Mentoring Positives offers a comprehensive suite of mentoring services designed to bolster leadership and social skills, self-confidence, and to empower youth to develop and enhance their social and emotional learning and well-being. Programming is set in the community for engaging, meaningful relationship building for youth to practice the skills they are cultivating.
MP Leader Academy
This program is primarily for those youth living in the Darbo/Worthington Park Neighborhood, on Madison’s east side. Group discussion/activities based on the evidence-based 40 Developmental Assets curriculum (through the Search Institute) Mentoring Positives’ programming is based on the philosophy that the “The Hook is the Key”. The hook is to engage youth with activities they love. Youth are encouraged to show compassion and to build positive relationships with others and then be able to practice and display their learned leadership skills and continued social and emotional learning.
Current MPLA programs…
*Podcasts Tuesdays 4-6pm (Hawthorne Library)
*AAU Basketball “Capital City Soldiers” Saturdays 4:30-6:30pm & Sundays 1-3pm (Life Center) Tournaments/games TBD
*ReJeweled Tuesdays 4-6pm (MP Clubhouse 414 Rethke Ave)
This program is targeted to those youth may be on the verge, or involved in the juvenile justice system. Youth participate in discussion/activities based on the evidence-based 40 Developmental Assets curriculum (through the Search Institute) as well as a more intensive curriculum that assists the youth in developing a strong sense of self through social/emotional learning, building resiliency and encouraging good decision-making.
* MPU meets Thursdays 4-6pm (Hawthorne Library)
Off the Block Enterprise
Off The Block Salsa
When Will and Becky Green founded Mentoring Positives in 2004 as a way to serve at-risk Dane County youth, they didn’t have urban agriculture in mind as a means of accomplishing that goal. What started as an east-side Madison gardening project has become a big part of the Greens’ mentoring program. Program participants initially nurtured an acre of land to grow tomatoes and peppers to produce their unique salsa. Due to increase demand for the salsa, MP currently outsources the salsa to a small production company in Sister Bay, WI We are currently developing a plan to bring our salsa production back to Madison.
The youth involved branded the product “Off the Block” salsa, because they saw the project as a way to keep them out of trouble in their neighborhood. The name also represented their hopes of getting “off their block” in the Darbo-Worthington Park Neighborhood on Madison’s east side.
OTB Salsa is available in the following stores…
*Metcalfe’s Markets (Hilldale & West Towne)
*Willy Street Coop (North, East, West)
*Regent Street Market Co-Op
*Edinger Surgical Options
Off The Block Pizza
Off the Block Pizza started as a way to expand our social entrepreneurship venture and bring another great product to market under the Off the Block label. Our pizza recipe was developed by our youth participants, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin Extension. We began offering Off the Block Pizza Internships in the summer of 2017 to not only provide paid employment to youth but to also provide real-world business and food science experience to our youth participants. We currently offer a number of different pizzas, on white and wheat crust.
OTB Pizza are produced at the FEED Kitchens (1219 N. Sherman Ave)
OTB Cheese pizzas are available to purchase at the Willy Street Coop (North, East West)
Youth currently work Mondays 4-7pm, Tuesdays 4-7pm, Wednesdays 9:30am-12:30pm & 12:30-5pm, and Thursdays 11am-3:30pm (All slots are filled at this time.)
Darbo Resident Council
The Darbo Council is an emerging People of Color (POC) group of neighborhood activists in the Darbo Worthington Neighborhood. We are committed to building up our neighborhood and getting more people involved. Right now, the Darbo Council is led by Black women residents who want to hear from you!
The Darbo Council was created to build the capacity of the residents directly in the heart of Darbo, in hopes that these individuals will be more active at future Worthington Park Neighborhood Association meetings and will be able to advocate for themselves and articulate their needs.
We have African American, Latino, Hmong and Gambian residents in the Darbo Worthington Neighborhood. When it comes to planning initiatives and decision making of neighborhood development too often our voices are not heard by decision makers.
The Darbo Council is managing the project in collaboration with Mentoring Positives and the Darbo Pantry Project. We know there’s a broad base of community support for this effort and plan to unite all who can be united to build a stronger, more resilient neighborhood.
The Darbo Council Outreach Project will help build a stronger, healthier, more resilient neighborhood by building networks and responding to people’s real needs. Organizing a strong, inclusive Darbo Council now will ensure residents have a voice and role as neighborhood plans unfold.
Darbo Worthington Neighborhood Covid Resources
Mentoring Positives is a youth mentoring program that has been in the Darbo Worthington Park neighborhood for 17 years. Covid has been stressful for many families in Darbo. If you live in Darbo and have school aged children please complete the google form to sign up for Covid resources. These resources are limited and some request may not be met.