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iCAN is a program developed under the D.C. based non-profit organization; Acts of Random Kindness (ARK), with a focus on encouraging, empowering, and emboldening young males of color. This program was developed to support young males, beginning at age 13, in the District of Columbia experiencing poverty, homelessness, foster care, and other at-risk identifiers. iCAN uses a workshop design combined with a mentorship component to positively impact the participating young males.


iCAN partners with local middle and high schools for implementation and take place in the community. ARK values the importance of community and believes that implementing these strategies in a comfortable setting will allow for the skills learned to have prolonged existence.

We currently have a cohort in Ward 7 and Ward 8.


Within the interactive workshop model, participants learn life and self-development skills. Youth are provided with first-hand exposure to a wide variety of career opportunities and participant specific academic support. Through our workshops, iCAN partners with community organizations and influential leaders who provide essential tools and resources that improve day-to-day functioning.

The iCAN mentorship component offers a family/community-style mentoring approach with a singular focus on reinforcing workshop outcomes. Youth are paired with mentors who have the desire to give back to youth who are experiencing similar situations to the ones in which they’ve persevered. This two-fold program offers participating youth the opportunity to learn skills that are not being strategically taught in the school or in the home. iCAN’s dynamic exposure to skills and pathways to success instills hope in our young males and teaches them to persevere through life’s challenges. Through our family and community-oriented style of engagement, our youth learn to trust their peers and make permanent connections with local leaders.

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