Milky Way Tech Hub Member Highlight Gestina Tiffany Howard, M.S.

Education Strategist and Steward

As the  Milky Way Tech Hub (MWTH) actively transforms Milwaukee into a tech hub that functions to spur economic inclusion and develop sustainable solutions around the racial wealth and achievement gaps in the city, we would like to take moments in time to recognize members of our tech hub who are helping us to create this magnificent ecosystem. 

This month we would like to highlight Milky Way Tech Hub member Gestina Tiffany Howard. Gestina has been an impactful supporter of the tech hub and its initiatives. Read more about Gestina below. 

Occupation:  Education Strategist & Steward

Current Location: Southeastern Wisconsin

MWTH Member since: I attended my first Milky Way Tech Hub Monthly Meetup January 30, 2021 and I became an official member February 2021.

Reason for joining the MWTH: I joined the Milky Way Tech Hub because my former Washington High School Computer Teacher, who I like to refer to as my unofficial mentor, Mr. Joe Kmoch, suggested that Nadiyah Johnson and the Milky Way Tech Hub’s tech business network would be impactful in my goal for creating my non-profit around supporting students with disabilities to develop sustainable employability skills and training through collaborative business partnerships, including the tech industry. 

Benefits of being a member: Mr. Kmoch’s foresight was spot on. One of the greatest benefits of being a member of the Milky Way Tech Hub is the talent and expertise of the members within this network. 

What are your aspirations for tech in MKE?: I see the growing tech ecosystem in Milwaukee as being a part of the catalyst that ushers in the momentum for businesses and community organizations to see our students with disabilities as assets within the community. Individuals like Nadiyah and other tech Milky Way Tech Hub members who have ties with local, state, and national tech companies can be instrumental with helping to connect our students with businesses, which can go a long way to building sustainable relationships that have tangible results-a greater number of skilled, credentialled, and employable students with disabilities going into the workforce.  

What do you love most about MKE?: What I love most about Milwaukee is that despite its residents’ struggles, its people still try to make her better. We know and have faith that with people willing to put in the work to make the necessary changes, she can be better than she was yesterday. You do not give up on the people you love. Similarly, if you love a place, you make it better. You help to improve it. Build on the things that make it great. Help change the things that diminish its value.

Short bio and pic: 

Gestina Howard is an Urbanist hailing from the Midwestern United States via Wisconsin. Having completed her studies surrounding poverty, underemployment, and low-community engagement’s impact on low-income and minority populations’ vulnerability to human trafficking, she returned to her hometown of Milwaukee to teach Special Education in both public and charter schools. Gestina is a proud Badger and Panther, as she received her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Master’s in Urban Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She also earned her Special Education Specialist credentials from Cardinal Stritch University. Gestina is an avid reader, movie-goer, world traveler, and fiercely believes that Buffy and Xena are two of the most culturally important figures of this century. She dares anyone to challenge her evidence. In June 2021, Gestina completed both an 18-Month Leadership Accelerator Fellowship and a Policy & Advocacy Equity Leaders Certificate, exemplifying her commitment to scholarship and her desire to remain knowledgeable and current about the most prominent issues and the proposed solutions to educational inequity, which continues to impede our students’ social and economic prosperity.

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