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.
Ranisha: 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.