July 3, 2015
Each year, United Way's Emerging Leaders
honor five community leaders for their commitment to the community through their Philanthropic Five awards
The awards recognize five community leaders in their 20s, 30s and 40s who give, advocate and volunteer for change. Meet the 2015 Award Winners: Rachael Hughes, Leah Jepson, Jasmine Johnson, Neil Kiekhofer & Deanna Singh.
“Rachael has impeccable work ethic, great energy and an unprecedented passion for the betterment of the Milwaukee Community.”
Rachael is a true advocate for women and children in Milwaukee County. As President of WGIRLS Milwaukee, an organization dedicated to fundraising and promoting advocacy for nonprofits who work with disadvantaged women and children, Rachael has raised over $250,000 to support 40 local nonprofits who serve this demographic. Rachael is also passionate about being a mentor to other young professionals. She has been a Big Sister for five years and is also a member of United Way LINC, our young professional group.
“Leah is a crusader and leader for the improvement of child and family well-being in Milwaukee.”
Leah is a humble leader who has worked tirelessly advocating for the health and well-being of youth in our community. As a trained Masters-level social worker, Leah chaired Health Watch Milwaukee, an organization devoted to improving health care coverage for children and families. She also led Milwaukee's Project LAUNCH, a city-wide coalition aimed at fostering the healthy development of children birth through age 8. Her work through Project LAUNCH informed her leadership role in the Parent Education and Support Network within Milwaukee Succeeds, the broad-based, communitywide collaboration that aims to improve educational outcomes for every child in Milwaukee, in every school, from cradle to career. Leah currently directs the Family and School Services department at SET Ministry, Inc., a trauma-informed non-profit leading individuals to self-sufficiency.
“Jasmine is a fierce champion for diversity who is determined to make Milwaukee a place where all young people can live, work and play.”
Jasmine is always advocating for women and youth in Milwaukee. She has volunteered countless hours to the YMCA’s Black Achievers program and is Chair of ONE MKE, an organization whose mission is to transform leadership and relationships in order to foster and retain a diverse pipeline of talent and improve cultural competence within the city of Milwaukee. She is also the co-founder of 29Eleven, an organization that creates marketing initiatives that help drive awareness on a variety of issues. Her Kiss Domestic Violence Goodbye event raises funds and advocates for domestic violence. Jasmine’s annual event Fight like a Girl has helped raise money to support local cancer organizations for advocacy and awareness for prevention and early detection of cancers within the most disparate communities.
“Neil's dedication to bringing up a generation who give freely of their time and talents is just one of the things that make him special and precious to our community.”
Neil is wholeheartedly a man of compassion. As owner of Front Room Photography, Neil has donated his time and talents to bring quality photography to local non-profits including United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. Through his creative lens, he’s able to tell beautiful stories of people making a difference across our community. His studio also hosts Charity Days’ which helps raise money for a variety of nonprofits. In addition to his work with nonprofits, Neil and his wife also volunteer with their twin girls to help teach them about giving back to the community.
“Deanna consistently looks for ways to advocate for indivduals whose voices often go unheard.”
Deanna is a driven leader who spends most of her days advocating for others. As the Executive Director of the Burke Foundation, she is committed to urban education and youth development. She also dedicates her personal time helping other nonprofits, like Meta House, succeed. Recently, Deanna held a fundraiser that funded start-up costs for Shorewood House, Meta House’s newest residential treatment center. Deanna also believes in instilling that act of giving in her two children. Her 6-year old son, Zephaniah, raised over $1,000 selling lemonade and donated it to a Milwaukee teacher and a group of women from India looking to start their own business, which he and Deanna were connected to through DonorsChoose.org and Kiva, and also sold his artwork to benefit the Milwaukee Art Museum.
Join us in celebrating the winners on August 11, 2015 at the Philanthropic 5 Awards.
Meet our inaugural Philanthropic Youth Award Winner.