Mike Fitzpatrick became a mentor in 1997 and played an instrumental role in launching our mentoring program at Community High School in 1998. This year Mike will be celebrating his 17th year as a Winning Futures Mentor. Above and beyond his mentoring, Mike also serves numerous volunteer roles within the Winning Futures Program. He is a financial sponsor, a coach to new mentors, gives annual hands-on career tours of his manufacturing facility for hundreds of students, as well as provides job shadowing opportunities to the alternative high school students to earn credit toward gradation.
Rob Otto and Ken Elkins are guest on Detroit Public Television’s American Graduate Community Town Hall to Discuss Solutions to the Dropout Crisis
The American Graduate Community Town Hall brings together Metro Detroit nonprofit leaders, parents, students and educators in a town hall setting to share ideas and solutions to the dropout crisis. Moderated by Christy McDonald, the Town Hall will be broadcast locally on February 27th and available online for on-demand viewing.
“This Town Hall continues our commitment to working with our community to use the power of public television to take important steps toward solving the most important issues in and around Metro Detroit,” said Rich Homberg, president and CEO of Detroit Public Television. “We hope families and educators will watch and learn about how schools are working to combat the dropout crisis with innovative thinking and action.”
Detroit Public TV is working closely with the PBS NewsHour on production of the town hall, which is one of many community town halls being held around the nation including Nine Network in Saint Louis, MO; WHRO in Norfolk, VA; WTTW in Chicago, IL; WFYI in Indianapolis, IN; PBS SoCal in Los Angeles, CA; New Mexico PBS in Albuquerque, NM; WHUT in Washington, DC; WNPT in Nashville, TN; CET in Cincinnati, OH; WFSU in Tallahassee, FL; and WNET in New York, NY.
About American Graduate
American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen is helping local communities identify and implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis. American Graduate demonstrates public media’s commitment to education and its deep roots in every community it serves. Beyond providing programming that educates, informs, and inspires public radio and television stations — locally owned and operated — are important resources in helping to address critical issues, such as the dropout rate. In addition to national programming, more than 75 public radio and television stations in 33 states have launched on-the-ground efforts working with community and at risk youth to keep students on-track to high school graduation. More than 1000 partnerships have been formed locally through American Graduate, and CPB is working with Alma and Colin Powell’s America’s Promise Alliance and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Winning Futures, held its premier fundraiser – the sixth annual Corks and Forks – on Saturday, February 8, 2014. The exclusive event held at the Reserve at Big Rock Chop House in Birmingham, Michigan, featured over 40 different wines made available from PRP Wine International. Over 350 Corks and Forks patrons sampled a variety of unique wines, martinis and enjoyed a gourmet buffet. The event raised close to $35,000 to benefit Winning Futures’ youth development and scholarship programs.
Winning Futures also presented its inaugural Sam Cupp Impact Awards. These awards celebrate the life and vision of Winning Futures’ late founder Sam Cupp. The presentation recognizes a business man and woman who has impacted their community through charity work, education, or creating opportunities for individuals to have their own business.
To see more images from this unbelievable evening click event photos.
In the fall of 1995, Sam assembled a team of outstanding educators from Warren Mott High School who were passionate about student development and shared Sam’s vision. With the dedicated assistance of Dominic LaRosa, Marilyn Haley, and Richard King the program took flight. That year 13 Scholarships were awarded totaling $52,000. The newly founded program was also recognized by Governor Englers 1995 Distinguished Business-Industry Community Service Award and the Michigan Education Association “Exemplary Selection” Showcasing Public Success.
The Winning Futures mentoring program was launched at Warren Mott High School in 1994 with 50 marketing students and recognized for its unique scholarship program by the United States Secretary of Education, Richard E. Riley. That year, a bright eyed, ambition senior by the name of Kristina Sobczynski (now Marshall) received a scholarship and the coveted use of a red corvette for a week.
January is a very unique month, it signifies the start to a new year, as well as the traditional commitment to a resolution or two, and the remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy. However, what very few people know about January is that it is also National Mentoring Month.
“Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximize their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.”
Think of where you are today and how you got there. Did you have a mentor or could you have benefitted from a role model dedicated to helping you navigate the pitfalls of growing up.
The highlight of National Mentoring Month is “Thank Your Mentor Day”, this year it was celebrated on January 16th. During this day people are encouraged to contact their mentors directly to express appreciation, become a mentor in their own community, make a financial contribution to a local mentoring program, or post a tribute on whomentoredyou.org.
To be a mentor, you don’t need special skills, just an ability to listen and to offer friendship, guidance and encouragement to a young person. And you’ll be amazed by how much you’ll get out of the experience.
Mentoring happens in a number of settings:
• The community.
• The faith-based community.
• Through the Internet.
So during this month of new beginnings and resolutions take a moment to thank those who were instrumental in empowering you to be who you are.
How many times have you been told you need to turn your weaknesses into strengths? Traditionally, choosing to focus on improving weaknesses has unfortunately become all too common for high school and college students. The factors of peer pressure, siblings, parents, and media have shaped students’ future too much. What if students started focusing on their future based on their passions and strengths rather than outside forces?
By empowering students to focus on their strengths to overcome their weaknesses we would have a breakthrough of untapped potential and developing students abilities. Strengths and talents are critical to an individual’s success and is not just limited to students.
Identifying strengths will allow students to discover what they are good at and build confidence in that area. Every student has multiple strengths and will be able to enhance those strengths at a high level if strengths are identified at a young age. Discovering strengths will allow students to discover what categories of strengths they excel in such as:
-Ability to bring others together
-Get things done
-Visualize the future.
When a student learns that he or she is excels at a certain talent he or she will inherently become more confident, motivated, and willing to think outside the box.
Did you know “A goal that is not written down is just an idea”? As 2013 came to a close Winning Futures once again demonstrated the importance and value of goal setting. The 20 Year Challenge, the goal was to raise $20K starting in September and ending in December. Showing the commitment Kris Marshall, Winning Futures CEO, and her husband Duane vowed to match the $20K, therefore providing the organization with $40K. Success! I’m excited to say thanks to everyone who believes in Winning Futures we exceeded our goal by raising $20,046 for Winning Futures students in Southeastern Michigan.