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Never Miss a Chance to Do the Most Good

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

Milwaukee was never a location that was on my radar until a few years ago. A series of events in my personal lead me to spend just about a year getting to know the city and in the fall of 2016, I decided to make the change. It was one of those times in your life when everything (job, place to live, and most importantly the timing all fell into place). I made the move on Thanksgiving day of 2016 and have not looked back since!

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

I don’t think there is just one thing that keeps me here. Milwaukee has becoming my adopted home. We have everything that larger city has in terms of sports, music, and cultural attractions, but we haven’t lost our identity. There is a culture here that is intrinsic, original, and innovative. Milwaukee is a city that is embracing it’s challenges and still providing nods to its history. Plus- cheese. The cheese here is great.

Favorite spot in the city?

This is a tough call- I would say it’s a three way tie between Miller Park on game day, The Bradley Family Gallery at the Milwaukee Museum of Art, and Third ward on a Saturday Morning probably having a bloody mary.

Milwaukee festival you are eager to attend each year?

Only being here a year, I have a lot more to experience on my Milwaukee Bucket list. I know that in 2018 there will definitely be a return visit to both Summerfest and the Wisconsin State Fair. I also have a lot of German Heritage and while I didn’t make it this year. German Fest is a must do for next summer. Can anyone say schnitzel?

What drew you to Echelon?

My mom always used to tell me we become the people that we surround ourselves with. The older I get the more this is true. I had the privilege of meeting a few Echelon members, and they reminded me of the friends I had made before I moved here. So I would definitely have to say the people.

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

I think the best memories are still in the making.

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

I think there is a lot of talk about Milwaukee challenged with segregation, but beyond that there needs to be focus in our city on integration. We have so many great cultural, philanthropic, and lifestyle assets. How do we get make sure that these are deployed where they are needed? How do we provide resources to those that are most in need? That the new development happening flows out into the neighborhoods that need it most and make sure that we are not simply gentrifying neighborhoods and pushing problems further out into other areas? These are questions that our generation will all have to answer. It is going to be up to us to look at people as individuals and not as race or gender and too look at everyone as an equal. Realizing that had our own circumstance been just a little bit different, we would have likely found ourselves in an entirely different scenario.