121511/Mentoring Positives' Seventh
Anniversary and Fund raiser:
Positive Neighborhood Influences
Clockwise: Will Green (r-l) with wife Becky and
daughter Malia; Muriel Pipkins Award recipient
Enis Ragland (l-r) and fiance Anita Cunegin; Will
Green (l-r) congratulates Muriel Pipkin Awardee
Sharyl Kato

By Jonathan Gramling

Will Green, the head of Mentoring Positives, grew up tough on the streets of
Gary, Indiana. Raised by his mom, Muriel Pipkins, Green sought a better life.

“It was the number one murder capital when I was younger,” Green said. “I
went to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, the safest place in America, which was very
different.  I didn’t have a lot growing up. Basketball gave me a lot of
opportunities to do a lot of different things.”

For the past 20 years, Green has been making a difference in the lives of
young people in a residential treatment center and at Youth Services of
Southern Wisconsin. Then in 2004, Green struck out on his own when his
mom died and formed Mentoring Positives based in the Darbo-Worthington
neighborhood.

“The majority of our kids are connected to the juvenile justice system, the
referral-based kids are,” Green said. “A lot of our kids have a touch of
mental health issues and have been in the court system. We work with kids
who really have problems with being in school and in the community. We
have mentors who go out and actually mentor these kids in the community
and try to give them different resources to connect with in the community. The kids whom we serve in the Darbo-Worthington
area are not so much in the court system. These are kids whom we just work with in the community and could potentially be in
the system.”

Most of Mentoring Positives’ funding comes from the Wis. Dept. of Corrections and Community Partnerships plus some small
grants. A lot of volunteers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison also give their time with the youth.

On November 19th, Mentoring Positives held their Seventh Annual Party and Fundraiser at The Brickhouse on Gorham Street.
Sharyl Kato and Enis Ragland were given Muriel Pipkin Awards for their service to the community.

“I am these kids,” Green said about the youth growing up in the Darbo-Worthington area. And he and his mentors are the same
positive force in their lives that Muriel Pipkins, his mother, was in his so that the youth can do something positive with their
lives. .