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


Students Show Off Kali Skills in Summer Showcase

Like many schools, Nickajack Elementary School has an After School Program (ASP) that allows children a chance to learn about things they don’t see in their typical classroom setting. This Spring, PowerUP was able to partner with Nickajack Elementary’s ASP program and offer students

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