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What is your story? How did you end up in Milwaukee? Rachel Idso

I was born and raised in Milwaukee and left for college. After college, I lived all over the country and finally in 2013 got the opportunity to move back to Milwaukee with my company!

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

Milwaukee has always held a special place in my heart. Everywhere else I have lived has been compared to Milwaukee (and never quite stacked up). The culture, atmosphere, and people are what keep me here. Milwaukee has this feel of home everywhere you go - from foodie restaurants to networking groups to volunteer opportunities to top-notch companies - there is a place for everyone.

Favorite spot in the city?

My favorite spot in the city is anywhere along the lakefront/on the beach!

Milwaukee festival you are eager to attend each year?

Summerfest is always a favorite of mine, but I love the smaller street festivals, too - like Bay View Days and Cedarburg’s Strawberry Festival.

What drew you to Echelon?

I was drawn to Echelon because of the combination of the young professional aspect and the mission behind The Salvation Army. There is a feeling you get in Echelon that you can and will make a difference in the city. The Echelon members are diverse and mission-focused, which is leading to a direct positive impact on our surroundings in Milwaukee.

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

Lots of memories and relationships have stemmed from being part of Echelon, but my favorite so far was bell ringing outside of the Public Market over the holiday season and having people stop, smile, donate, and share stories with me about how The Salvation Army has assisted them in their lifetime.

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

As much as I love our city, we aren’t perfect and there are struggles. Struggles such as homelessness and segregation. Our generation can help by being active, vocal, and focused on lifting one another up - by understanding that each of us has our own journey and we are called to serve in different ways. No matter how we serve and what we do, we will make a difference.