Dr. Wesley Proctor: Changing the game by empowering those who give back

Cherri Gregg
February 20, 2019 - 6:00 am
Dr. Wesley Proctor

Cherri Gregg/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Dr. Wesley Proctor is a behind-the-scenes kind of guy.  

As founder of Wesley Proctor Ministries, the Southwest Philadelphia native's charitable focus is helping those who give back get focused.

"They say I'm the nonprofit guy," he said. "I help everyday community people establish their nonprofit organization."

Over the years, Proctor has prepared the required documents for more than 800 501(c)(3) organizations. He takes individuals through the process of getting a tax identification number and getting them incorporated. Then, once they are legal, Proctor teaches the groups nonprofit accounting, fundraising, grant writing, board leadership and more.

"There's no formula to say you won't be successful because you live at 54th and Spruce and have four kids," he said. "This opens them up to a global scale of opportunity, and it's really stepping them up on another level."

Proctor said the process makes nonprofits more effective by stretching their reach. A number of past KYW Newsradio GameChangers have been helped by Proctor — ASK Lupus, Childhoodslost Foundation and Mont Brown's Kickback Foundation — all for minimal fees.  

Proctor then reinvests the funds into the ministry to help high-schoolers through the James William Proctor Book Award. He named the scholarship after his brother who never had the opportunity to go to college because he was tragically murdered.

Dr. Wesley Proctor
Courtesy of Wesley Proctor Ministries

Proctor was blessed, he said, to have people around him who helped him dream big. The George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science grad got a full scholarship to the University of Delaware. It was a tough four years, but he went on to Temple University and later the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a Ph.D. in education — all by 26 years old. 

His entire education was paid for, and he graduated with zero debt.

"I always wanted to give back in some way," he said, "so individuals wouldn't have to go through what I went though."

Proctor originally wanted to be the president of a college, but ended up volunteering at the Victory Christian Center in West Philadelphia. Currently the executive administrator and youth pastor, he ministers to hundreds of young people.

"I love watching them grow," said Proctor, who pushes the youth he works with.

Dr. Wesley Proctor
Courtesy of Wesley Proctor Ministries

He also pushes his nonprofits to do the right thing and be savvy when running their organizations.

"I keep them legal so that they can keep on doing the wonderful things that they do," he added. "I want to build game-changers."

Proctor's efforts have been rewarded. Wells Fargo donated a property to Wesley Proctor Ministries near 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue. He's working to renovate the Catherine H. Proctor Community Center and plans to use the space to host his nonprofit workshops and provide a safe haven for youth.

"I am working to help people establish their dream," he explained, "and I am proud that people let me be a part of that."

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GameChangers is led by KYW Newsradio's community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg and recognizes 10 individuals or organizations that are making a positive impact on communities of color. For a full list of 2019's GameChangers, visit kywnewsradio.com/gamechangers.