Mission Statement

• Providing knowledge and support to advance youth to achieve through community outreach, persistence, and volunteer programs to motivate their immediate goals. Providing the conditions for positive youth development is a responsibility shared by families, schools, and communities. The conditions for healthy youth development reside in families, schools, and communities. Families promote healthy youth development when they provide support.

• 34 Ways Foundation was founded as a support organization to provide guidance and encouragement to children through football camps, activities, and programs. Our mission is to help youth by promoting sports, academics, and other mentoring programs that build character, teach discipline, and encourage good health and education.

• Our motto at 34 Ways Foundation is “Teaching, Reaching, and Educating Youth 4 Life!” This goal oriented message is a simple one in that it inspires and motivates the community to encourage the youth to attain their goals.

Mike McKenzie

Founder of 34 Ways Foundation


• The main objectives are to assess the level of adolescent participation in organizations whose programs are designed for young people, to identify best practices and to make recommendations to improve their involvement in decision making, as well as program design, implementation and evaluation.

• Charter the foundation on college campuses throughout the Southern states utilizing University of Memphis as the first University to house this foundation to empower youth as well as the students on campus. This will enable the students to participate in community service, become student tutors at the university as well as the local high schools. Provide the students with other resources toward upward mobility.  

• 34 Ways Foundation uses sports and other various activities as a vehicle to reach out to children and the community. We believe that children need guidance and encouragement to turn their dreams into reality.

• The goal is to foster an environment that not only creates positive individuals, but also instilling pride in one’s self and community.

• Give communities something to look forward to each year while leaving a lasting impression and a more positive outlook on life for all parties involved.

Goals of the Foundation

​Reaching families 34 WAYS! This has always been my one and only goal.  The goal is to foster an environment that not only creates positive individuals, but also instilling pride in one’s self and community. While we promote health, physical fitness, community strength and hope for a brighter future, each year I challenge myself as well as the foundation team to be more creative in fundraising. This foundation must receive donations in order for it to continue to be successful. My most important goal is reach a different family, a different child, a different city, a different state. With doing so, I know my foundation will remain successful.

Who does it target and support?

34 Ways Foundation held its first camp in April 2004 in Miami, FL. During our initial camp, we have served 120 elementary and middle school children from Miami-Dade County. We have continued with this camp every April since 2004 recently serving 350 school-aged children in 2007; while also branching out into other regions in the south the past two years such as Memphis, TN and New Orleans, LA., and Lake Charles, La. We have served over 7,000 youth within the various cities. We support other foundations, communities, various charities, etc.

What brought about its establishment and when was it established?

​The world is constantly changing every day. The times where it took a village to raise a child are long gone, but everyone would agree that children are the future. But we as young adults, teachers, coaches, and parents are the future because we are the ones that are supposed to set the foundation for the youth. If that’s not done properly how are they supposed to lead us to greater heights in the upcoming decades! We as influencers of the next generation need to devote more of our time, effort, and energy to the youth. 34 Ways Foundation is inspired and completely dedicated to ushering this movement to reinforce the significant of the youth in our future.

In what ways does the foundation contribute to the Memphis community?

​34 ways Foundation participated in Memphis, Tennessee, for the 24rth Anniversary of the Africa-In-April Festival, held April 15 – 18, 2010. The Republic of Nigeria was this year’s featured country. This is a unique event that focuses on bringing African dignitaries, ambassadors, and culture to the Memphis Community on an annual basis. Corporate partners have worked diligently on an exciting series of training sessions, networking opportunities and marketing outlets for the venue.
​With special guest from New Orleans, La. DRAGO’S charbroiled Oysters Restaurant, The ZULU tramp’s Experience, a Mardi Gras float designed by The Kern’s of Mardi Gras World, and last but not least the second line Band.  To add a little flare to the event we also provided hot plates of signature dishes from New Orleans, La. The menu was Gumbo, Jambalaya, shrimp and Pepper Corn soup.

What are the upcoming events or annual events held in the area?

HAITI Project, “Skills to Build a new HAITI”- this project is unique as 34 WAYS Foundation has teamed with United Athlete Group Foundation of Memphis, TN., and Africa in April Foundation of Memphis, TN., to teach the people of Haiti how to begin the process of rebuilding their lives, homes, market places, and communities. After meeting with the Mayor of Memphis, TN., and of Petion Ville, Haiti and several dignitaries of Port au Prince, Haiti, we know firsthand what their needs are. 34 WAYS Foundation will be interviewing volunteers to assist with this project that will teach knowledge, skills, and abilities to the Haitian men and women as we begin the recovery process. We will continue to raise the funding needed to complete one project at a time.

What are some noted achievements the foundation can list since its establishment?

a.) Second Harvest Food Bank- I have teamed with Rouse’s Grocery Store who donates thousands of dollars and provide canned goods. For nearly 28 years, Second Harvest Food Bank has been feeding hope in South Louisiana. They are leading the fight against hunger through food distribution, advocacy, education, and disaster response.
​b.) Lake Charles, La. Charity Events- 34 WAYS Foundation selects 5 schools each year to host an Essay Writing Contest explaining why their family should be chosen to receive gifts and food baskets during the holidays. 5 top winners are selected by me and presented with a autographed framed action photo to them in front of their family, teachers, principals, peers, and last but not least the Mayor, Randy Roach.
​c.) After School Student- Athlete Mentoring Program- I chose my high school, Miami Norland High School; because I know firsthand what is needed outside of regular day to day teachings to assist our youth in furthering their education as a student athlete. After several years these students have made a tremendous improvement in their grades as well as their performance as an athlete.

What would you say are some of his proudest moments as founder of this organization?

For several years now Mr. Donald Rouse and I, Michael McKenzie “34 WAYS Foundation “has teamed- up to give thousands of toys, turkeys, chickens, all the dressings and fixings, for the youth in New Orleans, La.  
​Aristotle tells us that we are the sum of our actions and motivation. As a mentor and motivator for youth I appreciate the premise that an individual’s cumulative actions can result in a fantastic end. At “Rouse’s Grocery store” we have taken this even further. We have taken action this year and we have done so collectively and I can only pay tribute to the outcome. Thanking all volunteers for their support and hard work in making this event a success.
​On June 27, 2010 Mike McKenzie and 34 WAYS Foundation participated in the Zydeco Festivities by signing T-shirts, photos, hats, and other memorabilia.  Photos with Mike McKenzie were readily available immediately after the pictures were taken with him. In Lake Charles, La. 34 WAYS Foundation will kick- off the 2010-2011 school years with the proceeds from the Trail Ride by providing Back 2 School supplies and back packs.
​34WAYS Foundation joined the MLK Coalition of Southwest Louisiana in celebrating the birthday of slain civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., with activities ranging from prayer and song to discussion and reflection. Highlighting the celebrations is the annual Memorial Breakfast. There are many activities throughout this weekend each year.
In each city I have played football in, I have also begun an outreach program.

Why is it important to me to give back to those communities? (Miami, Memphis, New Orleans)

​Participation in organized sports boosts confidence and self-esteem, family and community interaction, sportsmanship, and life skills. We at 34 Ways Foundation teach the skills needed to survive and cope with diverse situations, to reach out to as many individuals as possible, and to educate the youth about the importance of staying in school, saying ‘No’ to drugs, and taking responsibility for their actions.
​We, as a foundation, provide valuable learning experiences in a positive and supportive manner to as many children as we are able to fund. These experiences will help individuals to better understand the necessary skills that life demands and empower them to realize the choices and options that are available to them. One of the things that differentiate our product and service from other charitable groups is our background in our own inner city. We at 34 Ways Foundation are a product of the same community where individuals invested their time and energy into us and it’s only right we give the same time and energy back.
​Our background in the community allows us to relate to the needs of the youth and its make the assimilation of the community and youth easier for us. 34 Ways Foundation is well aware of the conditions and pressure faced by youth in the community because we were faced with similar situations. A mutual understanding and appreciation exists between our foundation and the community that makes our service invaluable.