Dear Elevate supporters and friends-
Like all of you I imagine, I’ve never had my temperature checked more in my life. I’ve never had cleaner hands, nor have I ever covered my face and cough, as well as I, have during this Hoosier allergy season.
And for all of us working professionally with youth, in education, or simply as parents, we’ve never had a back to school year like this. As a parent of four plus a foster child, every day brings an unexpected challenge.
As IPS went back to school on Monday, so did Elevate–at Arsenal Tech High School and George Washington High School. Albeit so incredibly different, our summer mentoring has ended, and classes have begun. Our team of Teacher-Mentors has already begun teaching essential character qualities like respect, caring, positive work ethic, and integrity, and life skills that include problem-solving, decision-making, and goal-setting. Assets required for long-term, life-changing success regardless of what the future holds.
Our mission to building long-term, life-changing relationships with Indianapolis urban youth hasn’t wavered in this unusual time. Our core values as an organization keep our commitment to that mission strong. You can see the full list of our seven values in detail below; what hasn’t changed is our deep belief that every child is of great worth and has the desire and potential to succeed. As a “kid first” organization, we believe in the intrinsic dignity of each of the kids we serve and their families. These values and our mission have shaped our response during the COVID-19 crisis to help us continue to be fully present for our Elevate kids, using our holistic approach.
Our mission is messy. It’s slow and challenging at times. This season of going back to school has major difficulties, to be certain! But I thank you for staying with us as supporters, friends, and advocates for children living in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.
For a short back to school video update about Elevate that includes Ms. Flora Jones, IPS Postsecondary Readiness Director, CLICK HERE.
Aaron Story, Elevate Indianapolis CEO & President
PS–I also wanted to let you know that we have an exciting opportunity to partner with Near-Eastside community organizations to respond to the needs of children and families in our city. Tens of thousands of public school students within IPS’ boundaries, including all of our Elevate students, are engaged in full-time e-learning. Together with Shepherd Community Center and others, we will be providing a Community Learning Site for up to 50 students daily on the Near-Eastside.