Before he was a judge, pastor, criminal justice reformer and community leader in Dane County, Wisconsin, Everett Mitchell was a good high school student who had his mind set on getting promoted to assistant manager at the grocery store where he worked. It took mentors, counselors, friends and family who believed in him and a housing system at UW–Madison that was flexible when he came on hard times to enable Everett Mitchell (J.D. '10) to unlock his potential and become the community leader he is today. His is a story of determination and perseverance that he hopes will help others learn to believe in their potential and work for their dreams. “There are individuals that are running around us, living around us, that are diamonds in the rough. It's up to us to see them for who they are, or most importantly, see them for what they can become.”
This is the second of a series of short films titled “Why I Love UW,” created by award-winning filmmaker Alex Miranda Cruz of Bravebird, and produced by the UW–Madison Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement. The films, which were commissioned in the spring of 2019, feature the voices of diverse alumni describing in their own words of how UW–Madison changed their lives.