Exposing Indy Underprivileged Youth to Tech!

Indianapolis was hit hard by the American automotive industry tank. You don’t have to look further than the inner-city to see residue and the lasting effects of an economic decline.

Yet, the region overall has adapted. We have pulled ourselves up by the bootstraps and found new ways to create sustainable jobs and bolster our state’s economy.

Thanks to Salesforce and other large tech companies investing in Indianapolis, we have become an emerging tech hub, nestled right in the center of what many are calling Silicon Prairie.

Source: www.colliers.com

Unfortunately, our inner city has been left behind.

I want to help ensure that the next generation of black and brown youth are prepared to take advantage of the amazing opportunities that exist in their hometown.

As a black millennial whose family felt the success and failure of the automotive industry, I am happy to see opportunities make its way back into the Indianapolis community.

However, though the city is nearly 40% Black and Hispanic/Latinio, it feels like our community has yet to recover from the automotive decline.

I want to help ensure that the next generation of black and brown youth are prepared to take advantage of the amazing, world changing opportunities that exist right their in their hometown!

How do we do it?

Source: Bloom Project Inc
  1. Eliminate Fear: break down the perceptions that tech is too hard, boring or a combination of the two by giving them first hand experiences.
  2. Education: Focus on knowledge building for parents and children. Bridge the gap between creativity, usage and technology. It is a common fact that black teens over index on the usage of technology devices and social media. It is time to show them that they can be the creators of the products and platforms they know and love.
  3. Corporate x Community Partnerships: Corporations are invested in diversity, and it is proven to help enhance business results! We need to pair corporations with communities that are ready to bridge the gap.
  4. Implement Sustainable Programs: Prepare our community organizations with the resources required to carry out consistent, impactful technology programs.
  5. Community Investment: All of this takes funds and contributions from all stakeholders.

Bloom Project Inc

Source: Bloom Project Inc.

The Bloom Project is enhancing their programs and focus on STEM to breakdown these existing barriers.

They are a relatively young and nimble organization that take a family approach to solving problems for the young men they impact.

The organization reaches over 300 youth within the Indianapolis and Fort Wayne communities, and have the potential to exponentially exceed that with the help of a wider audience of stakeholders.

I was inspired to help them achieve this goal.

Enter Millennials

The Millennial generation is a tech savvy, entrepreneurial, educated and independent-minded cohort that is driven to “do good.”

We are actively reshaping advocacy, engagement, service and philanthropy on a scale that has never before been experienced.

As a result, traditional models of engagement, movement building and measurement are evolving to keep pace with their new ideals.

To realize the full potential of this generation and ultimately achieve greater impact and sustainable results, we must challenge one another to rethink how we engage, communicate and collaborate with the younger generation.

Millennial Cause Engagement

When passionate about a cause, the second-most frequent action millennials take is to donate (46 percent). This is second only to taking to social media to voice their concerns.

Millennials love to party with a purpose! This concept has proven to raise over millions of dollars and resources across the nation.

PARDI GRAS 2017 | #WeLikeToPardi

Source: Me : ), Dallas Margarita Ball 2016

Millennials love to party! And especially with the purpose! The Indianapolis Millennial community deserves an opportunity to join in on the fun!

This will be the first of its kind to target this demographic specifically in the Indianapolis region!

They deserve the opportunity to dress up, come together, celebrate themselves and raise funds for an organization that is committed to bringing opportunities to the underserved youth within the community.

The black tie event, Pardi Gras (#WeLikeToPardi) will engage a diverse set of millennials and connect them to a cause that they are passionate about: providing opportunities to underserved youth.

The $25,000 Fundraising Goal

All proceeds from the ball will go to the Bloom Project Inc for the purpose of the following:

  1. Program technology enhancements
  2. Technology career prep and exploration
  3. Scholarships for graduating seniors
  4. Enhance existing programs and participation

Technology is the future of Indianapolis. As the city primes itself to become a Midwest technology hub, it is imperative that we establish a diverse talent pipeline to help support economic growth in the region and grow social impact in underserved communities.

The pipeline of black and brown talent we are cultivating, will be the people who solve the systemic problems our communities are facing. Who better than them?

See you at 8pm on Saturday, February 25th, 2017 at the JW Marriott Indianapolis!

Ticket Link: #WeLikeToPardi

Follow us on Facebook and IG: @bloomprojectinc and @weliketopardi

P.S. Sponsorship and donation opportunities are available! If you are interested in donating to this important cause, feel free to reach out to me directly at boom@jefftdwill.com to learn more!