INDIANAPOLIS — The Edna Martin Christian Center, historically known for its involvement in crime intervention in the local community has recently been awarded a $175,000 Elevation grant to help towards crime prevention and for investing in at-risk youth.
The $175,000 Elevation Grant from Indianapolis city officials will be used to expand the organization's Achieving, Elevating and Completing Initiative otherwise known as ACE.
The program is for 14 to 18-year old’s who are identified as high risk of suspension or expulsion. The program includes behavioral therapy, workforce development and conflict resolution tactics. These prevention strategies are something the organization says is working.
"I'm seeing change,” Immanuel Ivey, Senior Director of Workforce Development at Edna Martin Christian Center said. “For an individual who steadily has behavioral issues and problems at school who is being suspended who is on the verge of expulsion now, they are going back to their home school. Now they are being productive. Now they are actually getting the grades that they need to get to go and to graduate that's the proof right there."
The center works with several outside non-profit grassroots organizations to create wrap-around services for kids when they aren’t at school. This grant will allow the organization to expand its services.
"Originally, we were only at Positive Supports Academy solely working with their high school students,” Ivey said. “Now we are working with the high school and middle school but also, we have partnered with KIPP Legacy High School and middle school as well to work with them. “
The grant has provided Edna Martin Christian Center with the opportunity to serve up to 80 students, a number that was previously around 20 students.
The funding for this expansion came from American Rescue Plan funds, a portion of which the city of Indianapolis will use specifically for violence prevention programs, such as Edna Martin Christian Centers'.
For more information about the Edna Martin Christian Center click here.