A Message from the President

I am honored, excited and humbled to have founded WHEELpassion, Inc., a forward thinking, nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of our youth and the health of our community.

My dream is to leave a legacy of support and advocacy to young people, by providing opportunities for the development of leadership skills, healthy eating habits, and a physical exercise regimen, while offering viable options for becoming successful individuals in their respective communities.

People often ask how this idea came to me.  There was not one singular moment, but rather, a culmination of life experiences.  While a first year student at Mattatuck Community College, my English teacher gave me a chance after I’d turned in an assignment.  She returned it to me and, instead of seeing a big fat red “F” on my paper, or any other letter grade, I saw the words “See me after class.”  If you have not experienced anything like this before, I will tell you, it is chilling!  To make matters worse, the kid sitting next to me said, “Hey man, what did you do wrong?”  I looked at him and said, “I am not interested in having a discussion at this moment.” (I didn’t actually use those words.)  The teacher and I agreed to meet before class the next day to work on the paper.  Under her guidance and through my own determination, the essay was edited until it was nearly perfect.  Without that type of adult support and encouragement, I am not sure where I would be in life today!

I send a heartfelt thanks to you, the Board of Directors and the Advisory Team.  Thank you for bringing your passion, intellect, insight, experience and resources to the table.  Thank you for challenging me and your fellow Board members.  It is through your commitment that we are able to make a difference in someone’s life.

Corporate Partners
To meet the objectives of our strategic plan, we are building a network of small businesses and corporations from the community who share our vision and pursuit of our common values.  Each of our corporate partners, your support is instrumental in developing our programs and to establish scholarship opportunities for graduates of the Leaders & Scholars Fellowship Program.  As we continue to grow, please know that partnerships with sponsors like you are vital to the success of WHEELpassion.  You are truly appreciated.

A Call to Action for Youth
The charge of WHEELpassion is to encourage and enable you to reach your goals.  To prospective candidates, we ask you to come to us with the following traits:  First, be a curious thinker.  Second, be that one who examines the possible while exploring the probable.  And finally, “know that your creativity will pave a path to your goals, and reaching your goals is a direct result of your courage to dream.”  Get out from behind that screen and go get some exercise!

Duane E. Perkins
Founder and President
WHEELpassion, Inc.