INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 16, 2014)– As police and city leaders in Indianapolis try to fight youth violence, a group of college students has stepped up to reach out to troubled teens and inspire change.
Ten Ivy Tech students were inducted into the first class of the Collegiate 100 in Indiana on Wednesday. The Collegiate is an offshoot of the 100 Black Men organization which mentors youth across Indianapolis.
“What you see in the media is a lot of negative things about young black males. It’s the opportunity to go back and get other young black males, because somebody came and got me,” said Terrance Dillard, one of the new Collegiate members.
“It felt remarkable,” added James Wilson after the pinning ceremony.
The 28-year-old lived a life of crime until he went to prison. When he got out in 2013, he decided to change his life. He said he would not have been able to do that without his mentors. Now, he wants to help mentor others through the Collegiate 100. He is already planning a block party in his old neighborhood to show teens in his community that there is a better life for them.
“Making that connection with the community by volunteering, mentoring, getting involved… letting the community come to us, talk to us about anything. ‘Cause we all know we all need somebody there at one point or another,” said Wilson.
The Collegiate 100 will be based out of Ivy Tech Indianapolis. Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Dr. Darrell Cain said he got emotional looking at what his students have accomplished, especially considering where they came from.
“We want them to thrive, because if you talk about Ivy Tech as a whole, our mission is solely about changing the community in which we live and work in,” said Cain.