Youth Stewards

The initiative Youth Stewardship relates to the MAP Initiative 1, (Linking Learning, Health and Prosperity) because as quoted in MAP, “Education is the basis for social mobility and the ability to direct your life and the community’s direction.”  It is realized that the education of youth is the most important asset of a community in order to better the social dynamic.  It relates specifically to Actions 1.1 and 1.4, “Create an awareness-building coalition to promote the importance of education” and “Develop a community-based mentoring program.” Action 1.1 address the relationship between level of education and economic success.  The benefit of  high education not only benefits the individual, but benefits the surrounding community because it creates a ripple effect.  As for Action 1.4, a mentorship program will help guide the youth to prepare them for the “real world”.  This applies to the Industry Neighborhood because it helps in providing beneficial opportunities for at-risk-youth.

Why this is important

This initiative was given a high priority level by the residents and students.  The Youth Stewardship Initiative was created during the January Industry Neighborhood meeting.  Some community members established that there were youth that were running around the neighborhood with nothing productive to do.  This made it seem as though some youth in the neighborhood were at risk of falling through the cracks and not achieving life long success.

This initiative is important because many community members are concerned for the futures of these youth and want what is best for them.  This initiative looks to establish additional opportunities for the youth to get involved with the community and build pride and character in the Industry Neighborhood.

What this will involve

In order for the initiative to take place, the Industry Neighborhood will need to establish relationships with the youth that are at risk.   Some members of the community can begin mentoring the at risk youth and taking a stake in their lives and this could take place at the neighborhood association hall or maybe a future establishment used by the association.  Some of the connections outside of the neighborhood needed to aid in mentoring the youth include the Muncie School System, Several City Departments, and any willing individual to make a difference in the life of these “stray” youth.

Most initiatives will require one or two people to be in charge of it and ensure that the initiative is complete.  The Youth Stewardship Initiative is different as it should not just fall on one person to help mentor all of the at-risk youth.  If needed, one individual can oversee the process and follow up with several other community leaders to evaluate the mentoring process.  The individual in charge should have skills in communication and organization to keep track of the youth’s performance.

Contact Information

Department of Community Development
300 N. High St. City Hall
Muncie, IN 47305-1639
Phone: (765) 747-4825
Fax:   (765) 747-4898
Contact: Ms. Terry Whitt Bailey, Director
Email: tbailey@cityofmuncie.com

Case studies

Phillips Community Initiative for Children

 

 

In Minneapolis, Minnesota the Phillips Community Initiatives for Children was established in 1988 in  reaction to the increasing amount of kids falling through the cracks.  It was started as a grass roots effort to help educate parents for the learning success of their children.  The organization has a variety of services for low income parents including but not limited to drop-in child care, personal empowerment training, and activities for children.  The organization originally started in one neighborhood in 1988 and after expansion in 2003, they served over 10 neighborhoods in the Minneapolis area.  They focused on helping parents that have preschoolers and kindergarteners.  Phillips Community Initiatives for Children works to create a healthy home by building skills to be an informed and involved parent.  They are a non-profit and charitable organization that is mostly staffed by volunteers, but has several community partners including different foundations, the local school system, and the Hennedin County Human Services and Public Health Departments.

Source:  http://www.community-initiatives.org/

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