INDIANAPOLIS – There’s a non-profit on the east side working to not only prepare high school and college students for their careers but to make the workforce more diverse.

Their work hopes to shape the next generation. That’s even what they’re called.

Next Generation Initiative is putting students to work through programs and training in hopes they’ll pursue careers in media and communications. We were there last week, as students were running the live stream and video production of Warren Central’s graduation ceremony.

Black-owned company, FrontRunner Media, says it wanted to address the under representation of minorities in media. From there, the initiative was created.

High schoolers not only at Warren Central, but across the city and college students are trained in how to run cameras, on-air talent, engineering and more by covering things like graduation to sporting events. It’s all about hands on experience.

“Most of the students in this program wouldn’t have this kind of access to this kind of equipment, so we really feel as though we’re opening up the world of media communications for some of these young people who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to work in this space,” said Dennis Jarrett, the director of the Next Generation Initiative.

Gary Naylor, the president of FrontRunner Media added, “The opportunity to give these kids a chance to really get exposed and to do something they’ve never been able to do is what we’re all about.”

It’s open to all young people interested in media for no cost. So, it’s eliminating that barrier. More than 60 students who have gone through the program are now in the workforce.

According to the non-profit’s website, the students have also worked on a documentary that explores the causes and solutions of the city’s food insecurity issue.

“I think it’s important because you can prepare young ladies and men for the next level, instead of waiting for the next level to prepare them. So, I have opportunities in high school that are college opportunities that i don’t have to wait for college to receive. I have them in high school already,” said high school student Aasha Watkins.

If you’d like to learn more click here to visit its website.