Leif Elsmo: Putting All the Pieces Together

Leif Elsmo grew up in Racine, Wisconsin. He was completing a degree in political science and philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and working at a shoe store when he got involved in Public Allies Milwaukee and became one of the first Allies at that site. He served at the Mid-Town Neighborhood Association, working on economic development and job placement in one of Milwaukee's poorest African American neighborhoods.

Leif made a big difference and built strong relationships in Mid-Town, which was not easy. Several fellow Allies had warned him about the neighborhood.

“Some people in the neighborhood were angry,” he says now, “and had a right to ...

Get Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.