It's AmeriCorps VISTA week! Meet LaQuan!

LaQuan McMahan, an AmeriCorps VISTA member and recent graduate of Marquette University, serves at Milwaukee Succeeds as a Data Management & Research Support Coordinator. In this role, LaQuan supports research efforts that pertain to local, regional, state and national bright spots, along with collaborative data management opportunities and pilot project evaluation. During his first few months, the partnership’s Data Council identified a need to update data visualization on the Milwaukee Succeeds website. Milwaukee Succeeds, as a collective impact partnership, depends on updated and accurate data to drive collective decision making. Data visualization was recognized as an important tool for networks partners to inform their work moving forward. LaQuan worked closely with Milwaukee Succeeds’ Impact Manager, Lorna, to collect, aggregate and wrestle with a massive amount of data points across several core indicators. As a result, they created interactive online graphs that users can use to look at city and statewide data, disaggregated data based on race, economic status and other categories, along with information about how the data sets are collected and why. This project is important, because it makes data more accessible. Data needs to be easily accessed and understood in order for collective impact to truly make data-driven decisions. What's coming up for LaQuan? He will be researching mathematics educators’ decision making process, continuing the success centered around FAFSA completion in the city, and an interactive map outlining disparities in at-risk zip codes and narratives to support the data.

A little bit more about LaQuan:

What is your favorite noodle shape?

Penne, because it’s a versatile noodle that comes in multiple sizes.

What is your spirit plant?

Lavender because of its calming and relaxing qualities.

Who inspires you?

It’s hard to say because there are different flavors and opportunities for inspiration. I tend to be inspired by leaders of the past (Ida B. Wells & Malcolm X) and Leaders of Today (Michelle Obama, Chancelor Johnathan Bennett (Chance the Rapper). And in terms of what inspires me: The journey of overcoming adversity as a minority.

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