The Woman in Charge Of The Cinderella Project Lisette Franco

Let’s welcome advocate for equality, and explorer Lisette Franco Founder and President of Gadzuric Foundation. If anyone knows how to fight it’s this woman right here. 

Ranisha: What is your background? What do you have a passion for?

Lisette: I am a daughter of Mexican immigrants. I spent most of my time at UCC where I worked from the ages of 14-22 I grew up on the south side of Milwaukee and graduated from Milwaukee High School of the Arts, where I studied dance. I then moved to Chicago to attend Columbia where I majored in dance. I later went to the University of Las Vegas where I received a degree in Anthropology, Sociology, and Psychology.  My main passion is my family, second to that is figuring out how to help people and communities.

Ranisha: How many paths did you take before you got to the one you’re on now?

Lisette: I always knew I wanted to create something where I would be able to positively affect the community I grew up in I just didn’t know how. I had several jobs and always had a passion for helping friends develop their small business ideas and helping them to influence and impact the community for a greater good.

Ranisha: What are some of your favorite cultural foods to eat? 

Lisette: Tacos! I love tacos and all Mexican food. My favorite restaurant in Milwaukee for Mexican is Guadalajara. I also love Caribbean food, Ethiopian and South American. I just love trying all types of cultural food, that is my favorite thing about traveling.

Ranisha: What do you do during a typical day? 

Lisette: I take my kids to school, go to yoga class, work on my Cinderella Project and whatever business I am working on at the time, pick the kids up, take them to soccer and track practice, make dinner and do it all over again! This is when I am not traveling.

Ranisha: Do you follow a planner or have a to-do list? What does your weekly routine look like? 

Lisette: Yes! I wouldn’t survive without planning my month. I usually print out a calendar each month to map out my travel and my kid’s schedules. In addition to that, I have a to-do list for the week. Since I work from home I can decide my own schedule I just have to make sure it all gets done.

Ranisha: Where are you from and where are you now? Is there anywhere in the world you would like to travel to? 

Lisette: I am from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and I currently live in Las Vegas, Nevada. I am still in Milwaukee around twice a month.

Ranisha: Do people expect you to have a certain personality trait because your man is Anthony Pettis a professional UFC fighter? Are you what ppl expect or the opposite? 

Lisette: I am not sure what people expect but I think whenever a woman is with someone who is sometimes in the spotlight they assume that she doesn’t have a life or an opinion. I think because of how I look or where I came from people assume that I am uneducated or shallow and I don’t have anything I am passionate about.

Ranisha: What do you like most about your style? 

Lisette: I like to mix things up. I am a huge fan of self-expression and I feel like one’s personal style is the best way to do that. I like so many street wear brands so I try to wear some of them in unexpected ways by making them look dressier or girly. My family owns a store in Milwaukee called Envisions where I get a lot of stuff. I like to mix inexpensive things with higher-end designer brands as well.

Ranisha: What kind of style do you have when you’re serving a community? 

Lisette: I usually dress casual with some cool sneakers. It’s usually hard work so you have to be able to carry things and move around well.

Ranisha: What are some of the needs in your underserved community have you identified? Was it easy to solve any of those problems? 

Lisette: I realized that girls attending prom are at a crucial age where they will make decisions that will affect the rest of their lives. They are deciding whether to have sex, have a baby, attend college, work, leave an abusive relationship or home, etc.  This is why I created a self-esteem workshop. I want them to leave our event feeling empowered and self-confident. If they are confident they will make better decisions, they will value themselves.

img_8025Ranisha: Amazing how your organization helped send over 1000 girls to prom. Sad to say I didn’t go to any of my proms. Do you see yourself hosting an adult prom? Of course, you’ll have a hot date. 

Lisette: I am so proud that Cinderella Project MKE has been able to help so many girls with this. I don’t think I will ever host an adult prom.

Ranisha: What kind of events do you like hosting?

Lisette: I love hosting fundraisers or events that impact the community or bring awareness to a problem. I think so many people want to help, they just don’t know how.

Ranisha: Are you working on any projects besides the Cinderella Project? Or is there something you have an idea for? 

Lisette: I am always working on several projects. Right now we are opening 3 new businesses and I am trying to figure out which country we will visit this summer and how we can give back while we are there.

Ranisha: Is there a word of advice you would say to those who find it hard to stay focused on their goals? 

Lisette: I want people, especially women to know that there is not always a clear path to achieving your goals. We have a lot of roles and we are capable of being a mom, boss, friend, and whatever else we want, we CAN do it ALL! Life is about balance, prioritizing what is important to you and then creating a life that reflects that.

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