INDIANAPOLIS — Giving kids the opportunity to thrive that may not have it otherwise is the goal behind a near northwest side organization.
Aspire House, located at the corner of Udell and Rader Streets, is giving a safe space for kids to experience new things.
The organization works to break the cycle of structural racism and dismantle barriers that kids of color face.
Co-founder Sharon Clark says it's crucial.
"Giving kids the opportunity to be happy and healthy. That's easier said than done. People think that everyone has access to fitness, health and sports and it's not actually true," Clark said.
The organization partners with the following schools on the near northwest side to help provide sporting opportunities for kids:
- Vision Academy
- Global Prep
- Liberty Grove
The school's are able to help give that chance to kids by allowing educators to partner with Aspire House in many programs in the community.
Those kids might otherwise have no ability to play.
The organization is breathing life in a neighborhood that has been hit hard with crime.
"This is a community that's gone through some struggles and had some tough times. I think a lot of focus stays on that. The reality is there's amazing people here and there's 2,000 plus kids within a couple mile radius from us," Clark said.
Idris Bradley is one of the students who partakes in sports at Aspire house.
The 5th-grader says it's overwhelming to know so many kids his age have been affected by guns.
He says Aspire House offers an outlet for kids to learn and do good in their community.
"It's really important to me because I can finally play a sport that I wanted to do," Bradley said.
Clark know show to do sports as she spent 23 years as the Butler Women's Volleyball head coach.
"Sports are such a great universal thing. First and foremost, it lets kids find their voice, gives them confidence and it builds leadership skills," Clark said.
Kyndal Washington has done cheerleading and is about to do rugby and cycling.
"I wouldn't know what to do. It is fun and I like the expierence." Washington said.
Aspire House is offering some non-traditional sports, such as:
- Girls rugby
- Girls flag football
- Sreet hockey
Earlier this year, The Mind Trust awarded Aspire House $30,000 to foster partnerships with schools through a school community partnership investments.
The organization is changing the minds of kids.
"I want people to know that you need to stay good in school and whatever sports you want to play, you play it. Even if somebody says you can't or you don't know how, you can still try," Bradley said.
The organization is currently constructing their new community space.
It will be housed at the old fire station at 1002 Udell Street.
The space will include an event space, hydration station, full kitchen and even apartments for educators.
Their goal is to slowly revitalize a neighborhood that has been neglected.
To read more about what the organization is going and what they have to offer, click here.