Community Connections mentoring is a development strategy for each young person’s successful path to adulthood. It’s all about developing a structured, trusting relationship between a professional and an aspiring professional.

YMDG (Young Minds Determined To Be Great) is our youth mentoring program founded in Topeka, Kansas by MIchael Odupitan and Tuarence Minikwu. YMDG provides mentoring for high school youth who are finding it hard to find the motivation to reach the highest levels of success. The program is focused on forming partnerships with the local school districts, the juvenile court system, and different churches in the area along with local businesses. YMDG's goal is to foster a commitment to young people that will promote pro-social friendships, strong interpersonal skills, a proactive mentality and to reassert a sense of hope in the future. Only through personal relationships can a sense of individual responsibility be reestablished that will give youth the commitment to follow through on their path to adulthood with a sense of pride and accomplishment.


Through repeated failures in the classroom and the development of destructive habits, at-risk young people have lost faith in the possibilities that await them if they are successful in putting their lives together. To accomplish this goal, young people must be in a caring, inclusive learning environment that promotes their best effort and reinforces personal self-respect. YMDG is a program that is in direct response to the growing number of young people that are either falling through the cracks at school, growing up without a positive role model, entangled with the juvenile court system or foster care system. The goal of the program is to identify youths who are going to have a hard time transitioning to adulthood or finding their success path and offer a positive support system to avoid the pitfalls that can derail their lives. The focus is slightly different at each level but the goal remains the same; empower the youth to develop healthy habits, motivate them to identify life goals and educate them to make positive choices and changes in their life to become successful men and women.

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