGM is an advocate for the expansion of quality mentoring in Metro Milwaukee and a resource for mentors and mentoring initiatives county-wide. MGM will work collaboratively across sectors to support existing and emerging organizations that provide mentoring services to youth. LaNelle was one the founding Directors for the Department of Black and Latino Male Achievement for Milwaukee Public Schools. Prior to that, LaNelle spent 14 years working with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee serving in roles as Executive Branch Director, Area Director and Senior Director of Programs.

Dr. Michael Sevier – Chair for Servant-Leadership, MSOE
Michael is the new Pieper Family Foundation Endowed Chair for Servant-Leadership at Milwaukee School of Engineering and an assistant professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department. As the Servant Leadership Chair, he works to promote the characteristics of servant leadership philosophy in the MSOE community through student programming, faculty development, and project-based experiential learning opportunities.

Ben Trager – Interim Director, UWM Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research
UWM’s Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research (CCBLLR) partners with the community to inspire students, faculty, and staff to engage in activities that foster enduring personal and social change. At the CCBLLR, Ben directs the campus’s service learning portfolio of over 1,500 students each semester in 60+ courses, and supports the implementation of the internship programs, which provide community-based work opportunities for students.