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What is your story? How did you end up in Milwaukee? Ian Abston

I was born and raised in the suburbs of Milwaukee with easy accessibility to the city. After finishing my undergrad at UW-Madison and traveling abroad throughout Europe, I came back to Milwaukee for a job and to complete my graduate degree at UW-Milwaukee.

What keeps you in Milwaukee/What do you like best about Milwaukee?

Milwaukee is HOME and has a special place in my heart. I love that Milwaukee offers big city amenities (e.g. job opportunities, living spaces, universities, entertainment, bars and restaurants, festivals, the lakefront, and much more) on a smaller, more intimate scale. As a young professional, I love that Milwaukee allows people the ability to be a "big fish" in a "small pond".

Favorite spot in the city?

I love the lakefront; you are surrounded to the east by nature's beauty and to the west by the city's skyline.

Milwaukee festival you are eager to attend each year?

Summerfest

What drew you to Echelon?

The ability to join forces with some of Milwaukee's finest young professionals to actually turn words into action and make an impact in the community.

Share with us a memorable experience you have had thus far with the organization.

The Emergency Lodge Meangingful Makeover was eye-opening, witnessing first-hand the day-to-day struggles faced by all ages, races, ethnicities and genders within our community. I was touched by everyone's gratitude for the tangible and intangible items we provided that I am guilty of taking for granted.

What struggles do you see our city dealing with? What can our generation do to help?

It's no secret Milwaukee is one of the most segregated cities in America. Unfortunately, we face a number of other struggles as well including violence, homelessness, and hunger each and every day. Our generation is innovative and tech savvy. I hope that we can use our creativity and knowledge to bridge the gap between the thinkers and the doers and execute change.