Program to Prep 'Tomorrow's Urban Leaders'

Posted: Updated:
(Image Courtesy: Arsenal Technical High School Alumni Association) (Image Courtesy: Arsenal Technical High School Alumni Association)
INDIANAPOLIS -

A new nonprofit formed and led by business and community leaders is partnering with Indianapolis Public Schools on an initiative aimed at transforming the lives of urban youth. ELEVATE Indianapolis is modeled after Colorado Uplift in Denver and ELEVATE programs in Orlando, Phoenix and New York, where organizers boast collective graduation rates in excess of 95 percent. ELEVATE Indianapolis is privately-funded by the central Indiana business community, foundations and individuals and focuses on providing youth with a "plan for the future."

Colorado Uplift has been in Denver Public Schools for 30 years.

The model provides full-time, ethnically-diverse teachers and mentors, employed by ELEVATE, to teach high school students a comprehensive curriculum of 13 character qualities and life skills as an elective class for credit. Students can be involved in the classes all day or during just a portion of the day.

"ELEVATE Indianapolis invests in and helps transform the lives of urban youth holistically to provide them hope and a plan for their future," said Chief Executive Officer Jim Shaffer in a news release issued by the organization. "We look forward to developing the ELEVATE model in IPS, while enhancing opportunities for urban youth through collaboration with myriad organizations, including projects to 'give back' and serve in the community."

IPS Superintendent Lewis Ferebee visited ELEVATE Orlando earlier this year. "I heard feedback from a wide variety of program stakeholders, the superintendent, school administrators, teacher/mentors, board members, staff and - most importantly - students.  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," said Ferebee in a statement.

The program, which works specifically with public high schools in urban areas, will begin with two classes at Arsenal Tech High School and Shaffer says it could eventually grow to have an impact on up to 2,300 students district-wide and be in two or three high schools. Classes are slated to begin in January. Shaffer tells Inside INdiana Business the lessons learned and successes gained through the program will spread throughout the school and positively effect those not taking the classes. He says the ELEVATE model is being considered by district officials in Boston, Los Angeles and Ferguson, Missouri.

Steve Cosler, a partner with Water Street Healthcare Partners, LLC, was a cofounder of ELEVATE Orlando and after relocating to his hometown of Indianapolis, co-founded the local affiliate with Shaffer, Sagamore Institute President Jay Hein, Honey Creek Capital Managing Partner Don Palmer and Cornerstone Companies Chief Executive Officer Bob Whitacre.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Chief Executive Officer Jim Shaffer says the business community is “absolutely key” in driving the program.
  • Perspectives

    • A Good 'Space' is About More Than Design

      Spaces Indiana, a competitive design showcase of innovative workspaces in Indiana, recently celebrated five winners from its 2017 pool of candidates, including MOBI, greenlight.guru, Flaherty & Collins, Mimir, and Bradley & Montgomery. These winners were chosen from dozens of forward-thinking, innovative companies who understand that workplace design is critical to realizing success. Attending the Spaces event brought back memories of my first job out of college.

    More

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • 'Best and Brightest' Finalists Unveiled

      Junior Achievement of Central Indiana has unveiled its list of "Indy's Best and Brightest" finalists. The event honors 100 of the area's "most outstanding young professionals" in central Indiana under the age of 40 in 10 industries including technology, manufacturing and government.

    • What is The Future of Tech Jobs In Indiana?

      Could the tech jobs of the future be filled by the skilled trades workers of the present? According to one of the state's foremost leaders in the tech sector the answer is a resounding yes. In an interview with ClearObject Chief Executive Officer John McDonald, he was quick to point out that the Indianapolis area alone currently has over 1,000 jobs open in the tech industry, specifically for "coders and people who can do data analytics." 

    • City, Talent Attract Fort Wayne Metals Expansion

      A key executive at Fort Wayne Metals says the city's ongoing downtown investment and increasing ability to compete for talent makes it a great place to operate and grow. The company announced this week it is investing $50 million in its Allen County operations, creating more than 330 jobs, and Senior Director of Human Capital Evan Wood says the city is creating a culture that is critical to attracting young talent.

    • Indy Company Acquires Denton Pharma

      An Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical repackaging and fulfillment company has acquired New York-based Denton Pharma Inc. Financial details were not disclosed, however Northwind Pharmaceuticals says Denton will continue its operations in the northeast.

    • Tropicana Evansville Set For Grand Opening

      Indiana’s first land-based casino will Friday open its doors. Officials are set to cut the ribbon on the Tropicana Evansville, which moved inland after being a riverboat casino for more than 20 years.