The Making a Difference (MAD) Initiative was established to bridge the gap between our business strategy and our philanthropic goals. The concept was originally tested with a limited number of investors in benefit of Lifesong for Orphans, of which our CEO, Tim Wallen, serves on the board of. Since 2017, the MAD Initiative has generated over $120,000 to Lifesong and we decided to expand our efforts to benefit organizations in our local community. Our additional six organization partners are faith-based and/or focus on youth education and were selected based on our employee engagement within them.
St. Augustine Preparatory Academy (Aug Prep) is a K4-12 nondenominational Christian school with a mission to develop their students to be leaders known by their strength, character, courage, intellect, impactful contributions, and their faith. Aug Prep was founded by the Ramirez family, who committed to investing in high-quality education on the southside of Milwaukee. Launched in 2017 with 590 students, Aug Prep has grown to serve more than 1,500 students today, with waitlists in almost every grade.
Currently, 96% of Aug Prep students are Hispanic or black, coming from 42 zip codes across the City of Milwaukee. 87% come from low-income backgrounds and 99% are eligible for the Milwaukee or Wisconsin Choice funding programs. That means that state funds can be used to pay for the cost of children from low-income families to attend, at no charge, at private schools located in the City of Milwaukee. As such, this presents a gap in funding for the school. Aug Prep commits at least $2,500 to every student, above any state reimbursement and their funds go to good use. An Aug Prep education not only provides students excellence in academics but also classes and extracurriculars within the arts, athletics and STEM, pre-college and career programming including over 117 partnerships, and supports for students and families including a team of social workers and strategic partnerships to support Aug Prep families. And they are growing. Their most recent development will be the school’s new campus opening in 2023, which is slated to hold an additional 40 classrooms allow Aug Prep to ultimately serve 2,400 students.
“We cannot do this work alone. Partnerships with MLG and so many others empower Aug Prep and our students to open the doors to opportunity and their future. Their potential – and the potential impact on our community and world is limitless,” shared school president, Abby Andrietsch. (Above.) As a partner through the MAD Initiative, we’ve been able to witness Aug Prep’s commitment to their students. We’re also able to be an active participant, as our employees have volunteered for Career Day events or as guest panelists in Aug Prep’s senior portfolio presentations. The effort and care exhibited by Aug Prep to its scholars is evident and the results speak for themselves: over $8.5 million of scholarships were awarded to its 2022 senior class.
Your contribution to the MAD Initiative can help Aug Prep further its mission to provide quality education for every student, regardless of background. If you’re interested in impact investing or learning more, you can speak with a member of our team.
Jade Hendricks is an AVP of Investor Operations at MLG Capital, with a background in Wealth Management and Wealth Education. She’s a financial literacy advocate, gym enthusiast and lover of all things coffee. If you’re an accredited investor, invest with us.
The Charity is the beneficiary of the investor/donor’s investment in the applicable MLG Private Fund and subsequent donations under the MAD Initiative. This is not, and will not be, an offering of the Charity receiving the donation. The investor/donor’s ability to use charitable contributions as deductions against other income is dependent upon applicable income tax laws as well as the investor/donor’s personal tax situation. The investor/donor should consult with his, her or its own tax advisor regarding the income tax consequences of investing in the MLG Private Funds and the MAD Initiative.