Who We Are

Meet The People!

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 generational trauma, 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 and young adults 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 7 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.
They've been married close to 20 years and are blessed to be raising four men-in-training.

 

Dr. Sylvia Wilson (Co-founder/CEO)

Specialties: 

Program Design/Development, Urban Education, Human Development, Transformation, Systems Thinking, Facilitation, Community Building, Social Impact, Writing, Learning, Research, Critical Analysis, Long-windedness

 

Exploring: 

Herbalism, Ethnic Seasonings, Psychotherapeutic Practices, Farming, Nature-Based Curriculum Development, Neurodiversities

 

Thomas Wilson (Co-founder/Creative Director)

Specialties:

Visual Design, Brand Design, Creative Strategy, Web Design, Innovation, Business Development, Tech Futurist, Project Management, Overthinking, Pattern Recognition, Humor

 

Exploring: 

Machine Learning & AI, Culture, Future of Work, Cooking, Homeschooling, Afro Futurism, Organic Growing, Community Building

 

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 break down 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