Archived Story

Volunteer of the Week: Kimberly Brown, of Cassopolis

Published 9:32am Thursday, April 3, 2014

Kimberly Brown, of Cassopolis, is the founder of Cassopolis-based mentoring program, Destined for Greatness.

Q: Why did you create Destined for Greatness?

I used to work at the (Ross Beatty) High School as a student advocate for two years. Budget cuts eliminated my position, so I started a mentoring program called Destined for Greatness. It started in March.

Q: What is Destined for Greatness?

We started out just mentoring young girls who were having personal problems. They could come talk to us about school work, self esteem, entrepreneurship. We are starting our own handbag business where we make our own tote bags.

When I worked at the school the kids could come and talk to us whenever. Most of the kids I’ve known since they were little. When my position got cut I didn’t know what I was going to do or how I was going to help the kids.

I have a building that was donated to me here in Cassopolis. The address is 142 S. Broadway. That’s where we are located. Our first big thing was the prom closet on March 23.

Right now it is after school, but the kids can call me whenever. My goal is to have something for them to do every month. On April 12 we are doing a breakfast. That’s when the kids can come together and give us ideas of what they want to do.

We probably have about 30 girls so far ages 10 to 21.

Q: What do you enjoy about the program?

Just helping the girls and seeing the smiles on their faces. Like at the prom closet, over 75 dresses were donated to the girls. Between 15 and 20 girls were able to get dresses for free. Seeing the smiles on their faces was just awesome.

Q: Who can join and how do they get more information?

My phone number is (269) 228-0058. Anyone can take part in the program. It doesn’t have to be just girls from Cassopolis. It can be anyone in the surrounding county and cities. It started off just being for young ladies, but the boys would come saying they don’t have anything to do. It just gives them a place to go and hopefully we can build, get bigger and expand. I want it to become nationwide. I want it to become so big that we don’t have space for everybody.

Q: Why is volunteering important to you?

When I was growing up we always had something to do. My uncle made sure the kids in the community had stuff to do. One of the last conversations I had with him before he died is when he told me it was my turn. I had to step up and take over where he left off to give these kids something to do. That’s what I am trying to do to follow in his footsteps.

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