The mission of the K.W.O.E. Foundation is to initiate change in underserved communities by leading the path for today’s youth by promoting ownership of their actions, reject violence, and make wise life decisions.
Kareem “K.W.O.E.” Wells has been involved in a myriad of projects promoting peace & unity, seeking to help kids reject violence throughout Chicago. Through his fundraising efforts, motivational speaking as well as through his musical talents as an artist, K.W.O.E. spreads his message of hope to middle schoolers in urban neighborhoods that will inspire them to change their lives for the better. Through the K.W.O.E. Theory of Change the Foundation curates resources, teaches life skills and generates opportunities.
Kareem is on a mission to change the trajectory of young people’s lives, by helping them define their choices during a particularly influential age. The K.W.O.E. Foundation provides opportunities for all children to develop skills needed to make positive choices, live a life with inner confidence and outer kindness.
“Through my music and public appearances, I encourage young people to end the cycle of violence plaguing Chicago neighborhoods. When I speak to the kids I use my music and life experiences to inspire others to make the right decisions and overcome any challenges that the world may offer.”
– Kareem “K.W.O.E” Wells
"As part of our summer community program, we reclaim five Englewood parks to promote peace. K.W.O.E. was a featured performer at our events and brought his energetic music and message to inspire participants to stop the violence in our community. His songs resonated with attendees of all ages, and his uplifting news spread hope and peace. K.W.O.E. was an essential part of our summer program, and we were thrilled to have him participate in our community."Asiaha Butler
"The children of Chicago face a myriad of seemingly insurmountable odds. Accordingly, their trust level is low. K.W.O.E. has been forged in the same fires and brings a level of genuineness and inspiration that these children need to succeed. Few people that escape the West Side ever come back to help. K.W.O.E. is one of those rare people dedicated to helping his community."Senator Patricia Van Pelt, Ph.D.
"K.W.O.E and his message resonate deeply with the young people in our Safe Cities program. These young people have never before met someone who looks like them and speaks their language but lives downtown and is a successful, legitimate businessman. Because of this, K.W.O.E. can hold their attention in a unique, profound way. When the kids hear K.W.O.E.’s personal story, they think, “I can make it out too.” K.W.O.E. inspires them to break the cycle of violence by following in his footsteps. K.W.O.E.’s message challenges these young people to see the big picture: their choices are not just about a summer job; they are about their lives and decisions each day. We are grateful to have K.W.O.E. speak with our kids and help them move forward positively."Cheryl Phillips
"Thank you for your interest in the Our House program. KWOE has attended several group sessions with our residents, and each time, they are inspired by his message. One of our residents, in particular, was inspired to commit to finishing his high school education. After meeting with KWOE and hearing his story of getting his GED, our resident focused on getting his full credits for that semester and achieved that goal. We look forward to more interactions with KWOE."Melissa Rooth L.P.C, A.M.F.T
"On behalf of the staff at Communities in Schools of Chicago, thank you for partnering with us for the 106 Tenacity Awards. Your spirit truly embodied tenacity and made the third annual Tenacity Awards special. Since we met when working on the videos for the 106 winners, you have been a joy partner for me and this event. Your story is an inspiration, and your honesty during our reception showed everyone why. Your magic with one of the winners, Noah, was especially appreciated by everyone. And the surprise gift bags with iPads and merchandise was above and beyond — a super-special reward for our students. I hope that we continue to work together on the Tenacity Awards in new ways in the future. And of course, continue to partner with our schools so you can more broadly share your message of hope, persistence, and tenacity!"Jane Mentzinger
"I can’t speak highly enough of KWOE and the KWOE Hope Foundation. Over the past year, KWOE has generously donated his time and talents to facilitate programs at the Richard M. Daley branch of the Chicago Public library. From emceeing our all-ages West Humboldt Park’s Got Talent competition to leading a discussion on the history and meaning of hip hop for adults and teens, KWOE has brought his warmth, positive energy, and inspiring message to every interaction he has had with staff and patrons. Our patrons frequently ask when he’ll return, and they proudly wear hats and t-shirts bearing K.W.O.E.’s name."Keely M. Brennan