Will Green was born in Gary, Indiana, and was raised by his single mother, Muriel Pipkins. Though Gary, Indiana, known as the “murder capital” while growing up, Will and his two younger brothers thrived. Will was a “stand out” basketball player and found himself immediately engaged with the sport and all that it provided him. With basketball, Will was given a forum to increase his self-esteem, learn the concept of team work and dedication. He was also awarded the privileges of traveling and attending college through the sport. Will attended Kankakee Community College, in Illinois and transferred as a junior, to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, to play basketball in 1991. Will studied and eventually graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice and Geography at UW- Eau Claire and began his journey, working with at-risk youth. Will found employment through the Eau Claire Academy, a residential treatment center for youth who have had emotional and behavioral problems. Here, Will found his “niche” and developed a love for engaging with and supporting at-risk youth. Will has also worked in the juvenile sex offender unit as well as Crisis Manager.
Also in 1991, Will met his wife, Becky.
Becky Green is originally from the small town of Waterloo, Wisconsin. She was raised by her mother, who was divorced. Like Will, Becky and her two brothers grew up knowing the struggles of a working, single mother who did the best she could to provide for her children. Becky attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, quickly discovering her passion and calling, to become a social worker. Becky also worked at the adolescent residential treatment center, the Eau Claire Academy. There, she instantly found that working with at-risk youth was what she was “meant to do”. Becky returned to Madison to work as a juvenile probation officer and case manager for youth with mental illness.
In 2002, Will and Becky were married and started their family. Their daughter, Malia was born in 2003, six months after the passing of Will’s beloved mother, Muriel. Muriel died from breast cancer at the young age of 46. It was during this time, that Will decided to begin his own mentoring program. Mentoring Positives was founded in 2004. As a dedication to his mother, Will used her initials, “MP” when creating Mentoring Positives. It is with the same dedication and commitment Muriel showed not only to her family, but others in her community, that Will developed a program that was inspired by his vision to support, advocate, and mentor others.
Mentoring Positives began in the fall of 2004, as strictly a fee-for-service program that Will started by mentoring delinquent youth, one-on-one. Soon, Mentoring Positives’ became a not for profit organization and quickly began offering group mentoring. Will was given the opportunity to utilize the gym space at the Darbo Community Center, inside the Salvation Army. He has remained in the Worthington Park/Darbo Neighborhood for over nine years. Will saw the need for positive programming with many of the youth living in the neighborhood. Will continues to engage the youth and families currently without any Mentoring Positives’ programming as well as with those that are attending programs.
Today, Mentoring Positives, Inc. has three components; (1.) Specialized Mentoring, (2.) Off the Block Enterprises, and (3.) Training/Professional Development. Will and Becky’s commitment and dedication to grass roots programming for youth and families has been their “calling”.