Discover your hidden potential.
Learn. Teach. Educate.
Who We Are
We are a Career-Focused Human Development Company. We are a community of educators, designers, and innovators who are like-hearted in our passion to see individuals and communities grow, develop, and transform. MKEGrind's mission is to contribute to the design and creation of programs and trainings that take a human-centered approach to career development.
Click here to learn more about the Founders.
What We Do
We work with organizations, individuals, and partners to create programs that help people develop their passions and potential. We use futuristic and entrepreneurial strategies to design these unique programs.
Why Work With MKEGrind?
With over 15 years of experience developing community, higher education, and employability programs, MKEGrind understands the dynamics of creating effective programming for diverse populations.
We have expertise in urban education, program planning, working with vulnerable populations, career development, and social entrepreneurship.The human growth and development of individuals is at the heart of all we do--and we engage in continual research to ensure that the best, people-centered practices are being utilized.
We're a value-based company: we believe in treating others how we want to be treated.We're mobile: we will work alongside of you, on-site.We have innovative curriculum: we have designed curriculums that can be adapted to the needs of individual learners (teens or adults).We offer flexible pricing: we customize pricing based upon the needs of your organization.We use design thinking: we will help you find creative solutions, centered on what's most important--people.We focus on impact: we will help you design projects and programs to optimize impact and open new opportunities for funding.
Our Intro to Social Entrepreneurship
workshops are designed to help individuals develop the foundational skills necessary to becoming a social entrepreneur. Workshops can be requested separately and/or adapted for your organization’s unique needs.
This is a customizable 9-module course.
Intro to Freelancing Workshop
Our Intro to Freelancing Workshop series teaches learners about the basics of Freelancing. It will familiarize participants with the planning strategies that are necessary to prepare for the future of work.
This is a customizable 8-module course.
C3Exploration is an innovative program designed to help people Conceive a vision for their lives and
Connect them with resources that will help them Create a viable plan for reaching their dreams.
Through three program components, C3Exploration exposes individuals to the Exploration of a wide array of possible career pathways, culturally rich & diverse Experiences, and reflective personal Discovery excursions.
GrindBoard aims to provide youth with opportunities for:
Mentorship: Gaining insight about areas of career interest, by connecting with professionals already in the field.Jobs & Internships: Strengthening skills & learning through hands-on experience.Entrepreneurship: Learning what it takes to be an entrepreneur, directly from a start-up or small business owner.
Why Do People Love MKEGrind?
"MKEGrind has been instrumental to the improvement of the entrepreneurship unit of Teens Grow Greens. The curriculum helped the Teens breakdown the complex factors that go into making a product and the support and education provided by Sylvia and Thomas spurred the development of the skills needed to be successful.
Teens Grow Greens is a proud partner of MKEGrind because Sylvia and Thomas are able to model and teach what it means to be an entrepreneur in a way that is hands-on and accessible for teenagers."
Charlie Uihlein, Executive Director
Teens Grow Greens
"Kingdom Prep Lutheran High School has been working with MKEGrind to create a Career Development Program for the young men we'll be serving. Their high-level insights and expertise about career development and working within the urban context have been invaluable. MKEGrind has an innovative edge; along with a focus on whole-person development and passion that has been vitally important as we continue to build our career program plan.
Sylvia and Thomas have been so much more than just talented consultants for Kingdom Prep. They have enlightened our vision and inspired our teams to dream much bigger than what we thought was possible."
Kevin Festerling, Founding Leader
Kingdom Prep Lutheran High School
We believe that young people are our today, not just our tomorrow. There are a lot of pressures facing today's youth, as society changes much more rapidly than it did a generation ago. Many will say that schools are failing our young people...but as the old African Proverb states, "it takes a village to raise a child." The youth belong to all of us. Therefore, it is our responsibility to take leadership in coming alongside of them, to help them develop and grow into all they are created to be.
We also realize that many adults need development and growth--in order to live their best lives and better serve our young people. Therefore, we are dedicated to providing and creating educational programming and learning opportunities that help people discover their passions and hidden potential.
A portion of the proceeds from our workshops and programs goes toward providing learning opportunities for local youth who would, otherwise, not be able to afford our services.
We value people...their unique design...their ability to create.
We believe that each individual, pressing towards self-actualization, contributes to the optimization of resources that can eventually create a synergistically interacting community. In other words, the holistic development of people is what leads to the transformation of communities, systems, & society.
Therefore, we believe that career development should focus on strengthening the whole person.
Want to learn more about our workshops, programs, or partnership?
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About the Founders
Thomas and Sylvia were both born and raised in Milwaukee, WI--in the Sherman Park area of the city. It's funny because they often talk about similar things that they've experienced--attending Sherman Elementary, going to the neighborhood corner stores, even knowing some of the same kids. But, ironically, they didn't meet until their mid 20's. They both grew up in dysfunctional homes that struggled with poverty; and it greatly affected them both.
As a teen, Thomas fell into the street life and remained entangled in it for about 8 years. Sylvia kept her head stuck "in the books," chasing what she thought was a "successful" life. They met one fateful day in 2001, when Sylvia asked Thomas (a stranger, at the time) to attend church with her. As they say, the rest was history.
They worked alongside one another in youth ministry for many years. And even though they enjoyed it, something was missing. Thomas and Sylvia saw that the deeply-rooted needs of the youth were not really being addressed: the need for unrestricted and unconditional support, the need for the further development of life skills, the need for guidance in finding their passions, the need to uncover hidden potential, and the need for truly holistic development. Unfortunately, they didn't feel that they could comprehensively help to fulfill these needs within their roles as youth ministers. They felt called by God to create new and innovative approaches to helping young people develop--approaches that would be relevant and adaptable to the needs of those they would serve. This led to the birth of MKEGrind.
While engaging in continued research for MKEGrind over the past 4 years, Thomas and Sylvia have developed a keen sense of the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the changes that are rapidly occurring in the world of work. Their educational backgrounds, life experiences, expertise, and insights have created a unique foresight that has become a driving force in all they do. A growing understanding of advances in industry, technology, and society has fueled their passion to help grow and develop what matters most--people.
Thomas and Sylvia believe that societal change only happens when it is spurred by those who have accepted the challenge to live a life of personal transformation--committed to learning, developing, and growing mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and socially.
It is their hope that MKEGrind is used as an instrument to assist others in living committed to such transformation--because they believe that as the world becomes more technical, we as humanity need to sharpen and strengthen our greatest gift and asset: our individually unique human design.
In addition to MKEGrind, Thomas is a graphic designer and Sylvia is a part-time university instructor. They've been married close to 16 years and are blessed to be raising three men-in-training.
© 2018 MKEGrind