An innovative initiative changing the lives of Indianapolis urban kids into the next generation of leaders.

Aaron Story Named Elevate’s
President & CEO

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Elevate Indianapolis Student: Sierra's Story

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What is elevate indianapolis?

An Effective Teacher/Mentor Model with Proven Results

Tackling the challenges of our urban youth ... not with a "hand out," but a "hand up" to change generational poverty and empower the next generation of leaders.

Provides hope and a plan for post-secondary future

Teaches accredited curriculum of 13 character qualities and life skills

Instructs in-class five days weekly for high school credit

Participants graduate from high school at collective rate exceeding 95%

Graduates pursue college, vocational training or service career at 90% rate

Connects urban kids with opportunities in business community


Make no mistake -- this program will require significant and sustained investment of community resources to achieve its potential, but I am certain that the right partners will make it possible. I look forward to expounding on the vision I share with Elevate leadership in small group presentations with business and community leaders like you as we forge ahead.

Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee, Superintendent, Indianapolis Public Schools


85% of IPS Students Qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch

IPS kids grow up dealing with derailing life obstacles that prevent them from seeing a possible future. Without hope, these challenges fuel generational poverty and continue a drain on society.

Data sources:
Indiana Youth Institute
Department of Education

3,443 Juvenile
Delinquency Case Filings

31.4% kids under the age
of 18 grow up in poverty

38% will have a baby
before their 19th birthday

22.6% of kids lack access
to regular meals

What is the cost to society?


Studies estimate every high school dropout over an average lifetime costs society approximately $2 million through dependence on welfare, lack of meaningful employment, incarceration or combination thereof

The Solution

Confronting the Root of the Problem ... NO HOPE

Instead of building more jails and homeless shelters, Elevate teaches our urban kids about hope, grit, character qualities, life skills and perseverance so their future is not defined by a zip code and/or circumstances they did not choose. The Elevate model has been a huge success in Denver, Orlando, Phoenix and New York. Indianapolis is the fifth city to join this national movement.

Graduation RatesPost-Secondary Placement
Denver, CO90%86%
Orlando, FL97%95%
Phoenix, AZ98%90%
New York, NY96%96%
Indianapolis, IN?Started January 2016?Started January 2016

How Elevate Indianapolis Works

We Transform Lives of Urban Kids Holistically Year-Round

Elevate develops stable, consistent relationships between urban kids and full-time privately funded teacher/mentors to create structure and accountability for change to occur.

Group Mentoring In School

  • Full Time Diverse Ethnic Teacher/Mentors
  • Teach Daily Class, 5 Days Weekly
  • Elective Credit for High School Students
  • Curriculum Meets National Standards

Individual Mentoring

  • 24/7/365 Availability & Support
  • Same In-School Teacher/Mentors
  • After-School, Evenings & Weekends
  • Develops Consistent Relationships

Holistic Development Focused on 13 Character Qualities & Life Skills

  • Vision
  • Courage
  • Respect
  • Caring
  • Responsibility
  • Positive Work Ethic
  • Integrity
  • Career-Mindedness
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Problem-Solving
  • Decision-Making
  • Goal-Setting

Teach the Teacher
Learning Experience

  • High School Juniors & Seniors
  • Teach/Model In-Class Learning
  • 4th/5th Graders Once Weekly

Group Activities

  • Summer Programs
  • Adventure Programs
  • Post-Secondary Preparation
  • College, Vocational or Service Career

Marcia Barnes: Why I Invest in Elevate

“My investments in other people and the way I look at my giving is to fill in that space where I was hurt in. I’ve overcome that and I want to help other people overcome that. That is why I invest in Elevate.”

Marcia Barnes, Founder & CEO, Valve+Meter & Elevate Board Member

Support Elevate

Three Ways to Help Elevate Indianapolis!!!

Elevate is not about education reform or just another mentoring organization. We invest in the lives of our urban kids everyday -- in the classroom ... after school ... in the summer ... holistically ... year-round. Through a highly effective model in four other major cities, Elevate is unique, unlike any other model in our city.

Is there any commodity more important than investing in urban kids who are fighting to overcome circumstances in which they did not choose to change generational poverty and learn they can achieve a positive future? Elevate believes not.

Please join our efforts to help transform the state's largest school district ... our urban core ... our city.


Experience Elevate through a Site Visit.
These one-hour experiences include a casual lunch, discussion and observation of an Elevate class.

Schedule a Site Visit


Sharing what we do with others is the gift that keeps giving. We’d greatly appreciate it!

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