Manasseh Kambaki grew up in Berrien Springs, Michigan until the 8th grade when his father moved the family to Plymouth MN for two years. Growing up in Berrien Springs, he was labeled at a young age as an at-risk youth in the fourth grade. At a very young age, he lost two uncles in a short span of two months. With no counseling and a complicated grief experience, he became depressed and it led to poor grades in school for the rest of the school year. Being labeled as at-risk carried a lot of negative weight both in and out of school, and lead to self-doubt.

Living in the inner city of New Haven and attending public schools, Manasseh witness a crime and violence at school and in the neighborhood. Manasseh also attended two different high schools while in Connecticut and graduated from Hill Career Magnet High School sponsored by Yale University in 2004. Mr. Kambaki is also known by others as “Ness”, a nickname given to him by his high school basketball coach.


 – Create a culture that focuses on hope and growth for all youth. Turn at-risk youth to at-hope.

 – Help change the mind frame from hopelessness to hopefulness.

 – Create a meaningful and sustainable relationship with youth. Programs alone cannot make a difference: A caring adult makes all the difference.