By Tanae Howard
INDIANAPOLIS - "You are my achievers. You are the ones who will beat the odds."
IMPD Chief Rick Hite took the opportunity to plant positive seeds in the future of Indianapolis.
"Over 50 percent of you were not involved in any criminal activity. You beat the odds. You changed conditions of our east side. You beat the odds," said Chief Hite.
More than 400 Indianapolis teens working through the Clean for Green initiative heard inspiring words from city leaders. They were on hand to announce a $35,500 donation to six service providers who provide local kids with summer jobs.
"You are the faces of optimism and hope in our community and they are the children who are working to make our neighborhoods safer and better places to live. They're trying to better themselves now and into the future and we are here today to give them encouragement and support," said Mayor Greg Ballard.
All of these initiatives fall under the mayor's "Your Life Matters" campaign. A lot of the money was raised during the first annual Your Life Matter 5k run and walk.
The thought process is to keep Indianapolis youth engaged during the summer while helping the community at the same time.
"These young adults are learning some very good skills. Coping skills that's gonna be successful for them in their careers but its also gonna help us as a city," said Public Safety Director Troy Riggs.
And for the teens the message and show of support from the Mayor really hit home.
"And for him to come out and spend his time at what really...It's not a small event but its not a big event. For him to come out here and share his time that shows me he's reaching out to the kids and he's thinking about us," said 17-year-old Sean McNellye.
The service providers who received funding include Forest Manor Multi-Service Center, Young Men Inc., Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, Clean for Green, Destiny Live Center, and Stop the Violence Inc.
Each provider will be accountable to the objectives of its program through administrative reviews which begin August 8.
For more on how you can donate to the Public Safety Foundation click here