Our Story

McKenzie Noelle Wilson was a light. She was a light at home by loving her parents and brothers well. She was a light at school with her constant smile and laughter for teachers and classmates alike. She was a light in sports by cheerleading and playing softball with excellence and a good attitude. And she was a light in church, seeking God’s heart and desiring to bring him glory.

On August 17th, 2010, McKenzie passed away from a rare and sudden illness at the age of 15. Her family was overwhelmed as more than 1,800 people attended her funeral to celebrate her beautiful life.

McKenzie had always fostered a deep passion for helping others, and wanted people to feel loved and cared for. The McKenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation was created to embrace this passion of hers and to honor her life by helping young people realize their full potential. We do this in two ways:

The McKenzie Academic Resource Centers

MARC centers serve over 300 at-risk youth in two Jacksonville communities. McKenzie’s Academic Resource Center’s offer academic tutoring, mentoring and developmental programs for students of all ages. The MARC builds the bridge between the classroom and community by connecting teachers, tutors, mentors and volunteers to our students. In addition, MARC students attend “KAMP KENZIE”, a 6-week summer camp providing enriching and fun activities.


Amaka ga McKenzie

“McKenzie’s Home” The Foundation built three homes at the Okoa Refuge Orphanage in Uganda, Africa and in partnership with Okoa Refuge, provides medical care, food, shelter, education and love to over 75 girls, boys and infants. These facilities consist of a boy’s home, girl’s home and abandoned baby home along with a staff that give love and care to these orphaned children. The Foundation has committed $250,000 to Okoa’s “CHILD SPONSORSHIP FUND” over 5 years, ensuring that no child is turned away. Learn more on how to sponsor a child on our global outreach website.