Suburban teens are on a mission to boost Milwaukee schools

Edgar Mendez

Chandlar Strauss and Danielle “Dani” Fleming, a couple of 16-year-olds from the suburbs, might seem an unlikely pair to be so deeply invested in the educational outcomes of Milwaukee students.

But every Tuesday since the beginning of the school year, they’ve been hitting the halls of Milwaukee College Prep’s Lloyd Street Campus to tutor, and the two recently staged a fundraiser that brought in $30,000 to help them play their own small part in an ambitious effort.

“We want to close the educational gap that exists between the city and suburbs and build a relationship between the communities,” Strauss said.

Fleming, of Mequon, and Strauss, of Whitefish Bay, are lifelong friends who were side by side in hospital cribs when they were born.

The teens have now created Kids4Kids, an organization they hope will support efforts in Milwaukee to expand high-performing schools. The two are encouraging like-minded suburban teens to join their effort.

“We’re hoping to recruit students from Nicolet, Shorewood and other places to volunteer (tutor) at schools in Milwaukee,” Fleming said.

Their organization recently hosted a dance for high schoolers at Rail Hall in Walker’s Point that raised nearly $30,000 — with donations still coming in, Strauss said.