Marquette University Alumni Association Alumni National Awards Weekend
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Michele M. Bria, Arts ’90, Grad ’92

Michele BriaDr. Michele Bria is executive director of the Journey House, a community-based organization established in 1969 on Milwaukee’s near-south side.

Based on research identifying education as the most effective strategy to end generational poverty, Journey House provides a rigorous educational program coupled with workforce development that assists economically challenged youth to stay safe, finish high school and continue their education.

Journey House also provides GED in English and Spanish and English as a Second Language classes for adult learners so that parents can earn livable wages for their families. In addition, the organization runs youth leadership and Too Good for Drugs programs, as well as the largest inner-city soccer league in Milwaukee.

Journey House serves more than 4,600 children and adults at eight sites just across the 16th Street viaduct from Marquette. “It is almost as if I have never left campus,” says Michele. “Our incredible, culturally diverse neighborhood is a Milwaukee treasure. It is a vibrant community filled with hope.”

Michele considers Journey House a microcosm of Marquette University’s values of academic excellence and leadership through service.

“We help level the playing field to allow every person – regardless of circumstance or background – to have the opportunity to fully participate in a self-help program that can help take them to the next phase in their lives – even achieve the American Dream,” she says.

Michele has held several teaching positions and given numerous lectures, and is a member of many Milwaukee professional organizations. “I thank God daily for allowing me to lead Journey House,” she says. “I am incredibly blessed to work with the children and families there.”

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