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WEA Trust Grant Supports Student Involvement and Creativity

Escuela Verde of Milwaukee Wins $3,000 Award for Student Mural

MILWAUKEEAs part of the 3rd Annual Local Spark Award, WEA Trust awarded Escuela Verde, a project-based school in Milwaukee, a $3,000 grant for student learning, involvement, and creativity.

Escuela Verde, a project based school in Milwaukee empowers their students to be a part of change, learn from others, and to be involved in the community. Isabel Castro, an Escuela Verde student, did just that as she submitted her proposal and spoke about her vision to create a mural in her community.

“This mural will focus on creating awareness of social/eco-justice issues that are happening in Milwaukee and globally,” wrote Castro. The Spark Award will also fund an art club field trip to the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.

 “This will be a chance for all of our artistic students to have the tools they need to empower themselves in the community,” said Castro. As a senior in high school, Castro is the youngest winner of the Local Spark award.

“I feel very honored that I’m your first high school student [to be awarded]—my school really tries hard to push all of the students to get out there in the world and follow their dreams and goals,” she said.

“We are excited and honored to be able to provide this grant for Wisconsin Municipalties,” said Jon Klett, the Trust’s Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Product Development. “I always look forward to reading all of the inspiring new proposals each year,” said Klett.

In partnership with League of Wisconsin Municipalities, WEA Trust created the Local Spark Award to recognize and reward innovation in Wisconsin’s cities and villages. This summer, WEA Trust received dozens of project proposals from around Wisconsin, which were reviewed by a panel of four judges:

Jerry Deschane – Executive Director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities

Dan Hill – Local Government Specialist at the UW-Extension

Terry Estness – Executive Director, Wauwatosa Chamber of Commerce

Steve Cummings – Mayor, City of Oshkosh and former Local Spark Award Winner


Escuela Verde was one of three Local Spark Award winners chosen by the selection committee. Other winners include the City of Waukesha for a city-wide art initiative and the City of Wausau for their River Rhythms Initiative. 



The WEA Trust provides group health insurance and administrative services to public employers throughout Wisconsin. The not-for-profit WEA Trust was created in 1970 to serve Wisconsin school district employees. Today, the WEA Trust offers its top-rated service and quality benefits to all state, county, and municipal groups.