What do you want to see happen with the foundation in the future?
Growth. The acceleration of [developing] circles around the country. We need the infrastructure to support that. Anyone who wants to donate to the National CARES Mentoring Movement can go online and do so. We need to hire more staff to manage that. We have people from Nigeria, all throughout the Caribbean, the UK, Canada—they want to start movements. How do I say no? I’m just saying, ‘Hold one moment, please,’ you know, because we can’t manage it yet. So we have to really get this. I mean it’s up and running and going well, and it’s growing fast. But we need to raise more money before we can go international.
How do I become part of the CARES Mentoring Movement?
We don’t direct any mentors to organizations that don’t do background checks or give training. So if you were to go to, say, Agape, a mentoring program in Atlanta, or Big Brothers Big Sisters, or the U.S. Dream Academy—what we do is take a “fast facts” form. We get the days and times you are available, then give you a choice and say here are some of the opportunities in your community for mentoring. Then the organization gets in touch with you and brings you in and does a background check to show that they are not putting pedophiles before our children, and then you are trained. The training is about how you conduct yourself. You’re not a parent, we’re not asking you to buy clothing or spend a lot of money; just to impart values and motivation, and tell young people that they can, and be a voice of wisdom, and listen, because we’re always talking to young people but they need to be heard.