By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Jul 27, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Milwaukee Ald. Ashanti Hamilton and MPS Superintendent Dr. Gregory Thornton host today's culmination ceremony for the inaugural class of young men who participated in the Be the Change program.

The event, at 5:30 p.m. in the City Hall rotunda, is open to the public.

The five-week program was launched earlier this summer to teach literacy, leadership and life skills to 72 kids from the city, who met four days each week at Washington High School, where they studied and were mentored.

"I'm so proud to see how the community came together and offered up their knowledge, passion and commitment to create this opportunity for our students. Recognizing the students' dedication and work is an incredible reward for us all," Hamilton said in a statement.

"Now the work begins. The core of the program is to follow these students through their school year and to make ourselves and other resources available to them through continued mentoring and opportunities to stay on track."