Speaker Date Topic
Carson King Jan 29, 2021 7:00 AM
Kindness is King: Small Acts of Kindness
Will Keeps, President of Starts Right Here Feb 05, 2021 7:00 AM
It's Not About What You've Been Through, But How you Get Through It

Organization founder, Will Holmes, knows change is possible for kids because he has been where they are.  He grew up in Chicago.  By age seven, he was a sexual abuse survivor.  By thirteen he found a "home" with the Blackstone gang.  At fifteen, Will watched rivals murder his friend and then turn their hatred on him.  A jammed gun saved him from instant death, but not from a vicious beating with baseball bats and knives that left him barely alive. It was devastating and life-changing.  Will's recovery wasn't just physical, it was mental and emotional.  Over time, he chose hope.  He embraced determination and found purpose. 

After years of successfully mentoring youth in DMPS and through Des Moines Police Department Second Chance programs, Will realized struggling kids need more.  They need support outside of school hours and a safe place to be themselves.

Starts Right Here movement has increased its engagement with youth in the Des Moines area year over year through its partnership with DMPS and the Des Moines Police Department.