"Darrell” is an IPS fifth-grader who lives on Indianapolis’ near southside with his mother, “Ruby”. A single mom, Ruby works full time at a nursing home and recently completed training to be a Qualified Medical Assistant. She will soon begin a training program to become an LPN (licensed practical nurse). Her current annual household income is around $18,000 - less than 150 percent of the federal poverty level. Ruby didn’t like Darrell to be on his own after school or during the summer and was thrilled when she learned that nearby Concord Neighborhood Center, a United Way agency, offered quality school age child care programs on a sliding fee scale.
Darrell struggled to fit in during his first few months in Concord’s before- and after-school youth development and summer day camp program. He had no male role models, was lacking in social skills and had limited exposure to group activities. Physically larger than most kids his age, Darrell had some learning disabilities and was being treated for ADD.
Fast forward two years...Darrell is an enthusiastic and productive participant in Concord’s various programs and activities. He never misses a day. He loves the “art reach” classes provided by the Indianapolis Art Center at Concord and last year was named art student of the year when one of his drawings was printed on Art Center note cards. Every week, Darrell is tutored by a retired IPS teacher who volunteers at Concord. He regularly participates in fitness activities and has lost weight. He plays football in the field behind the Center and was recently very excited when he caught his first touchdown pass.
He also participates in the Center’s Job Club, a weekly class taught by volunteers that exposes youth to different careers and teaches appropriate work practices. There, Darrell recently learned to tie a necktie and he now likes to wear a shirt and tie to school and to the Center. Darrell, Ruby and his grandmother faithfully attend Concord’s monthly family night and are enthusiastic supporters of all Center activities.
Prior to 2004, Concord Neighborhood Center was one of 14 neighborhood centers receiving United Way funds through the now defunct Indianapolis Settlements, later known as Community Centers of Indianapolis. Since 2004, UWCI has provided direct funding of more than $1.7 million to help this agency offer social, cultural, educational, health and recreational services for families and individuals living in Indianapolis' Concord neighborhood on the south side. UWCI funding during this time includes grants of nearly $350,000 from United Way’s Targeted Initiatives, Capital Projects, Facilities Maintenance and Technology Funds. (These grants are funded with monies contributed specifically for these needs and do not come from the annual UWCI campaign.) For the current 2009/2010 funding year, the agency’s UWCI Community Fund allocation is $217,108.