Empowering Males for Excellence: Mentally Physically Emotionally Spiritually
YOUNG MEN, INC. Male Empowerment Ministry
The Year in Review I am truly blessed to have received the gift to work with God’s most precious gifts, our youth. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about the future and salvation of our youth. Our theme for 2010 was “Let’s Get Focused!” based on Proverbs 17:24 “A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool's eyes wander to the ends of the earth.” For the past 16 years, working with at-risk males, I have seen many boys get focused. They have grown into manhood, went to college, embarked upon careers, entered military service, and some have even gotten married and started families. In this report, you will meet a few of them. I find this to be the most rewarding and blessed part of working with these young men. Many realize that without the help and presence of positive role models in their lives, they would have not been able to achieve success in life. Some regret that they did not continue to embrace the teachings of YMI and carry them as they embarked upon this journey called life. No matter what the reflection, it is clear to me more than ever that Young Men, Inc. is a much needed entity in the City of Indianapolis. Since our last annual report, many wonderful things have happened. Through the generosity of our supporters, we have been able to purchase three 15-passenger vans; established a year-round mentoring phase to our program; increased our staffing from 8 to more than 20 and increased our paid teen counselors from 5 to 10; we have been able to serve more than 80 young men each year, which is up by roughly 20+ since 2004; we have been able to purchase several computers for participant usage; and we have increased our program completion rate to almost 90 percent. Our program has experienced positive reviews in the local press within the City of Indianapolis and I am often called upon to speak to the media regarding ways to head off the crime with young black males. Each year, we have been visited by an impressive list of role models: Mayor Greg Ballard, Deputy Mayor Olgin Williams, City Council Members: Vern Brown and Duke Oliver, Police Chief Paul Ciesielski, Marion County Public Safety Director, Frank Straub, and the list goes on. While small in number, our program has made a great impact during the summer months for African American and other at-risk males. We have been asked to possibly duplicate this program within the Kansas City, Kansas area and perhaps even take it to national status. Stay tuned! In 2009 and 2010, we were blessed to receive funding through the City of Indianapolis Crime Prevention Grant. This allowed us to further develop our year-round program and mentoring opportunities. In 2011, one of our greatest challenges will be how to serve these young men without the aid of this funding. Our goal was to be able to serve 100 participants by 2011. However, due to our current funding challenges, that will not be possible. Please be assured that we are still committed to our mission and hope that you will continue to believe in our goal to impact the lives of at-risk males throughout the City of Indianapolis. Thanks for all you do! In His Service, 2
Our Purpose Mission The overall mission of Young Men, Inc. is to foster an attitude of achievement in African American and other at-risk males, by providing them with the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve positive direction in life. Our goal is to provide a holistic approach that focuses on the total individual, by empowering these young men, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Goals • Offer at-risk males a safe and constructive environment; • Expose participants to positive, adult male role models; • Provide workshops that will build knowledge, skills and positive direction. Workshops include: Health and Fitness, Self-esteem, Conflict Resolution, Career Development, College Life, Community Service & Volunteerism, Leadership Development, etc.; • Offer recreational, as well as interactive learning opportunities; • Develop mentoring between participants and adult male role models; • Introduce participants to activities that they may not have access to (i.e. swimming at one of Indy Parks Aquatic Centers; fitness and health; Tour of IMAX Theater; Tour of NCAA Hall of Fame; College tour, Community clean-up and beautification; as well as an incentive trip to an amusement park); Provide awards and other incentives to motivate participants.
Members of YMI stand at attention while waiting to attend a prayer vigil for slain black male.
Our Impact Total Summer Camp Sessions: 24
Total Field Trips: 7
# of Recruited Participants: 86
Total Workshops: 8
Avg. Daily Attendance: 68 (79%)
Completing: 78/86, (90%)
Teen Youth Counselors Hired: 8
Repeat Participants: 45, (52%)
Single Parent Households: 56 # of Participants Under Poverty Level ($22,050/year for family of 4): 75 Adult Staff: 20
Program Volunteers: 34
Left: Members of YMI wait to board Charter Bus to Washington DC during the Letâ€™s Go to College Incentive Trip, Washington, DC
Above: Members of YMI tour Arlington National Cemetery during Letâ€™s Go to College Incentive Trip, Washington DC
The Need Examined Young Men, Inc. seeks to address the unmet needs of black and other at-risk males in Indianapolis. There are many social factors that contribute to the plight of Black males; such as, the lack of mentoring, after school programs, peer pressure, television, music, single parent households, and the list goes on. Black males are retained at a percentage nearly three times higher than that of majority population ( Indiana Department of Education, 2000 Census) Additionally, Black males account for nearly double the amount of in-school suspensions, and serve out of school suspensions at a percentage more than three times that of all students. Black male students continue to lag behind in academic achievement compared to the majority population; Black males’ suspensions continue to exceed the percentage rate of the other ethnic groups while the expulsion rate figures have remained nearly unchanged. Black Males in Indiana comprise approximately 2.8% of the state’s total population but 37.9% of the total prison population.
YMI Members play bumper pool during recreation
Over 75% of the Black Male prison population is between the ages of 18 and 44. Black males continue to enter prisons at an alarming rate. Sentencing practices also disproportionately affect Black males. On average, over 500 Black males are released from the Department of Correction per month. (ICSSBM) According to the 2008 United Way of Central Indiana Community Assessment, homicide as the leading cause of death for Black males, ages 15 – 34 in Indiana. For ages 15 – 24, homicide is almost 20 times that as Whites in this same age group. , According to the data provided by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Black males are five times more likely to receive Food Stamp assistance than White males. (http://www.uwci.org/upload/documents.pdf ) Black males account for more than 18% of Hoosiers living below the poverty level. 5
Khalil Allen, and his grandfather, Tony Cooke
Hello, I’m YMI Commander Khalil Allen and I’m the 2010 Young Man of the Year for the Young Men, Inc. Youth Ministry. I am an honor student currently attending Paramount School of Excellence Charter School. At my school I am president of a group called, “green team.” We helped to create a trash compactor for our school. I am also apart of and organization called, “project citizen.” I enjoy working and giving back to my community. I’ve been a member of YMI for 3 years; in 2010 I also received the Spiritual Development Award. I am 12 years old and love Young Men, Inc. I will be returning this summer. YMI is a male ministry camp where young men get an opportunity of a lifetime. We get the opportunity to stay off the streets, learn respect for others, and have fun. I believe that to be one of the young men to say they are a part of YMI is something special. We are a family. Young Men Incorporated is a great summer camp. It is wonderful and I hope to see some new faces. My goal this year is to be the best commander I can be; and earn that title. So with that being said, “I’m going to help send your son home a responsible, respectful, energetic, appreciative, and joyous young man. I’m not sure what my future holds for me, but for now I just want to be as successful as I can be, and hope and pray YMI leads me there. Thank you,
Young Men, Inc. Battle of Joshua Drumline! New to the Young Men, Inc. Youth Ministry this year is The Battle of Joshua Drumline. Our purpose is to utilize The Battle of Joshua Drumline to reach other males and youth throughout the City of Indianapolis by taking our message to the streets. We represent a positive approach in helping to reduce crime, stop the violence, and helping our city to become a safer place to live.
The Battle of Joshua Drumline takes the message to the streets of Indianapolis, ministering at various neighborhood and city events. We do this by espousing positive chants and a strong and powerful spiritual message to win the souls of our youth. Drumline perform at 2011 Choices Luncheon
We believe that we must use whatever positive approaches we can to save our youth from the current destructive paths
that many are on or that many face. We also believe that our future depends on how we live our lives today. We truly believe that our message gives hope, builds selfesteem, and helps others to accomplish their dreams and become the men that God has called us to be. There are currently seven members active in the Battle of Joshua Drumline and our goal to eventually have a core membership of ten. We are The Battle of Joshua Drumline! Victory is ours!
Members of Battle of Joshua Drumline practice
Meet YMI Alumnus - Jeremy T.
Name: Jeremy Thompson AKA: Choir Boy Graduate: Warren Central HS Class of 2010 College: Freshman at Indiana Wesleyan University Major: Music Education Aspirations: To be a Music Education Teacher in the Public Schools and become a Recording Artist Minor: Vocal Performance YMI Award(s): 2008 Young Man of the Year About Jeremy T: I was born and raised by a teenage mother which presented a lot of challenges in a world of evil and possibilities. I was raised by my grandmother who’s only experience with raising children was her 13 year old daughter, my mother, growing up in the inner-city of Indianapolis. I love my mother, and my Nana (grandmother) is so sweet; nevertheless, something was missing from my life and it did not feel complete. Nana was beyond the years to relate on important matters in my life and my mother at the time was too young to nurture me in the areas most needed for a young black boy in the surrounding neighborhood filled with hopelessness. My Nana heard about YMI through a mutual friend and reached out to the founder and leader of the organization Rev. Malachi Walker for help and support. I was nine years old when I started the YMI Summer Camp Program. I began to look forward to every summer on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I could not sleep the night before each day due to anticipation and excitement, waiting with nervous energy on the Great Commission Church Bus to pick me up loaded with other young men. There were several activities planned for all of us to do. Coming from a home of women, I realized very quickly that there was much more for me learn in order to become a man. Rev. Walker, his wife Dawn, staff and church volunteers became extended family. Brother Mal, as he is affectionately called, became the father figure I longed for other than the man who married my mother years later. Jeremy says, “If it had not been for the work, ministry, dedication, commitment and passion of all who helped and supported YMI, I believe my life would have taken a different turn. I was given direction, preparation, and most of all purpose in and for life. Now that I am older and more mature, I truly have a better understanding and appreciation for all the hard work and love that was given to help me make the right choices to become a more productive Christian, man, and citizen in the community. I will always be emotionally and spiritually tied to Young Men, Inc. Youth Ministry and I thank God for the program every day of my life.” 8
Meet YMI Alumnus - Jeremy W. Name: Jeremy Wallace AKA: JACE & Retro J. Fox Graduate: Arlington HS Class of 2007 College: Courses at IVY Tech, Indianapolis Major: Business Administration Aspirations: In 20 years, Jeremy believes he will still be a director, but at a higher level. YMI Award(s): Most Improved Jeremy is currently a Director and Cinematographer of music videos and short films, as well as a part of directing duo, Circa.Forever. He was recently featured in the April 6, 2011 edition of the Metromix Indianapolis, under the heading of Local Celebrity http://indianapolis.metromix.com/music/article/local-celebrity-jeremyjace/2546142/content. Jeremy, also known as JACE and Retro J. Fox, in the music industry, joined Young Men Inc. in 1998 at the age of nine, and has been involved with the organization every since. Jeremy graduated from Arlington High School in 2007, and went on to continue his education at Ivy Tech Community College where he spent a year majoring in business management and marketing. In the fall of 2008, he decided to focus more on his career and at that time he started eLeGaNt eLePhAnT cLoThInG, an indie clothing co that manufactures and markets limited edition items. He now owns and operates his 2nd company, A Million Other Things, a music video/short film production company. A proud YMI Alumni, Jeremy continues to give back and enjoys helping the young men who are now serving in positions were he once was. By then, he would like to have directed numerous major full-length films. Jeremy believes that if he could change one thing in the City of Indianapolis, he would make art a bigger priority in schools. It seems like there aren’t that many creative outlets in grades below college. If you take art away from kids, you take away dreams. Jeremy says, “Young Men, Inc. brought me closer to God, helped me become disciplined, and through the process I have gained friends that'll be in my life forever.”
Meet YMI Alumnus - Casey B. Name: Casey Bridgeford AKA: Ill Holiday Graduate: Tech High School Class of 2000 College: Ivy Tech Community College Major: Business Management/Marketing Aspirations/hobbies: To become a Recording Artist YMI Award(s): 1995 Young Man of the Year; 1994 Outstanding Leadership Award Casey, also known as ILL-Holiday in the music field, is an emerging leader in the brand marketing industry. He has provided value based marketing solutions for small and large clients alike. His experience in the sports, entertainment, and government sectors give him a unique vantage point in media messaging. Casey handled media strategy and marketing for some of the region’s leading organizations. His past and present client list includes organizations such as NCAA, Tom Wood, The Obama Campaign, the State of Indiana, and the Indianapolis Housing Agency. Casey was ten years old when he was recruited for YMI from the Beechwood Public Housing Community. He currently studies Business Management at Ivy Tech Community College, where he is a Nina Mason Pulliam Scholar, and a member of Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society. Casey is an entertainer and hosts BLOG site, www.illholiday.com, where you can find information on his upcoming shows and random thoughts. He also hosts a monthly jazz and poetry event at The Walker Theatre called Blue Moon on Sundays. Outside of his musical aspirations, Casey works diligently as a program manager for Public Allies and is CEO of OnCast Media LLC. Together, he and his beautiful wife, Jennifer have 4 children. Casey says, “Young Men Inc. has taught me the importance of investing in others. Working as Program Manager for Public Allies was birthed out of the seeds of service that were planted during my early days of YMI. I learned the importance of leading by example, peaceful conflict resolution, holding myself and others accountable, trusting God in hard situations, and doing right when nobody's looking.”
Meet YMI Alumnus - Brandon C. Name: Brandon Cole Graduate: Broad Ripple High School Class of 1999 College: University of Phoenix Major: Business Management Aspirations/Hobbies: When not protecting our country, Brandon enjoys teaching dance, freelance photography, and tinkering with computers and other electronic devices. YMI Award(s): Most Improved My name is Brandon Cole and I am currently on active military duty in the United States Navy. I have traveled to over 6 different countries, sailed the Red Sea and saw things people have only dreamed of seeing. Although this may sound like a fairytale lifestyle, it was not all peaches and cream getting to this point. It was very hard growing up pretty much being the only child with only a mother and no real male figures. No one to take you outside and play basketball or tee ball with you. Nobody to coach in football and build you up as a man should be. My brother and I are 10 years apart. There was not a lot we could do together as I was much younger than him. By the time I was of age, he had enlisted into the U.S. Army. We didn't have much money. I wasn't afforded the finer things in life as some of my friends. There were times my mother went without so we could eat. She tried sending me to camps and football and basketball leagues, but when we saw the pricing, we knew we couldn't afford it. I was hanging around with bad influences; I was locked up for shoplifting and when I got out I continued to be a little disobedient. That is until opportunity started knocking. A minister at our church by the name of Rev. Malachi Walker introduced a vision to our pastor. A gift he has of reaching out to people, planting a seed in their lives and watching it grow. Great Commission is blessed to have a pastor who is just as excited about visions from his church family as he is. He doesn't micro manage; he doesn't point the finger, but is he’s there for guidance and support. I remember when Bro Mal introduced YMI to the congregation. I remember seeing the look on my mother's face like she just wanted to jump up and say, "Thank God"! After that, God started working in my life. Ever wonder how Bro. Mal can juggle being a full time minister, family man, raising beautiful daughters and a son while, dealing with 60 - 70 young men he doesn't know from Adam while most importantly, juggling the call of duty as a firefighter which takes precedence? They say behind every good man is a good woman so it's not any surprise who we need to thank for picking up that extra workload. Brandon says, “YMI taught me what it means to be a man who knows how to treat a fellow man and it starts with leadership. YMI is a place where participants are known as YOUNG MEN, not boys or any other titles the devil tries to trickle in. YMI taught me discipline, respect and helped build the foundation of what it means to be a man. Remember, YMI is not a magical place that immediately transforms boys to men. These young men have to want to become better, to become a man. At the end of the day, the young men go home thinking, “I Am Somebody, I Can Succeed". In closing, I would just like to thank my mother who never gave up on me. She is my symbol of a strong black woman who raised two boys on her own, to grow up to be men. I thank God everyday for her sacrifices. Thanks to my pastor who welcomed and encouraged the dream and vision of YMI and to all the men of Great Commission who has been an inspiration to me in curving me to be the man I am today.”
Our Administrative Team Exec. Dir. Rev. Malachi Walker & his Family
Pastor Art and First Lady, Penny Leftridge, Jr.
Office Coordinator Karen Cowherd
(Above) Adult Counselors: Jimmy Leftridge, Tony Knight, Norvul Terry, Jeremy Thompson, Solomon Knight, Casey Bland, Larry Bass, Jerry Bass, Scott Stone, Rev. Malachi Walker & John Stanciel
Administrative Assistant Sherena Downs
(Above) Teen Youth Counselors:, Devon Jackson, Ronnie Wells, Duane Eaton, Isaiah Stevenson, Darail Madison, 12 Shane Evans, & Adrian Walker
Financial Summary Revenue - $75,420.53 Expenses - $74,700.53
Right: CityCounty Councilor William Oliver (front) poses with the Young Men Inc. Youth Ministry Photo taken by Indianapolis Recorder
Left: Members of YMI having fun during Games Day Tourney
Special thanks to all our donors over the past years. Your generosity has been the difference between our program thriving, rather than just surviving. As 2011 program year approaches, we hope you will once again help us to make the difference in the lives of the participants in Young Men, Inc.
OUR GENEROUS FRIENDS Quran Johnson, 10, Anonymous 1 & 2 (center) holds up the IPS School #83 raffle ticket that won “In Honor of Demonte Norton” her a CD player Cathedral Women during the Dance for Demonte fundraiser City of Indianapolis at School #83. This Crime Prevention Grant year, money raised Mrs. Ailene Coleman from the dance Rev. & Mrs. Arthur Leftridge, Jr. benefited the Young Mrs. Barbara Knight Men Inc. Youth Ministry and the Bardach Awards Wheeler Mission Mr. & Mrs. Brian Woods Center for Women Ms. Carolyn Oliver and Brothers Helping Brothers (BHB) Children.(Danese Church at the Crossing Kenon) Mr. & Mrs. Claude Hawkins Mr. & Mrs. Clyde Pfisterer Ms. Cynthia Martin Fellowship of Christian Firefighters Firefighters Local 416 Mr. George & Mrs. Angel Lewis Ms. Gloria Watson Great Commission Church of God Rev. & Mrs. Harry Morrison Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Duff Mr. Ray Featherstone, Jr. Ms. Nikki Leftridge Mays Chemical Two YMI Members Police & Firemen’s Insurance Association work on computer Mr. & Mrs. Robert Watson tutoring Ms. Rose Turnley Dr. & Mrs. Stephen Sawada Summer Youth Program Fund Clowes Fund, Indianapolis Foundation, Lilly Endowment, Inc, Lumenos Foundation The Father’s House United Hope Foundation Mr. & Mrs. William Cowherd
14 ~ Luke 6:38 ~ “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
How Can You Help? We began this annual report by stating that we have lost one of our most significant funding sources for the year and with the price of gas and food continuing to spiral, we will be challenged more than ever to serve the 75 – 85 young men we anticipate recruiting, but we are up to the challenge. Are you? If you are able, please consider increasing your gift. If not, we hope we are able to sustain your gift at the current level. Here are ways that you can help impact the lives of at-risk males throughout the City of Indianapolis! As always, your gift is tax deductible by making your check or money order payable to Great Commission Church of God, Young Men, Inc. Youth Ministry, 3302 N. Arsenal Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46218, For more information on the Young Men, Inc. Youth Ministry, Contact: Rev. Malachi Walker, 317.437.7937 or 317.923.7690 Your gift of $50.00 will pay the uniform/activity fee for one young man Your gift of $100.00 will provide transportation and food for one month for one young man Your gift of $500.00 will sponsor one young man for the entire summer (includes field trips, food, and transportation) Your gift of $880.00 will sponsor the salary for one teen youth counselor for the entire summer Your gift of $1,000.00 will sponsor 30 young men for the year-end incentive trip to King’s Island Your gift of $1,400.00 will provide a 15-passenger van to help transport 15 young men for one month Your gift of $3,600.00 will provide a 56-passenger charter bus for the 2011 College Tour to Kansas City, Kansas – University of Missouri and Lincoln University.
(Right) Members of YMI talk with security officers during trip to Capitol Building, Washington DC