Mentorship Matters

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.

Scalable Mentorship Model


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 100 in 2020. We have strong demand from parents and partners, and aim to serve 1,000 kids by the end of 2022.


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.


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.

PowerUP Kids


It costs $500 to sponsor one child for a year


Change their world. This changes everything.


Mentorship Matters


Search for an Executive Director

Thanks to the dedication of our Board, PowerUP continues to grow with minimal overhead. However, to achieve our growth targets we need a talented individual that is able to focus their time on scaling PowerUP. We need someone who is hard-charging and results-oriented, who

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Doubled from 80 to 160 Students

We never would have thought how PowerUP would be able to operate in a digital environment, but thanks to some quick thinking and action by Tom Rawls (Board Member) and Yalitza (Student-Sensei Liaison) we were able to transition from in-person meetings to Zoom held

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Sensei Roundtable Discussion

PowerUP board directors Stéphan Donzé and Mike Auzenne recently sat down Zoom-style with our Senseis to talk about what martial arts has meant in their lives, and what they are teaching our kids. Each of our Senseis shared their story, and the common themes

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