Nia: Pathways and Purpose for the Future – Kenosha County

Extracurricular career and college exploration program designed for African American youth in 8th-12th grade in Kenosha County

About Nia:

Nia is an extra-curricular program designed for 8th-12th grade youth in the Black community to explore their skills, interests, and options for after high school. Nia helps connect youth with the resources available to pursue their goals and dreams. While in Nia, youth have the opportunity to work with local mentors and learn about college, professional training, and work options in a fun, hands-on way before making a decision about their futures. Nia includes after-school programming, in-school programming, summer activities, and field trips around the county, state, and country!

Previous Nia Events:

March 16, 2023: Black History in Kenosha, 4:30-6:00pm
Meet with local leaders to learn about Black history in Kenosha and Black history-makers who have shaped our community. Explore how you can be a history-maker in your own life, career, and community! Darren Maddox, whose grandfather was the first Black man to buy a house in Kenosha, shares his family’s story and discusses Black history in our community. Professor Ed Schmitt of UW-Parkside brings historical documents used in his college course, “Researching Kenosha’s Black History” to review and discuss.

Kenosha Southwest Neighborhood Library, 7979 38th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53142
March 25, 2023: Educational Trip to Chicago: 8:00am-6:30pm
Join Nia as we head down to Chicago to explore the Museum of Science and Industry and the DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center. Meet at the Southwest Neighborhood Library at 8am and return home at 6:30pm. Lunch at a local Chicago restaurant and morning and evening snacks will be provided. Return this form to, an AAYI Lead at your school, or the Kenosha County Extension Office to attend. 
College, Career, and Leadership Opportunity Fair: Snowed Out and To Be Rescheduled
An opportunity for young people to connect with professional and leadership opportunities in the community. This includes, local colleges, employers, young professionals, and youth-serving institutions.
Kenosha Southwest Neighborhood Library, 7979 38th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53142

Check out the flyer linked here, and sign up here!

More About Nia:

A partnership between the Kenosha Public Library and UW-Madison Division of Extension, Nia brings together a collection of awesome local resources. Nia provides monthly programming after school that includes workshops with local leaders in the community, resume, job, and college application assistance, homework help, and career skill building. In addition to meeting every third Thursday, Nia hosts events, in-school programming, field trips around the state and country, and provides a collection of resources available to youth at any time. It is an adaptable program that changes depending on the ideas and needs of the youth involved. Building confidence, fostering community, and having fun are at the center.

“Nia” is a Swahili word meaning “purpose.” Nia is a program built on a philosophy of youth leadership and helping each youth find their purpose and a career that makes them happy, whatever they decide that may be. This is a program focused on and geared toward youth in the Black community. All youth of every background are welcome to join at any time.

Nia hosts programming from 4:30-6pm every third Thursday at Southwest Neighborhood Library. Nia also hosts regular field trips throughout Kenosha, to Milwaukee and Chicago, and all over the state and country to learn about college, careers, and culture!

Sign Up Today!

Sign up for Nia by filling out the form linked here and emailing, mailing, or dropping it off to Positive Youth Development Educator for Kenosha County, Erica Ness at, Extension Kenosha County, Kenosha County Center, 19600 – 75th Street, Suite 2 Bristol, WI 53104. You can also call Erica at 262-857-1934.

Nia in the News:
Read articles about Nia and past Nia events!

Thursday, January 19, 2023 4:30-6pm: Rest & Reset
Young people gather to relax after a busy week of exams with food and ice cream and the opportunity to play with therapy dogs, meditate, socialize, and create a vision board to plan for 2023 and beyond!
Kenosha Southwest Neighborhood Library, 7979 38th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53142

Thursday, August 4, 2022 and Thursday, August 11, 2022, 3:30-6pm: Use Your Voice! Workshop Series
Youth work with local mentors to develop their “personal pitches”, practice public speaking skills, work with video and audio production equipment, and learn about local government and how to participate in it.
Kenosha Southwest Neighborhood Library, 7979 38th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53142

Thursday, April 28 – Thursday, June 23, 2022, 3pm-6pm: Nia 2022 Spring and Summer Weekly Program
After-school and summer program for youth to explore career and higher educational options, develop skills, and identify interests.
Kenosha Southwest Neighborhood Library, 7979 38th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53142

Wednesday, April 20, 2022 and Thursday, April 21, 2022, 10am-2pm: Nia Spring Break Camp
Career exploration day camp for youth to use library resources to explore career ideas. 
Kenosha Southwest Neighborhood Library, 7979 38th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53142

Saturday, April 2, 2022 9:30am-4:30pm: Trip to Milwaukee Sherman Phoenix
Trip to Milwaukee, WI to meet with youth from Rock and Waukesha counties, explore Black-Owned Businesses, and discuss careers and community.
Pickup and Drop off at Kenosha Southwest Neighborhood Library, 7979 38th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53142


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