Our featured student entrepreneur of the month of June is Crissi Bates, Founder of Jackson House Milwaukee Incorporated, and UWM senior studying Biomedical Science. Get to know more about Crissi and her business, Jackson House, in her interview with Nicole Powley, Program Manager at the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center.
Nicole Powley (NP): What is your business? What was your inspiration?
Crissi Bates (CB): Jackson House Milwaukee Incorporated is my business, we actually are a nonprofit. We give back to the homeless community in Milwaukee. We are here to change the narrative and people’s lives. My inspiration was my life as a kid while growing up in the foster care system.
NP: How has Jackson House been navigating COVID-19?
CB: We put safety first. We miss and enjoy interacting with the public and so this situation has been hard. We take safety seriously and safety comes first. We have been doing drop offs and hosting online and phone conversations. We recently got a large donation of masks and still have a large inventory to give away.
NP: Jackson House has been vital to the community, especially now. What is the best way people can support you?
CB: Of course, when we have events, volunteer. And donations on our website. We accept money but also nonperishable food items and clothes. Anything helps and it’s appreciated!
NP: You are one of the most generous, kind, and compassionate people I know. Your life has been no short of challenges and I am curious, how do you keep human connection at the core of your values?
CB: You know, I am just one of those people. I don’t let my past life or struggles bring me down. I’m really trying to be the opposite of those experiences. My main goal is to educate my community about leadership and letting them know they have a voice and they are being heard.
NP: Is there anything else you want to share?
CB: Yes, an excerpt from my favorite poem:
“You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.”
– Maya Angelou – Still I Rise
Crissi Bates is an innovator and entrepreneur that has inspired everyone at the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center with her work, and her unwavering compassion, generosity, and kindness. Click here to learn more about Jackson House, and to help support Crissi’s business.