Escuela Verde Students Share a Different View of Milwaukee Neighborhoods

img_0248As part of this quarter’s advisory project, some Escuela Verde students have looked at their surrounding neighborhoods through the lens of Social Justice and Fair Distribution to understand the role of media in our perception of safety. With this in mind and after exploring multiple sources, students decided to prepare different forms of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) one of which was a take over of Escuela Verde’s blog to share different views about the South Side and Sherman Park neighborhoods in Milwaukee.

Enjoy and PLEASE share any comments you may have!

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The South Side’s Best Hidden Secret

by Shemari Robertson, 9th grade

In this post I want to talk about the different types of foods you can find in the south side of Milwaukee.

At first I thought the south side had just Mexican food but as I did some research I found out that I was wrong- the south side has all kinds of wonderful food and even more than the north side.

The south side has American, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and many more great types of food.The south side is great places to go eat for birthdays or other special occasions.

The foods on the south side to me is what brings the fun and joy to the community.

One restaurant I want to tell you about is Thai B.B.Q- Did you know they serve fried chicken there? It was actually better than the north side chicken places like K.F.C and what not. Thai B.B.Q has great food and they sell them for a great price and you will get a lot.

As I was eating there I looked around and everyone’s food and I thought to myself… I must have got the wrong food! It made me feel like trying new things.The people there were nice and they didn’t keep us waiting a long time either and the service there was much better than McDonald’s.

That is why I say if you’re in the area you should stop by and try the wonderful types of foods here in the South Side of Milwaukee.

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Auto Corrected Discrimination in Milwaukee

by Alejandro Arias, 10th grade


I was on google the other day and my advisor asked to look up information about the “south side” of Milwaukee. So I type it up and…

Just as I finish the last letter , Google auto fills the rest of my search to “places to avoid” and “crime rates”.

Upon clicking on one of the top hits…

I find a blog where people post questions about the neighborhoods in my city. According to this site, each of the major neighborhoods in Milwaukee can be reduced to a misinformed, discriminatory descriptor. It was all just really discriminatory things such as calling the entire Bayview area “gay” and honestly i can’t believe someone  would do something like that, I mean sure these are his opinions but that is a lot of generalization right there. I’m sure they probably don’t even know anyone there.

What I also think is upsetting is that just looking up Sherman Park gives you a related search of the worst neighborhoods in milwaukee and i think that’s just unfair.

Why do you think this is? What are we doing to feed this data to google? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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A Restaurant on the south side you should check out!

by Cristian Jimenez, 7th grade


Source: Article by Shepherd Express

La isla is the restaurant you should check out. It is a Puerto Rican restaurant. I like it a lot. The busiest time is around 12:00 in the afternoon.

They have traditional Puerto Rican fare but also vegetarian options too. They have lots of options to pick I recommend the stuffed potato it is a potato with ground beef in the middle.

Also, La Isla is safe. There are cameras everywhere so if there was any crime they would have videos of the crime. La Isla has never been robbed before.

La Isla has a three star rating on Yelp. According to this source 2 out of 5 people will not have a good time at la isla. However, the restaurant has been under new administration for 4 months and I had the opportunity to meet with the new owner who is very nice and is a good listener. The employees are really nice and good listeners too. La Isla has been open for five years.

I recommend checking it out.

La Isla address: 3500 w. National Ave.

Phone number:(414)882-7003

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An insider’s perspective of Milwaukee’s South Side

by Luna Carranza, 7th grade


My advisory this month was working on how the south side is being showed as a bad place on the news when we turn on the tv to news or the news we hear from other people. We also hear negative comments from people who want to visit the neighborhood- how they are scared because all they hear is bad things that happen. We are trying to show people how it’s not a bad place, as some sources make it look like.
I feel like there is violence everywhere in the world but, from living here, I think my neighborhood is safe.Yes, anything can happen but when I go to bed I sleep in peace and wake up in peace. Once in a while there’s a party next door or you hear the police pass by but Ive never seen anything serious- it could be that we are just staying ready for anything, just like other places .

I wonder what other people think in our neighborhood? What do people think when you talk about the south side?

This place is amazing don’t always focus on that bad little parts of it. I believe instead of judging this south side place why don’t we make it a better place .

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Help us send 10 students to Costa Rica in May 2017

We’re giving ten Escuela Verde students a bilingual, bicultural experience with an eight-day trip to Costa Rica. They’ll learn about sustainability efforts throughout the country, from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean, taking their new knowledge back home to make a difference in Milwaukee.

Below you’ll find out more about each student through their personal statements. To contribute, go to and make a tax-deductible donation between now and January 31, 2016.

Yamile Salgado

My name is Yamile Salgado and I am a student at Escuela Verde. This is my first year attending EV and so far it’s been pretty groovy. I’ve gained many great skills from my experiences at EV & developed a huge passion for nature. In the future I hope to become a wildlife expert & share my experiences with my friends and family.

I’ve only traveled once in an airplane and it was frightening. Going somewhere far from where you live can be a little nerve-wracking but I hope to travel a lot so I aim to get used to it. Traveling can be a great experience for the future and it would be super exciting to be able to travel with friends.

I know that there can be many problems that may come up but I will work hard to be prepared for them. Before the Costa Rica trip I will be going on a backpacking course for a month and I hope that will help me with any issues involving the hiking part of the trip. Reading over the things that we will be doing while in Costa Rica makes me thrilled and animated to put in effort into getting in. Especially being able to go zip lining! Over all the Escuela Verde 2017 Costa Rica trip might be a once in a lifetime type of thing that I would desire to take part in.

Joselyn Arreguin

My name is Joselyn Arreguin, and I attend 10th grade at Escuela Verde. I’m a latina originally born in Chicago, and I moved to Milwaukee when I was four years old. I am very passionate about Mexican culture and art!  I collaborated and took part in our art galleries here in Escuela Verde last year. Painting and drawing is a good way for me to express myself freely. I love everything about it. Even though I have so much to learn, I still manage to keep up. I consider myself a helpful, reliable, observant and independent person.

I hope I gain a lot of influence in this trip, meet a new perspective, and gain knowledge about Costa Rica. The activities that I would imagine us doing is going on hikes, visiting really interesting places, meeting new people, and witnessing a whole new environment. We may predict some challenges and feel overwhelmed at some point but with communication and an open mind we will get through those stressful moments. I set high expectations for myself and will continue to carry these expectations when working with this group.

Traveling for me would be the best gift to receive from Escuela Verde. I have always wanted to travel, meet new places and feel infinite! This is a huge opportunity that I am receiving from EV and I’m willing to commit and participate till the end of the trip. I would be very appreciative of any donations by anyone who is willing to help with our trip to Costa Rica. This is one of my dreams/goals in life and meeting this dream at a young age is rare.

Diana Diaz

My name is Diana Diaz. I am a 9th grader at Escuela Verde. I have been at Escuela Verde since 7th grade, and I plan to graduate from EV. I have always enjoyed EV because they let us work on the things we love doing and let us be very creative. I enjoy making others laugh and making them feel comfortable. I like meeting new people and learning about them. I’m very open about anything and it’s not hard for me to talk to someone. Once I meet them I make sure they don’t feel uncomfortable.  

I like skating! I also love traveling. My family and I always travel to Mexico. I am really looking forward to this Costa Rica trip.

I love exploring new places and experiencing new things: different types of foods, culture, and the surroundings. I travel a lot with my parents because they also experiencing new things and going back to where they grew up. I really enjoy it and love the weather especially, because it’s not the same as the weather where I live. I feel more relaxed and calm when I go to different places. The food is also different when I travel to mexico; I think it tastes more authentic than the food here in Milwaukee. The culture is also very different; it’s very open and welcoming. The people are great too – they’re very open, nice, and creative because they have nice surroundings. I am looking forward to this Costa Rica trip. I can’t wait to explore new things and see a different type of nature, foods and people.  I am ready for this trip!

Diya Noble

My name is Diya Noble, and I am a sophomore at Escuela Verde. I have been at EV since 7th grade, and plan to graduate from there as well. I am active in the school community, and participate in the Youth Activists and GSA workshops every quarter. In my free time, I write short stories and create art. A goal I have for the future is to become a published author.

I have always been interested in exploring the world. Because I have family in northern India, I’ve flown to the Himalayas twice since I was a kid. I love gaining new experiences and knowledge through traveling, trying local food, and meeting new people. I think that it’s important to be immersed in cultures that you didn’t grow up in, because this process gives you perspective on the world. I have never been to Central America or been in anything like a rainforest before, so I am thrilled about the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica next year.

Miyona Malone

My name is Miyona Malone, I am a sophomore attending Escuela Verde. This being my first year at Escuela Verde, I’ve decided EV is where I’d like to graduate. As a student I enjoy wellness, where my peers and I can enjoy the outdoors. Reading is also an interest of mine and I can enjoy doing so in reading groups.

I share many passions and interests both academic and recreational. As a student in high school, I enjoy math, reading, and English. As far as my future, I plan on acclaiming a degree in music and Biomedical engineering. When becoming a college student, my focus has been on attending John Hopkins University to pursue my Biomedical engineering degree and I would like to commit to the University of North Texas College of Music to receive a degree in music. In pastime, I enjoy volunteering at Luther Manor, a nursing home in my neighborhood, and attending Milwaukee Children’s Choir. I also revel in reading and playing volleyball to consume my time.

Having the opportunity to visit a completely different civilization is especially exciting because, one can learn about the lives and habitats of people, animals and the nature in Costa Rica. Hiking is a huge sector of what one will experience on this trip, as well as a large culture change, different lifestyles of teens in Costa Rica than my peers and I.   

Sara Lopez

My name is Sara Lopez, and I’m a student at Escuela Verde. It’s my first year at the school and I hope to stay here until I graduate in 2019. My favorite workshops currently are GSA and Youth Activists because I’m passionate about equal rights. My biggest life goals are to make a career in music and travel the world.

I think it’s exciting when you get an opportunity like this, to go out of the country and see things you’ve never seen before with the school. I’ve always wanted travel the world. Even as a kid I knew that I was going to travel and see things I’ve never seen. When I start my career in music, I hope to go on tours and things like that so I can see new places and to get a taste of it now would be an amazing experience. I also love knowing cultural things about different places. I think it’s interesting to think about what other people in different cultures do everyday that would be irregular to us.

When I heard that we’re going to go hiking and see how beautiful the country is, and go eat new foods, I was really excited because even now I get excited when I go to the Indian restaurant down the street from my house. But, one of the challenges I’m going to have when we go is the Spanish. I understand Spanish, but when I speak Spanish it has to be basic because I’ve spoken English for a majority of my life. Overall, I’m very excited about going to Costa Rica, seeing a new country, getting some extra experience, and getting a taste of my future in this trip.

Marlenny Vargas

My name is Marlenny Vargas and I am a freshman at Escuela Verde, I enjoy nature and camping. I am also a passionate activist for social justice, I feel very strong about the feminist movement and I spend time during school to talk about my opinions with my peers during Youth Activists and Girls Empowerment. I love cosmetics such as makeup but plan on becoming a surgeon in the future. Currently my goal is to graduate high school and attend short makeup lessons.

 I have not yet traveled out of the states, however I want to expand my horizons. I want to understand and experience new cultures, traditions, and nature. Nature has a great positive impact on my emotional being because it causes me to feel content and at peace. I also have dreamed of what it would feel to travel, to be able to meet and interact with people you wouldn’t even think of meeting, just because it’s such a different place and people have different styles and personalities. I know traveling may bring some challenges because of the different foods,  weather, languages, and customs and traditions.

Specifically, traveling to Costa Rica in 2017 makes me feel a little anxious, because I speak Spanish but the way it is spoken there it totally different, and it will be difficult to understand what people say. What makes me excited though is the food, culture, nature, hiking, and getting closer to my peers and advisors because building friendships is always something positive for someone’s life. I love water, and getting in the water mostly in hot weather like Costa Rica’s and visiting the Fortuna Waterfall and the Pacific Ocean would be perfect! Hopefully this trip will inspire others to go out and try to enjoy the amazing nature there is around the world.

Justice Grant

My name is Justice Grant. I’m a 15 year-old student at Escuela Verde and I’m in 10th grade. I’ve been a student at EV for two years now, and plan on doing my 11th and 12th grade years here. I’m into photography and computer animation, I love to take photos of  nature and the environment. I love to go to new places to take pictures and get a new perspective on the community and environment I’m in.

I base my travel and exploration on things and cultures that interest me, so I can learn more on that subject. I’m anxious about a trip to Costa Rica or a new place in general, but i’m excited of all the new knowledge it will bring. I’ve gone on a variety of trips but none out of the United States and to another country. I see myself embracing the area i’m in while being as in tune with it as possible and gaining a new perspective.

I’m excited for the journey we are taking and I’m trying to get in better shape for all the backpacking and hiking we’ll be doing on the trip. Also getting better equipment to take pictures of the adventure and to protect my camera and its accessories. The wildlife there is nothing like Wisconsin and I’m excited to see them.

Marysol Bermudes

I am a 17 year old Latina artist. I am currently a student at Escuela Verde. I have attended Escuela Verde for 3 years now. I love painting, spending time outside, fighting for social justice and trying new things! I enjoy traveling and getting out of my comfort zone. I love being a student at Escuela Verde because they give me support and encouragement to do the things I love. I am an aspiring artist and business owner.

I love traveling to new places – there is so much to discover! I want to travel and view life through a different perspective. Going to Costa Rica will definitely be a life changing experience! I want to learn about their culture, food, everything! I am very excited about seeing Costa Rica’s Rainforest. This will be our first ever international trip and I’m glad to be part of it.  I hope to gain inspiration for my art in Costa Rica.

Henry Colon-Vega

My name is Henry Colon-Vega and I go to Escuela Verde. I am in 10th grade, and this is my third year at EV. I expect to graduate in June 2018. Academically, I’m especially interested in Automobile Engineer and, am currently working on projects to develop my understanding of the field. I’m also involved in workshops like bilingual education, math, and Youth Activists. A goal I’m currently working on is to become a successful man in the future.

I like to travel and explore other places because it’s somewhere I have never been before and it’s something new. There are many things in this world I have never seen, especially other art, music, food, the way people, live, and their history. Also it’s different how other people live and the climate is different from Wisconsin. It’s challenging because there will be things I won’t know or understand, but I can also learn something new.

I am excited to be traveling to Costa Rica with Escuela Verde. This trip will be an opportunity for me to learn more about their history, art, music, food, the way they live, and the difference of the climate. I will also be able to personally challenge myself to learn more about their culture. I am looking forward to finding and buying things from Costa Rica and to be able to explain what I learned from the trip. I am ready for the challenge of Escuela Verde’s Study Abroad Program’s Costa Rica 2017 Trip.

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In what ways does creating a movement to gather and deliver goods to homeless, whilst gathering local skateboarders effect the point of view on homeless people and skaters in Milwaukee.


Problem Statement: According to The National Alliance to Help Homeless, there are around 6,000 homeless people in Milwaukee as of 2015. It’s common that they lack proper hygiene supplies or the adequate clothing to get them through the harsh Wisconsin winter.  Additionally, people often consider skateboarders as loiterers or vandals, and there’s overall a bad rep for both skaters and homeless, so I decided to tie my project around improving people’s perspective on both.

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Thesis Description: In an effort to improve people’s point of view on skateboaP1030134.JPGrders in Milwaukee, I gathered groups of skateboarders to host an events where we went on runs to deliver goods to homeless. This was in the form of care packages of hygiene and warm clothes in the fall and spring, that were collected over the span of a month. I also documented this by taking pictures and collecting data on how many
items we’ve given out. I shared this via social media to encourage a greater turnout. We will also be recording and editing our skate runs to make into a pretty neat video.

Methodology/Actions:  I will conduct a pre survey to see what people initially think about Milwaukee’s homeless and skating community, and see how they feel after the event. I tracked the amount of people at the event to see if there’s an increase in popularity, and interviewed people to see how they felt about making a positive impact to our community.

Community Impact: This project will impact how people feel about Milwaukee’s homeless population showing that all people deserve to be hygienic, regardless of their socioeconomic class. It will also change people’s perceptions of skaters by showing that they are not always up to no good, or loitering on private property.  Finally, it will address our school’s sustainability theme of Empathy, Gratitude and Hope by skateboarders are positive contributors to society. Overall, I hope this project will help people empathize for the homeless refrain from passing judgement.

Literature Sited:

Wisconsin’s State of Homelessness Annual Report:

The State of Homeless in America 2015:

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