Waukesha, Wisconsin



Waukesha, a four-time 100 Best winner, focuses on providing arts and leadership programs beyond the classroom for its young residents. Through the afterschool Community Art Project program, young people are encouraged to channel their energies in creative ways. This program provides a safe place for middle school students to go after school and encourages interaction with Waukesha’s downtown art community.  The United Way of Waukesha County also remains one of the community’s strongest youth support venues. The chapter currently has 33 agency partners with approximately 90 percent focused on youth services, such as Born Learning and the Helping Kids Succeed initiatives. Lead to Succeed encourages teens in Waukesha to help others by working with college students for local nonprofit organizations. Last year, more than 40 students completed more than 1,600 hours of service through the program. Through such dedicated efforts, Waukesha now graduates an impressive 97 percent of its students.

Community Programs

  • The Waukesha Youth Collaborative funds 9 youth programs that focus on outcome based programming and community needs.
  • Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin developed an LGBTQ Alliance program to promote consideration for youth and foster care adoptive parents, as well as social development groups for teen girls.
  • A Prevention Program from the Waukesha County Drug-Free Communities Coalition teaches elementary and middle school students about the dangers of substance abuse.  
  • The Waukesha Community Art Project provides a safe place for middle school students to enjoy art after school.
  • Lead to Succeed gives high school teens the chance to work alongside college students on service learning projects for local nonprofit organizations.

Youth Voices

One of the biggest draws to Waukesha County is our downtown area and art community. Every year it hosts five Art Crawls displaying the work of local artists and providing different activities for those attending.  As a result, the Art Crawls bring in a vast amount of people and promote creativity throughout the area.


I have a 6th grade sister who also attends Waukesha Community Art Project (WCAP). My parents work so we switch off who can go, so that one of us is always at home to greet my 5 year old sister when her babysitter drops her off. At WCAP you are free to express yourself all year round!