Help us give a disadvantaged child a hand up. Change their world. This changes everything.
Paying it Forward
Our founders, Austin Scee and Mike Gandy Auzenne, were matched in the Big Brothers Big Sisters (“BBBS”) program of Metro Atlanta in 1997. Mike went from the projects of Atlanta to Colgate to Wall Street to Harvard Business School, following in Austin’s footsteps. In 2017, when Mike returned to Atlanta after business school, they set out to build a scalable mentorship model to complement excellent programs like BBBS.
Helping Disadvantaged Kids to Thrive
Nearly half a million children in Metro Atlanta live in communities with low or very low child well-being. Mentorship programs work, but traditional mentorship models can only serve a fraction of the kids who need a hand up, because one-to-one mentorship models are difficult to scale.
Our mission is to provide high quality mentorship at scale, serving more kids, more quickly.
We have grown from 15 kids in 2017 to over 450 in 2022. We have strong demand from parents and partners, and aim to serve 650 kids by the end of 2023 and deepen our relationships with our scholars and families.
building a Scalable Mentorship Model
Martial Arts gyms are generally run by practitioners who have dedicated their lives to teaching, and to a set of core values.
One Sensei or gym owner can mentor 40-60 scholarship kids at a time, and senseis work after school and on the weekends.
PowerUP can provide senseis and gym owners with marketing help and business tools to increase the number of paying students in addition to scholarship students.
Many gym owners have excess capacity, and lumpy businesses. A base of recurring revenue is highly attractive to them. We help our Senseis build sustainable businesses.
This virtuous cycle enables us to serve underprivileged kids, and support local businesses that create jobs.
HOW IT WORKS
Delivering Mentorship through Senseis
Private donors, schools, and communities provide money and other resources. Partners and schools refer scholarship candidates. PowerUP grants scholarships to underprivileged and at-risk kids. PowerUP recruits, trains and monitors a network of participating senseis. Senseis provide mentorship and martial arts training.
GIVE ONE OF OUR KIDS A HAND UP
It costs $500 to sponsor one child for a year
Change their world. This changes everything.
As I watch Carrie, Angelo, and Terrance prepare for their first tournament, I cannot help but be proud of three 10 year olds I barely know. Each of these students carries their own unique story, their own set of challenges, yet they stand here
At PowerUP, we’re dedicated to nurturing versatile talents in our scholars, just like Michael, who exemplifies the art of juggling multiple passions while living with ADHD. Balancing soccer and martial arts, Michael’s dedication is truly commendable. Fueled by the values of respect instilled in
Meet Paula, Checo, and Luis – three siblings, each with their own challenges to overcome. Language barriers, shyness, and academic struggles were daily battles. Then, martial arts entered their lives. When their mother first started taking them to martial arts classes, she hoped it