Interview by Hannah Sprouse
Kellen Showes enjoys reliving his childhood through the kids he mentors at Future Possibilities. Growing up in the inner city himself, Kellen now works full-time as an Asset Manager for the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority. He spends his free time as a Kid Coach for Future Possibilities, introducing inner city youth (just like he used to be) to the power of mentoring and relationship-building with people of different walks of life.
Give us a snapshot of your career path: I was born in Canton, OH and that’s where my career started in Public Service after graduating from Ohio University with a BA in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
What led you to become involved with Future Possibilities? How long have you been involved & what does the organization mean to you? A coworker at CMHA asked me to be a Kid Coach/Mentor in 2017. That led to my recruitment and involvement with Future Possibilities Board.
What do you want everyone to know about Future Possibilities? FP is a great program for the kids that attend a few of Columbus City Schools’ Elementary Schools. It allows the kids participating in the program to connect with an adult professional (Kid Coach) working in the Columbus Community. In this program, the Kid Coaches are able to coach the kids to a goal while developing a relationship with the kid in a mentoring environment.
What is the one thing you are most passionate about? I am most passionate about being able to spend time with kids, most of whom at the school I worked at, are Black kids. Being Black myself and a male, I am able to draw upon my own experiences being in their shoes when I was growing up in inner city public schools. Despite the program’s defined goals, I think the broader experience of being around the kids, providing an outlet from normal school activities as well as life at home and building a friendship is most valuable.
What gets you up in the morning? And what gets you through the workweek? The challenge and the blessing of the new day gets me up every morning. Going to the gym allows me to decompress to get through the work week.
Who inspires you? My dad, my family, my friends and the kids in my life inspire me.
How is Future Possibilities making an impact in Columbus? How can people get involved with the organization? FP is impacting Columbus by connecting professionals to inner city youths from Columbus City Schools exposing those kids to mentoring, relationship building with people from different walks of life, and goal building. Anyone can get involved by checking out the Future Possibilities website, social media pages or contacting a FP Board Member like myself for more information on how to participate in the future.
What’s the most exciting thing about Columbus right now? The most exciting thing about Columbus right now is the growth and opportunities in various aspects (education, jobs, real estate, and social life).
What are three things that you wish Columbus had?
1. Although Columbus has some exciting things happenings, Columbus needs to work better making sure that there are opportunities for EVERYONE to grow with new happenings. This new development in Columbus can also be seen as a place where the space between the haves and the have nots grows. Public, Private and Non-Profit organizations as well as individual people need make sure as Columbus get better, it gets better with Equity and Equality.
2. More Affordable housing for the lower-middle and lower class.
3. Better infrastructure to accommodate the growth in the City.
If someone were to ask you what the “pulse” of Columbus is, what would you tell them? The pulse of Columbus is to bring more opportunities to grow and to be active in that growth.