National Gun Violence Awareness Month & Our Commitment to Keeping Students Safe | Elevate Indianapolis

During National Gun Violence Awareness Month, we reaffirm our commitment to creating safer communities for our youth. At Elevate Indianapolis, we believe in the power of strong relationships and positive activities to make a difference. Through our unique relationship-building approach and exposure to our Sports & Adventure program, we are providing students with safer alternatives.

National Gun Violence Awareness Month is a crucial time to reflect on the impact of gun violence on our communities and to celebrate the initiatives that aim to reduce this violence. In 2024, gun violence continues to be a critical issue among students in Indianapolis. The city has experienced a concerning increase in shootings and homicides among youth aged 18-24, even as rates for younger teens have seen some decline. Community leaders and organizations are actively working on interventions to address this crisis, emphasizing the need for innovative and committed efforts to combat the root causes of violence and support affected families.

At Elevate Indianapolis, we are dedicated to fostering safer environments for our youth through innovative programs that focus on relationship-building and engaging activities. Our mission of building long-term, life-changing relationships with Indianapolis urban youth, equipping them to thrive and contribute to their community aligns perfectly with the objectives of this important month, and we are proud to contribute to a safer, more positive future for our students. Elevate Teacher-Mentors work closely with students, building trust and providing guidance that helps them navigate life’s challenges. This relationship-based approach is critical in keeping students safe and providing them with constructive alternatives to potentially dangerous paths.

Sports & Adventure Programming Keeping Students Safe

Our Sports & Adventure program is a key component of our strategy to engage youth in positive activities. Through this program, students spend quality time with Teacher-Mentors learning teamwork, discipline, and resilience as well as experiencing micro successes and failures in a safe environment. Adventure-based activities offer our students new experiences and challenges, promoting personal growth and self-confidence. By involving students in these activities, we not only keep them engaged and active but also help them develop critical life skills that can steer them away from violence and towards more promising futures.

“Under this umbrella of Sports & Adventure, we have the opportunity to open many more doors for our students than ever before, to challenge and engage them and to dive into deeper conversations that help them grow in character and social-emotional awareness. The sky is their limit!” – Josh Mendoza, Teacher-Mentor


Elevation Grant from the Indianapolis Foundation Helps to Fund this Initiative

We are immensely grateful for the support we have received through the Elevation Grant from the Indianapolis Foundation. In a significant stride toward fostering a safer community, Mayor Joe Hogsett and The Indianapolis Foundation, a member of the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) philanthropic collaborative, selected Elevate as one of the recipients of the fourth round of funding through the Elevation Grant Program.

The funds received through the Elevation Grant Program have been instrumental in furthering the Elevate’s programming and mission. The alignment between Elevate Indianapolis’s goals and the grant’s purpose exemplifies a shared commitment to creating safer neighborhoods and empowering the youth of Indianapolis. You can learn more about this grant and 2023 recipients in our Grant Funding Blog.

What Can You do to Support Gun Violence Awareness and Safety?

National Gun Violence Awareness Month is a time to reflect, honor, and act. At Elevate Indianapolis, we are committed to creating safer communities for our youth through strong relationships and positive, engaging activities. With the support of the Elevation Grant from the Indianapolis Foundation, we continue to work towards a safer, more hopeful future for all.

Join us in making a difference! Educate yourself about the root causes of gun violence and the importance of prevention. Support our mission by donating to our 2024-2025 Elevate program year or partner/volunteer your time to mentor and guide our youth. Your involvement can help provide safer alternatives and foster a brighter future for our community. Together, we can create lasting change and build a community where everyone can thrive.