Investing in our city’s youth: Free opportunities to map path to success

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INDIANAPOLIS — The city is home to bright and eager young people with big dreams. Fortunately, July is a month full of opportunities for adults to help these teens map out their plans for success.

We are highlighting two of these free programs: The Bloom Project and the Student Success Planning program on Thursdays at the Community Alliance on the far east side.

“I want to graduate high school on time, get a good-paying job where I can help my mom, my family, pay everything off for her,” Dacian Tucker said about what motivates him.

Tucker signed up for the Student Success Planning workshop on its first installment. He’s an incoming freshman at Lawrence Central High School and spending the summer investing in himself.

“Planning my calendar, setting what needs to be done this day, what homework needs to be done,” Tucker said.

The Student Success Planning sessions are happening each Thursday at CAFE and taught by Certified Life Coach Joshua Posley. The sessions are for students in grades 5 through 12.

“Just creating a clear mental map of everything they want to do to progress and then creating executional plans of how they can get it done,” Posley said. “We always talk about the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is how they spend their time.”

People can sign up for these sessions on www.eventbrite.com.

The Bloom Project is also helping people grow. Shawn Gooch started investing in himself through this program five years ago.

“Learned that I’m smart, I’m strong,” Gooch said. “Finding that strength in yourself is the best part of the Bloom Project.”

Arnetta Scruggs founded and leads The Bloom Project, a mentoring program for young men ages 12 to 18.

“We’re trying to change the stereotype of what you see or what you hear about young men, especially young men of color,” Scruggs said. “We want to show the community that they are leaders.”

This Sunday and next, young men in 8th through 12th grades are invited to join in the virtual What’s Next Conference. It’s from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on July 11 and July 18.

On July 11, the guest panelist is Christian “CJ” Dear, senior producer at FOX Sports. On July 18, participants will hear from Tim King, Founder and CEO of Urban Prep Academies.

Plus, there’s a friendly competition and a chance for the winning team to split $1,000 cash.

“It’s all about how can youth impact the community,” Scruggs said. “They create PowerPoints, they do their research and the best team will win a thousand dollars.”

Students interested in participating in the What’s Next Conference can sign up here.

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