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Indianapolis parents, kids learn crucial life skills at Martin University summit

Breakthrough to Excellence Youth and Parent Summit
Posted at 7:41 PM, Apr 09, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS — Dozens of people attended the first Breakthrough to Excellence Youth and Parent Summit Saturday on the city's east side.

The event was held at Martin University. There was a free breakfast followed by classes on topics like financial literacy and self-esteem. Then a resource fair rounded out the day.

Amber Lynch organized the event.

“My goal was to put every barrier that our community faces in one weekend, in one location, with all the different programs to try and create opportunities for the kids,” Lynch said.

Kisha Wilson brought her son to the summit so he could learn skills not taught in schools.

“You need the basic trainings, the basic life skills, and then different ways that you would be able to succeed as an adult,” Wilson said.

Lynch’s original plan was to host a summit for youth, but in a Zoom meeting she held while planning the event, she realized the concept was even more popular with adults.

“The adults on the zoom were like, 'I need this. It's good you're teaching our kids, but we need this.' And then when registration happened, I think it was 20 adults that signed up with no kids,” Lynch said.

Friends Darryl Hardy and Ken Morris went together. They wanted to learn about resources available in the community so they can bring use that knowledge to help people in need at their church. Morris believes that many people don’t know about the services available.

“Parents ... they want to help their children but they don't know how. They don't know who to call and where to begin getting assistance. And I feel like places like this are a place to start,” said Hardy. "Maybe only 20% of people know about it, so we've really got to broaden that percentage to really make a difference."

Lynch organized the event herself, independent from organizations. She had some help from friends and family but says even the funding largely came from her own pocket.

“Some days I wanted to give up. Because I was like, 'Wait, this is too much on me,’” Lynch said.

But she can’t wait to do it all again.

“If I can stop one of you from living in poverty or getting into a bad situation, then I did my job,” she said.

Lynch hopes to make the summit a semiannual event, with the next one in the fall. She said it will be bigger and even better.