The M List 2016: Will Green
Will Green uses the game of basketball to connect with disadvantaged youth in a meaningful way.
Green runs Mentoring Positives, a nonprofit that guides youth into activities and discussions that offer the opportunities they might have considered unreachable. For the past 12 years, Mentoring Positives has engaged more than 2,500 young people. Its programming includes group discussions about making good decisions and overcoming peer pressure.
The program also introduces youth to entrepreneurship. For six summers, mentees learned to grow tomatoes used in Off the Block salsa, produced by Farm Market Kitchen of Algoma and sold in Madison. But because of the high demand for the salsa, the group outsources the production and mentees are involved in marketing and product sales. Proceeds go toward supporting the project.
Green’s work focuses on the Darbo neighborhood on Madison’s northeast side. He also coaches the Madison LaFollette High School girl’s varsity basketball team. It’s a logical strategy for Green, who excelled as a player at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. “I found my niche,” he says.
The M List
Madison Magazine’s M List is a who’s who of organizations and individuals who are having an impact on our local culture and economy. In its fourth year, the M List recognizes those making strides as mentors and teachers. Last year’s list of honorees were making impacts in the area of social innovation. The original M List, in 2013, honored the technology sector. The 2014 M List honored “Foodtastic” entrepreneurs and innovators.