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Mentoring Positives engaging teens while pandemic closes schools

The Madison organization is also one of four Wisconsin groups to receive a $5,000 grant from Wendy’s.
Madison organization Mentoring Positives continues to engage teens during COVID-19 pandemic.
Madison organization Mentoring Positives continues to engage teens during COVID-19 pandemic.(WMTV/Sanika Bhargaw)
Published: Dec. 9, 2020 at 9:37 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2020 at 11:15 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Madison organization Mentoring Positives is still finding ways to engage young people while the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many schools to stay closed.

For six years, the group has worked with young people, primarily from the Darbo-Worthington neighborhood, teaching them job skills like marketing. The group has also developed their own brand of “Off the Block” salsa and pizza.

“You get more than a work vibe, you can build relationships here, so that’s what I like about it,” D’Angelo Evans, who has been involved with the organization for more than 10 years.

Teens are cooking five days a week in the FEED kitchen, making pizzas that are now available in Willy Street Co-op, their first major retail location.

“Yeah that’s super cool because we’re in here making them, and to know they’re in the store, that’s super cool,” said Chandric Harrison, who started making pizzas a year ago.

Will Green, founder and executive director of Mentoring Positives, said he is glad the kitchen is a space where the teens can come together.

“I think it’s important because I think a lot of our students are struggling with not being able to physically be at school,” Green said.

In December, the organization also received a $5,000 grant from Wendy’s. The grant was matched by Bridgeman Foods, bringing the total to $10,000. Green said the money will go towards paying more young people for their time in the kitchen.

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