Winning Futures

goal setting

Summer School Program Builds Confidence!

Winning Futures Summer School Program Builds Confidence for Academic Success.


Winning Futures recently implemented its middle school life skills mentoring course at Golightly Education Center in Detroit that focuses on building young people’s self confidence through academic goal setting.  During the summer school program, mentors and students work each week on a Winning Futures principal that provides struggling learners the confidence they need to improve for future academic success.


The summer program at Golightly is rewarding beyond words. To see the enthusiasm the kids put into learning is like no other.  The growth in self-esteem, knowledge,  and the tools the children are learning will be life changing,” commented volunteer mentor Lisa Thomas of Brown & Brown of Detroit.

A recent study by the Harvard Family Research Project showed that positive steps —like going to class, doing homework, arriving ready to learn, and actively participating in class—all lead to better academic performance.   These behaviors are strongly affected    by how young people see themselves; their confidence in their own abilities can  positively or negatively affect their performance in school.

 “Each week mentors work on  goal-setting strategies to influence a stronger sense of self.   When students believe they can achieve, it becomes much easier for them to reach their educational goals.” said, Laurie Tarter, Program Facilitator.

Student Thumbs Up

Winning Futures’ Life Skills topics, such as maintaining a positive attitude, helped young learners understand how their attitude can affect their academic success.  Students also evaluated their strengths which helped them identify their positive qualities and resulted in improved confidence. They also explored their moral and performance values to help them with better decision-making.

Lesley (6)


Lesley Gale described her experience this way, “We have been asked to work with students at Golightly to help build their self esteem. I certainly wish someone would have helped me realize who I was at this age. What an amazing experience for these teenagers. I believe they have received a life time gift and it was our pleasure to help them realize their best self.”



“Powerlink Helps Students Attend Camp”


Week-long basketball and mentoring camp features Pistons announcer Greg Kelser, educational content from Winning Futures

DSC_0428DETROIT, June 23, 2014– For the 4th year, Powerlink is sponsoring Greg Kelser’s “Shoot For Your Goals” camp, ensuring that it is free for local middle school students again this summer. Attendees will learn basketball skills as well as life and career skills through a mentoring program from Warren-based Winning Futures. Powerlink President & CEO Link Howard and Winning Futures CEO Kris Marshall made the announcement.DSC_0406“Supporting fun and educational summer activities for students is an easy decision for us,” says Howard. “The majority of our employees live in the City of Detroit and we want to provide as many opportunities as we can for the next generation to have the skills necessary to be leaders and innovators. We know that learning from a basketball legend like Greg Kelser and the impactful programs managed by Winning Futures will make a impact for these kids.”


Shoot For Your Goals will host two camps this summer, the first from June 23-27 at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, the second from August 4-8 at Warren Mott High School. Each camp will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., rotating students between basketball activities and classroom sessions covering topics such as setting goals, learning study skills and building your personal support team.


“Everyone at Winning Futures is proud to again work with Greg Kelser to provide these fantastic summer learning opportunities,” says Winning Futures CEO Kris Marshall. “We’ve seen the success of this combination of basketball skills and life skills and know the significant value of focused mentoring for middle school students.”


Additional 2014 program sponsors include:

Bagger Dave’s

Detroit Pistons

Frito Lay


Lear Corporation

Quicken Loans/Rock Ventures LLC

Skillman Foundation

Walmart Foundation

About Powerlink

Powerlink is an ISO 9001-certified staffing, facilities management and construction company whose dedicated team members elevate industry standards for quality and process to reduce costs, improve efficiency and gain higher customer satisfaction. Powerlink clients include health care leaders such as Henry Ford Health Systems and the Karmanos Cancer Institute, as well as manufacturers such as Steelcase. Headquartered in Warren, Powerlink’s team members are seamlessly integrated into more than 130 customer sites in the Midwest.

 About Winning Futures

Winning Futures is an award winning nonprofit organization that makes a difference in the lives of young people by offering school-based mentoring programs and workshops for middle school and high school students in Southeast Michigan. Its programs focus on the life skills of character value identification, goal setting, career preparation, and strategic planning. Founded in 1994 by entrepreneur Sam Cupp, Winning Futures now partners with organizations throughout the country to implement their life skills workbooks and activities. For more information, visit or call 586-294-8449.





Winning Futures partners with iMatters for Kids

iMatter For Kids and Winning Futures partnered to implement an after-school peer mentoring program for 4th and 5th grade students. This program engaged 20 elementary  students and 10 high school mentors.  The mentoring teams  worked to develop into strong, caring leaders and to know they matter.  The program focuses on character values and goal setting through fun, structured activities.   Students and mentors worked one-hour a week after-school, and then parents attend a family workshop with their child following the mentoring sessions.

Summer Volunteer Opportunities

This summer, Winning Futures will be providing individuals and businesses the opportunity to get involved in the community through its one-time and short-term mentoring opportunities in Detroit and Warren.

Sign-up today!

Summer Programs Collage Volunteers are needed to work with 5th – 9th grade boys and girls in a structured classroom settings. “Short-Term Mentors” will work with 3-5 students on fun, hands-on activities based around goal setting, positive attitude, team work. Volunteers will receive a training email to prepare for the class. Please note, volunteers for the Greg Kelser Camp will be working as a mentor in the classroom and not as a basketball coach.

This year we will be running four summer programs: For specific dates and times please see below. Please note, signing up does not guarantee a spot. Final selection will be based on matching of gender and interests. Priority will also be given to individuals who commit for more than one time and/or day.

Watch this quick video highlighting what mentors do in the session.  Winning Futures supplies all of the activities and supplies and is on-site to run the program.

All sessions are one hour long. Sign-up today!

Cornerstone Madison-Carver Academy (Lahser, south of 8 mile)
Thursday, May 15th at 9:00am
Thursday, May 22nd at 9:00am
Thursday, May 29th at 9:00am
Friday, June 6th at 9:00am
Wednesday June 11th at 9:00am
Thursday, June 12th at 9:00am
Thursday, June 19th at 9:00am  

Greg Kelser “Shoot for your goals” basketball camp Detroit (Cass Tech: Grand River & I-75)
Monday, June 23rd at 9:30am
Monday, June 23rd at 10:35am
Monday, June 23rd at 12:10pm
Monday, June 23rd at 1:15pm
Wednesday, June 25th at 9:30am
Wednesday, June 25th at  10:35am
Wednesday, June 25th at 12:10pm
Wednesday, June 25th at 1:15pm
Thursday, June 26th at 9:30am
Thursday, June 26th at 10:35am
Thursday, June 26th at 12:10pm
Thursday, June 26th at :15pm
Friday, June 27th at 9:30am
Friday, June 27th at 1:15pm

Golightly Education Center (Warren & I-75)
Wednesday, June 18th at 9:00am
Wednesday, June 18th at 10:00am
Wednesday, June 25th at 9:00am
Wednesday, June 25th at 10:00am
Wednesday, July 2nd at 9:00am
Wednesday, July 2nd at 10:00am
Wednesday, July 9th at 9:00am
Wednesday, July 9th at 10:00am
Wednesday, July 16th at 9:00am
Wednesday, July 16th at 10:00am
Wednesday, July 23rd at 9:00am
Wednesday, July 23rd at 10:00am

Greg Kelser “Shoot for your goals” basketball camp Warren (Warren Mott: 12 mile & Ryan)
Monday, August 4th at 9:30am
Monday, August 4th at 10:35am
Monday, August 4th at 12:10pm
Monday, August 4th at 1:15pm
Tuesday, August 5th at 9:30am
Tuesday, August 5th at 10:35am
Tuesday, August 5th at 12:10pm
Tuesday, August 5th at 1:15pm
Wednesday, August 6th at 9:30am
Wednesday, August 6th at 10:35am
Wednesday, August 6th at 12:10pm
Wednesday, August 6th at 1:15pm
Thursday, August 7th at 9:30am
Thursday, August 7th at 10:35am
Friday, August 8th at 9:30am
Friday, August 8th at 10:35am
Friday, August 8th at 12:10pm
Friday, August 8th at 1:15pm

Sign-up Today!

If you would like to speak with someone before sign up, please call Joe Owens at 586-698-4387 or email

Why Are Strengths Important?


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
-Influence others
-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.

Challenge Conquered!


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.

New Year’s Resolution: Mentor


Tired of the same old New Year’s resolution? How about volunteering as a mentor with Winning Futures?  Unsure if you’re mentor material?  In truth, it’s a lot easier to be a mentor and impact a life than you think!  There’s not a certain mold that mentors need to come from. Underneath that work shirt, business suit, or lab coat, there’s a role model just waiting to jump out! Now’s your chance to be a superhero in the eyes of a student, by steering them clear of the pitfalls potentially awaiting them.

Winning Futures is currently recruiting mentors for 2nd semester program at Madison High (Wednesday’s) and Harper Woods High (Tuesday’s) Schools.  Not sure if you’ll fit in?  Mentoring doesn’t discriminate, people of any ethnic background can make good mentors, and an adult doesn’t need to have a lot of money to make a difference in a young person’s life.  You’re time is more valuable than the amount of zeros in your salary, if you can invest one hour a week for 15 weeks you’ll receive your choice of the mentors six figure mentor bonus package.   “S-M-I-L-E-S”, “R-E-W-A-R-D”, “A-D-O-R-E-D”!

Now’s the time to make that New Years resolution that will not only last, by make a lasting impression.  To take the next step click here for more information, or call 586-698-4418.

Mentor + Mentee = Impact!

scottbarhRecognizing others, inspiring them to excellence in school, career, or in life doesn’t take a lot of extra time; it takes compassion, perspective, and vision. Scott Barh, Winning Futures Mentor at Pontiac Academy For Excellence is a perfect example.

When asked about his mentoring experience Scott of Chrysler said; “I have now spent four sessions with my students. All have been very pleasant to work with, but one, in particular, really started blossoming today. In the first few weeks, he spoke so softly I could hardly hear him and often had his elbows on the table and hands up by his mouth when he talked. Today, I could tell he was really starting to buy in to what we’re talking about. He walked in with a fresh haircut (ready for a new job he starts today!), and as we talked I saw more excitement/passion in his eyes than I’ve seen before. His hands came down from his mouth, and he began to speak up. I was quick to affirm him in what I was seeing. Those “little” moments are very rewarding.”

What I like most about Winning Futures:
“The principles we’re teaching them are things just about every one of us professionals can also work on. (I tell my students this, and I can tell they like hearing that I’m learning, too!”

Many employers allow flexibility for mentoring. Can you fit the time in your week to make someone feel special?
If you’re interested in creating special moments through mentoring contact Taquaryl Hunter @ 586-698-4387 or

GM Cares

GM Mentoring at Harper WoodsGeneral Motors recognizes that giving employees an opportunity to mentor through their job provides many valuable benefits.
Benefits to the Employee
• Improves performance
• Increases job satisfaction, attitude and morale
• Encourages teamwork
• Promotes leadership and skill development

Benefits to the Corporation
• Builds brand awareness and affinity
• Strengthens trust and loyalty among consumers
• Enhances corporate image and reputation
• Improves employee retention
• Increases employee productivity and loyalty
• Provides an effective vehicle to reach strategic goals

Only a Few Slots Remain

Visconti with globeWe are excited about building many positive relationships this year through mentoring. Winning Futures students will benefit greatly from working with a diverse group of mentors representing a wide variety of occupations, ages and ethnicities. Volunteers throughout metro Detroit are demonstrating their compassion for youth by taking one hour a week to make a positive impact in students  lives.

If you would like to change the life of a young person it’s not too late. We still have a few sessions open for mentors. Treat yourself to one hour a week of fun and energizing activities with your matched youth.

Cass Tech – 9am – 4 Females

Cass Tech – 12:20M – 1 Female  

Warren Mott – 10:30am -3 Males

Click here to sign up.