Nonprofits Collaborate to Help Teens Develop Career Paths
3 Local Nonprofits Join Forces to Impact Youth at Purdue Polytech High School
A local group of nonprofits have joined forces to better impact youth on the Eastside of Indianapolis who attend Purdue Polytech High School (PPHS).
Elevate Indianapolis, DREAM Alive, and Shepherd Community Center have launched a joint mentoring program this month aimed at helping teens at PPHS become career ready through extensive and holistic collaborative programming provided by all three partners.
Students at PPHS will have the opportunity to engage in joint programming and mentoring that focuses on career development. Students will have opportunities to participate before school, during school, and after school. The programming is holistic, accredited, and some career pathway outcomes include students receiving job credentials such as Child Development Associate (CDA) certification, ServSafe certification, mechanic certifications, and more all before high school graduation. Job credentials aren’t the only outcome though, as the goal is to help youth be better prepared for their future career path, in other words, to help youth be employable, enrolled in continued education, or enlisted in the military upon high school graduation.
“The collaboration we are building together will lead to a better stewardship of resources and deeper impacts on the students and families we will serve. This partnership allows each of the partners to be the best version of themselves while aiming at larger outcomes otherwise unattainable alone, ” says Elevates CEO & President Aaron Story.
This joint collaboration was recently selected as a recipient of The Indiana Department of Education’s Explore, Engage, and Experience grant funding which aims to strengthen, expand, and create effective career paths for K-12 students. By collaborating, all three organizations bring the best of their youth development programs to students together at PPHS while opening the full menu of each nonprofit’s services to every student. The joint-partnershp at PPHS is just the beginning though as this collaboration will expand to serve grades 4-12 collaboratively in a long-term, “continuum” of care and development that doesn’t just end at PPHS graduation, but continues in relationship based support well beyond graduation.
“Mario Morino, in his book, Leap of Reason, says that the great organizations are those that tackle issues bigger than themselves, and partner with others to accomplish it. That is what we are doing here, Elevate Indy, DREAM Alive, and Shepherd Community are coming together to make a greater impact,” says Jay Height, President of Shepherd Community Center.
The partnership with PPHS launched on August 3rd and Eric Müller, DREAM Alive’s Executive Director says, “This is just the beginning of these organizations partnering together. This partnership will not only help change lives this year at Purdue Polytech, but this will launch our organization’s into regular partnership with each other for the youth of all ages on the Eastside of Indianapolis. For a DREAM Alive youth to attend Elevate’s high school classes, and then benefit from a Shepherd’s holistic family services, and for youth to be known and supported for 8-12 continual years only better helps that individual youth and family. And that’s what we are here to do, better help our city’s youth. To change lives. We can do that better together than apart.”
For more information on each partner, please see their information below.
About DREAM Alive DREAM Alive (DA)’s mission is helping vulnerable youth break the cycle of poverty by developing career paths and mentoring them from 7th through 12th grade. DA’s 6-year continuum of mentor programming is designed to help youth develop a career path, develop soft skills, and develop a professional network before high school graduation. DA was originally founded by retired Indianapolis Colts’ Tarik Glenn in 2001. To learn more about DREAM Alive, please visit dreamaliveinc.org
About Purdue Polytechnic High School Founded by Purdue University and the City of Indianapolis in partnership with community, industry, and academic leaders, Purdue Polytechnic High School prepares students to succeed in technical, STEM-related post-secondary programs and high-tech careers.
Purdue Polytechnic High School inspires students to pursue their passion through the lens of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), hands-on and project-based learning, industry partnerships, and a flexible, personalized learning environment. To learn more about PPHS, please visit pphs.purdue.edu
About SHEPHERD COMMUNITY Shepherd Community is a faith-based, inner-city ministry that has operated on the near Eastside of Indianapolis since 1985. Their mission is to break the cycle of poverty on the near Eastside of Indianapolis by engaging and empowering the community to cultivate healthy children, strong families, and vibrant neighborhoods through a Christ-centered approach that meets the physical, emotional, spiritual, and academic needs of our neighbors. To learn more about Shepherd, please visit shepherdcommunity.org
About ELEVATE INDIANAPOLIS Elevate Indianapolis builds long-term, life-changing relationships with Indianapolis urban youth, equipping them to thrive and contribute to their community. They do this missional work with 4th through 12th graders and program alumni using a model developed 40 years ago in Denver, Colorado that is currently used in 17 cities across America through the Elevate USA network of affiliates. This program includes four key elements: Accredited Classes in character & life skills during the school day and three types of after-school mentoring with students–Pathways to Purpose college & career programming, “life on life” mentoring, and Sports & Adventure programming, executed by a staff of full-time Teacher-Mentors who are representative of the students we serve. Our Teacher-Mentors spend half their time with students during the school day and half their time with them after school in a 24/7/365 relational mentoring model where they are accessible to students on a personal basis. In the 2021-22 program year, Elevate Indianapolis served over 700 students and recent graduates of five Indianapolis Public Schools.. To learn more about the impact of Elevate Indy, please visit impact.elevateindy.org