Our History & Future

For 46 years Pastor Joe Ellwanger and the board of MLK Scholarships Milwaukee (all of whom are volunteers) have worked to raise money to provide scholarships for students with demonstrated academic achievement but little or no money to pursue their dreams beyond high school. Many grant recipients are from families where no one has ever attended college.

The scholarships, while somewhat modest in amount ($2,000 in 2022), have a profound impact on the recipients and their lives. If you need to be convinced of that, please watch the video on this website (under the tab "From our leaders") by Pastor Teresa Thomas-Boyd, a past MLK Scholarships Milwaukee recipient who now serves on the board. Under that same tab watch the video by Pastor Joe Ellwanger. Since his days marching with Dr. King in Selma and Birmingham he has been a tireless champion working for racial equality and remains so at 88 years of age.

Why have the scholarships been modest in amount and numbers to date? The funds have been raised almost entirely from within the inner city of Milwaukee, from the churches and religious institutions nominating the students and from fundraising by the students themselves. That is the part that we need to pull together to change. This cause deserves support from all of Milwaukee, the remainder of the state of Wisconsin and beyond. 100% of your gift goes to the students.

"l can give a little, and you can give a little, and when we all come together that little becomes a lot."
-Pastor Teresa Thomas-Boyd
 Board Member
 Former MLK Scholarships Milwaukee grant recipient