Milwaukee man has spent 20 years helping make his neighborhood a positive place
Photo: Video by tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE - A man has spent 20 years trying to bring positive changes to struggling families and youth in Milwaukee, and in the process has helped raise millions of dollars for local families in need.
The Clarke Square Neighborhood is one of the most historic and diverse areas in Milwaukee. Over the years, the area has faced a number of challenges.
Clarke Square is located near the Menomonee Valley, Miller Park and the Mitchell Park Domes. It's an area rich in history. Ramon Candelaria is executive director of the Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative.
"It's important to me because I am from Clarke Square," he said. "I grew up here, I was raised here and there's so much positive and innovative in this neighborhood. If we don't discover it if we don't work with it, society loses out.
"We all have something to give," he adds. "People say, I don't have much. Well you give what you have, and if it's time, expertise, talent, you can give that and make this neighborhood better."
Candelaria understands the temptations of the streets. He admits that positive forces helped him stay on the right course.
"The one thing I did find was a group of fellows in the neighborhood who said, 'I care about you and I will do what I can to help you,'" he explained. "They sheltered me away from the real serious negative stuff that I could have gotten involved with."
And Candelaria is on a mission to serve others, promoting dignity and peace. He's a beacon of hope for thousands, reminding them that the past does not have to define the future.