Dennis Beale, founder of Power of Perception, a mentoring program for Eau Claire students that creates opportunities for minority youth, talks with WEDC Secretary Missy Hughes about how passion, motivation and connection are essential for the state’s growth.
Born and raised on the south side of Chicago by my single mother nothing has ever come easy. I’ve had to work hard for everything that I have now. I am grateful for having grown up in a household knowing who God was and being able to test my faith on my own as an adult has taught me invaluable lessons. I never thought I was going to go to college. But I graduated high school and went on to college to play football, after playing for a couple years I transferred to UW-Eau Claire to continue my football career. There, at UW-EC is where I quickly learned that my drive and passion was no longer for football but for academics. I left the football team and focused solely on academics, graduating with my Bachelors in Sociology and going on to complete my Masters in Higher Education-Professional Development is to date my biggest accomplishment; and for that I am proud of myself. Throughout my higher education journey I have had the opportunity to assist and start programs, like Black Male Empowerment at UWEC, creating a culture for African American males to have a voice, but mold them into better men. In May of 2018 we had the opportunity of going to London/Paris for 21 days to conduct research. Currently, I have started my own business called the Power of Perception (Est. Feb. 2020) geared creating mentoring chapters for African American/ Biracial youth in rural/inner city communities in the 6th-12 grade. I have partnered with the Eau Claire Area School District with chartering the first chapter of P.O.P., along with the Boys and Girls Club of the Greater Chippewa Valley area and Chippewa Falls School District.