If you’re from Milwaukee then you know truly making it out of the city is an accomplishment within itself. The city is one of the worst—if not the worst—for the Black community, and yet Ammon Lyle defeated all odds. 12 siblings and he’s the only one to graduate from college. As a product of MPS (Milwaukee Public Schools), Ammon showed the city what a northside, MPS alumni can do, and that’s be a success.
“I never thought I would be in LA living this life,” he said. “It’s not real.”
Years ago, before the glamorous life in California, Ammon was back in Milwaukee working at a nonprofit: Usher’s New Look. In 1999, R&B singer Usher Raymond started a nonprofit to improve underprivileged kids lives. The nonprofit has New Look Youth in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, and Milwaukee.
Ammon traveled the country with New Look, training children in poverty on how to solve business and community problems. As he was learning how to problem solve as a leader, he was also learning more about life.
“A lot of our communities have the same problems,” and once he discovered this he then realized he couldn’t stay complacent. Coming from a city where gun violence is consistently on the news, Ammon knew he had to better himself if he ever wanted to help his community.
And, his hard work never went unnoticed. Through is work at New Look, Ammon was nominated and chosen as the first Usher Raymond IV-UNCF Scholar, and his life changed forever.
Ammon graduated from Howard University with honors in Finance, but he didn’t get there alone.
“It really took a community to raise me.”
His mother, the church, New Look, Rufus King High School and many other individuals and organizations helped shape Ammon into the successful Black man he is today.
Through his education, he’s worked in New York, Washington D.C., and now currently LA, but we’ll get to that later.
With Milwaukee being a city filled with disparities and education being at the top of the list, Ammon understood the importance of education, so he made it his number one priority, and it’s taken him to across the world. But, he knows back home not many kids have the support of a community behind them.
“We can do a better job at investing into certain schools,” specifically in the inner city, where Black and Brown children struggle the most—physically, mentally, emotionally and financially.
Not only does Ammon want to help solve the education crisis in Milwaukee, but he also wants to provide a platform for Black people to tell their stories, that’s ran and owned by Black people.
“There are so many stories that need to be told in our communities,” he said. “We are the influencers globally,” and providing a platform would only bring more greatness into the Black community.
Yes, he’s a producer, but what does that really mean? Well, he doesn’t just have one task, so I’ll give you a quick glance into the worklife of Ammon.
Ammon has hit it big and works for the Walt Disney Company where he’s in charge of talent contracts and royalties. He finds directors, screenwriters, actors and actresses, and then creates content for those individuals. He’s also responsible for securing funding.
But, let’s dig a little bit deeper.
In every movie, there’s a front-end deal and a back-end deal. The front-end is what actors/actresses get paid for being in the movie. Yet, once a movie makes over a certain amount of money, those actors/actresses are obligated to receive a percentage of that money. Ammon is in charge of that process and making sure money actually gets paid out.
And yes, he’s only 23.
This Black mogul sees the power he has and what he can do to help others. Ammon wants to recreate Black Wall Street because who wouldn’t want to walk down a street full of Black-owned businesses?
Through all of his success, and his future success to come, Ammon still has his Milwaukee area code (414). He’ll never forget his roots and he’ll never stop working towards a bigger picture by helping and inspiring others.
“It’s okay if you may not be where you want to be,” he said. “No matter what, you’ll be okay.”
According to Ammon, dream big, but make sure your talent matches. Work, work, work because dreams don’t sleep for anyone.
“Anything’s possible and my success has confirmed that.”