The principles we believe so strongly in and how we introduce them present a different perspective than what children today may have previously been aware of or exposed to. We do not lecture the kids, rather we talk to them and share our personal experiences through storytelling, both the positive and negative, and explain to them that it is not WHAT you want to become...but WHO that matters. We try to illustrate the principles instead of just preaching them to the kids in order to actually expose them to examples of how they are used in real life.
A O.K. Events
• Holiday Gifts for Giving Event (1st & 2nd Saturdays in December)
• Easter and Thanksgiving Day Food Drives
• Charity Event Co-Sponsorships
• MANNA Philadelphia Food Delivery
Although AOK's Events are held for people and communities in need,
they are always focused on the same principles that we believe in, discuss
and present. We attempt to "walk the walk" during the actual events,
alongside our friends and family who do the same.
A O.K. Presentations
• "Not WHAT you want to become, but WHO" presentation
• Career Days
• Hugh O'Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership Weekend Seminars
• Specifically tailored presentations
AOK's presentations are centered on helping kids through the
message: It's not WHAT you want to become, but WHO that matters.TM This
message is the cornerstone of the founder's lives and hence what they
implicitly speak about. AOK was founded in 2002 and has been speaking
to children over the past 10 years, although its founders have been doing so
for almost 20 years.
Our presentations are primarily to high school students but always
simply center on our own friendship and the principles we learned throughout
our childhood and young adult lives. We share our own experiences of
friendships, successes, and failures to help the kids understand the meaning
of the principles rather than preaching about them and the "right" thing to
do. Our goal is to have the kids interpret each story for themselves,
from their own perspective, which will help them deal with their specific
challenges. Each kid is in their own unique situation, with their own
unique set of challenges, and hence an interpretation of how to make
use our message is better suited for them, not us.
Pete Mauro and Pete Eobbi co-founded the non-profit in December of 2002, but the ideas began back in the early 1990's when the two friends met at Drexel University while studying Engineering. They were very puzzled as to why so many people seemed generally unhappy. Through the years they developed a theory that it was because many people knew WHAT they wanted to be or WHAT they were in life (rich, poor, an engineer, a plumber, a doctor, a salesman) but didn't pay much attention to WHO they wanted to be or WHO they were (mom, dad, friend, good person, mean person, honorable). The two friends spoke frequently about how people spent so much time becoming SOMETHING, that they forgot that they were most importantly, SOMEONE.
After years of heartfelt discussions and scattered notes on loose leaf, Eobbi and Mauro realized they wanted to do something productive with this theory. They challenged themselves to figure out how to send their message, and more importantly to whom. Before they could answer the question, it was answered for them. A youth leadership group that Eobbi had attended in high school and now donated to, called him and asked him to deliver a keynote speech to open up their leadership weekends in the spring of 2002. An invitation for Mauro to sit on the group's entrepreneurial panel shortly followed. Excited and modestly flattered, the two looked back at what they had been doing for the past 10 years. To their surprise, the answer was right before their very eyes. It was children and young adults that had subconsciously been their focus. They had been informally working with children and speaking at high school career days as volunteers and as favors to friends and family. They decided that it was children who could benefit most from their message because they are most impressionable.