Winning Futures

winning futures

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.”



The 18 Soft Skills Necessary For Success

A recent article published by the SEMCOG (Southeast Michigan Council Of Governments) listed 18 soft skills which were considered essential for youth success. These skills are perfectly aligned with the Winning Futures Curriculum.

Per the SEMCOG report, “The Lifelong Soft Skills Framework identifies basic or foundational skills for workplace success.” Soft skills development should be identified as a lifelong effort and a reinforcement of skills between stakeholders designed to increase collaboration and achieve success.

The chart below lists the 18 soft skills, stakeholders, and the necessary training for continued development within our youth.

Soft Skills - 1


Soft Skills - 2

Data courtesy of SEMCOG –; to view the entire report please click here: Lifelong Soft Skills Framework


Alexi Lalas Talks Mentoring With Winning Futures

Check out (and share) our great video of Retired Pro Soccer Player and Sports Analyst Alexi Lalas discussing the importance of mentoring.


He took time to talk with us this year when he was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, and is helping us recruit mentors for our fall programs!

To view the video click here: Alexi Lalas Scores Goals For Winning Futures


“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.





Our History – Where Are They Now 1996

kelly counts

Where are they nowKelly Counts 1996 Winning Futures Scholarship recipient and Grand Prize Winner joined the Hamilton Chevrolet team in 1997 and has worked her way of the ladder to success to become Sales Manager and has received seven Sales Leader of the Year Awards over the years.  She is also a proud mom of two adorable little girls!

Help Winning Futures win up to $75,000

You can help Winning Futures win up to $75,000 to support mentor programs and scholarship!


We were just selected to be part of the Art Van grant challenge.  The hook this year is that in order for us to win from $800 to $75,000, we have to raise money in a CrowdRise online giving competition from now until June 23rd.


Money can be donated by individuals and companies (if you or your business want to have your own page, email  Funds raised will sponsor students to be matched with business mentors.  Mentoring takes place at their school on a weekly basis and focuses on job readiness skills and creating a strategic five-year plan.  We impact teens from Detroit, Harper Woods, Warren, Sterling Heights, Madison Heights, and Pontiac.


Winning Futures is a fun, extremely impactful youth mentoring program.  We were Crain’s Best-Managed Nonprofit last year We are fiscally responsible and we produce real results.  Through the program, average students can win scholarships, learn skills that assist them in having a meaningful career, and gives them the confidence that they can achieve higher goals in their lives.  Check out the program at

Will you help us win? To Donate $5 or more click here!

SRG Intern Connection Winner Announced

Student from Paul K. Cousino High School announced winner of the SRG Global and Winning Futures internship competition


Winner to participate in six-week paid internship at SRG Global’s world headquarters in Warren, Mich.


Warren, Mich., May 16 – SRG Global Inc., a leading manufacturer of chrome plated plastic parts for the automotive, commercial truck and consumer goods industries, and Winning Futures, an award-winning non-profit mentoring organization, announced Caroline Dimas as the winner of its student mentoring partnership program, The Intern Connection.

Intern Connection

The announcement was made this morning during a ceremony hosted by SRG Global at its world headquarters in Warren, Mich. SRG Global VP and CFO Gregory Mulawa and Winning Futures President and CEO Kristina Marshall made opening statements. Also in attendance, were several SRG Global and Winning Futures employees, Paul K. Cousino High School students and parents, and local public and school officials, including Senator Steven Bieda (D-MI 9th District) and Warren Consolidated Schools Chief Academic Officer Brian Walmsley.

“As a company, we’ve elected to focus our sponsorship and community resources to organizations in our local communities that provide educational and development opportunities to young people, specifically in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math,” said Mulawa. “The Intern Connection not only exposes students to these disciplines, but gives them the experience needed to be effective at marketing themselves in highly competitive job markets.”

As the award recipient, Dimas will participate in a six-week, paid summer internship where she will receive hands-on experience working in the company’s human resources department.

The Intern Connection introduces high school students to business operations in a real-world setting. The goal of the program is to inspire participants to pursue higher education that will provide a foundation for the next generation of business leaders. The program is in its fifth year. As part of the program, SRG employees donate time and resources through participation in the mentor program, visiting the schools and working one-on-one with the students.

“Exposure to positive role models and to the diversity that exists within an organization gives students an opportunity to see where their skills and interests can contribute, and gets them excited about preparing for a future in the career world,” said SRG Global employee and program mentor Charrae Trocki. “We’re connecting with these bright kids before they reach college age so we can have an impact on their decision to pursue education or training beyond high school.”

Throughout the program, students attend a series of employee-led job coaching sessions and onsite visits to gain exposure to the different business functions within SRG Global. At the program’s conclusion, students write an essay highlighting what they’ve learned, and they can choose to apply for a summer internship.

Those who apply, move on to the next phase of the competition, which includes preparation and submission of a resume and employment application. All who apply are interviewed and a winner is selected. Today’s announcement of the winner of the summer internship is the culmination of this year’s program.

About SRG Global

SRG Global Inc., a Guardian company, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of chrome plated plastic parts for the automotive, commercial truck and household appliance industries with a manufacturing presence in major world markets including North America, Western and Central Europe and China. The company is headquartered near Detroit in Warren, Michigan. Through its Advanced Development Center in Taylor, Michigan, SRG Global works to enhance manufacturing processes and accelerates development and delivery of the next generation of materials and coating technologies. The result is the creation of products that provide not only the decorative attributes eagerly sought by designers, but that are also engineered for greater surface durability, structural integrity and enhanced functionality. For more information, visit

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.


Madison High Career/Culture/Community Day

Madison Career Culture Community


Madison High School in Madison Heights held a Career/Culture/Community day for their students on Friday, May 9th. Partnering with Madison High to make this a great day for the students was the United Way of Southeastern Michigan.

Volunteers from the community discussed their work with the high school students hoping to make an impact on the kids’ future.

There were five sessions on the morning of the 9th, and the students got to choose which presentation they attended each hour. Speakers talked to a group of approx. 20-35 students including a Q&A. Among the things the speakers discussed was the following:

• Provide an in depth understanding to your work
• The path it took to get to where you are today
• Education you received for the position
• Lessons learned and experiences
• Salary expectations
• Demand for the work (industry)
• Skill sets used in the position (industry)

Among the volunteers that presented that day were three Winning Futures mentors: Brendon Brosnan, Emergency Services Manager of the City of Warren; Amy Ostrand, Senior Advisor at Davenport University; and Tony Merlo, owner of Smarter Phones.


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