88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Milwaukee fifteen-year-old takes on big city issues

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88Nine Radio Milwaukee
Meet future leader Erica Lofton

Erica Lofton might not be able to drive quite yet, but that hasn’t stopped her from being one busy fifteen-year-old.

“Well let’s see here… I write songs, I play basketball, and I’m in track. So I keep myself pretty busy,” Erica laughs, still in sweatpants and a jersey from the morning’s basketball practice.

But when it comes to occupying her time, sports and music come secondary to her real passion, which, as only a sophomore in high school, she’s truly embraced: politics.

The community needs more youth leaders... we're the future. If we become leaders now, just imagine how bright our future will be.

“My dad sparked a little interest in me a few years ago because he’s into politics. And so is my mom. And I really wanted to push female leadership forward because we just see so little of it on television and in the media.”

Lofton’s push began eight years ago, and the desire led to starting her first charity, Girls in Action. Girls in Action helps improve self-esteem and communication skills in young women- really encouraging them to take on leadership positions.

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And yes…. if you do the math, that means at only seven years old, Erica was already the CEO of her own nonprofit.

Today, as a sophomore at the University School of Milwaukee, Erica continues to speak out on this topic – but this time, she’s doing it on an even higher level. For the second year in a row, Erica has been the 2nd Aldermanic District Representative, working with Milwaukee’s Youth Council,

“We meet every other Wednesday and discuss different things going on in the community… it’s really cool, every time I pass by City Hall I’m like, ‘I work there! I do stuff there! I’m important!'”

Erica featured in the November issue of M Magazine.

Erica featured in the November issue of M Magazine.

But ‘important’ is really an understatement. In fact, the Milwaukee’s Youth Council has spoken out and helped promote public safety in Milwaukee, diversity and more – Erica herself even just put out a statement regarding bullying.

And what’s next for this young leader?

Along with continuing her work with Milwaukee Youth Council and Girls in Action, she says, “I’m so ready to drive!” and continues to push for strong female, as well as youth, leadership in our city,

“I feel like the community needs more youth leaders because we’re the future. If we become leaders now, just image how bright our future can be.”

For more on Erica, Milwaukee Youth Council and Girls in Action, you can visit them online and on Facebook. For more of Erica’s interview, check out the audio player above.