Founder & President

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Jerel A. Ballard, 24, is a Weekday reporter and Weekend News Anchor/Producer for CBS WSAW7 and FOX WZAW. As Milwaukee native, Ballard has spent his young adult life advocating and serving his community through philanthropic engagement and leadership in the city. Since 2009, Ballard has made recommendations and determined the release of more than $200,000 for service projects impacting the Greater Milwaukee Area.

After graduating from Riverside University High School in 2013, Ballard enrolled at Columbia College Chicago for Broadcast Journalism where he, later on, was elected the first African American Student Government Association President on his campus. Knowing he represented over 10,000 students at one of the largest arts and communication College in the Midwest, Ballard continued to amplify the student’s voice city-wide by rebranding the entire structure of the student government. Under his administration, Ballard was appointed to the Illinois Board of Higher Education, Student Advisory Committee where he influenced legislation and educational policy that impacted students statewide. His notable achievements are now seen in the institution's five-year strategic plan, which includes opening a new dynamic, multi-million-dollar student center in spring of 2019.

Ballard was eventually offered a press internship with the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, where he prepared daily news digests for the mayor and other public officials throughout the city of Chicago. After working closely with the mayoral staffers in Chicago, Ballard accepted another internship with United States Senator, Richard "Dick" Durbin. In 2016, Ballard received a scholarship from the Fund for American Studies to intern on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Although this was a difficult decision to make, he resigned as student government president to intern with the Office of U.S. Senator Durbin on the hill.

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At the time, Senator Durbin was in a leadership position with the Senate; which enabled Ballard to become more equipped with his speechwriting skills. While studying Political Science at George Mason University, Ballard held a second internship as a Crisis Communication Research Analyst for the nationally recognized public relations firm, Kglobal. After his return to Milwaukee, Ballard interned with Mayor Tom Barrett and the Argosy Foundation while launching the Milwaukee's Finest Scholarship Foundation. The mission of his foundation is to encourage all students who have ambitions for higher education by providing an equal opportunity for financial assistance. To date, Ballard serves on the Board of Directors for Riverside University High School Foundation - one of the largest urban schools throughout the state.

Contact Jerel: 

jerel.ballard@mfsf.org