Recent News & Blog

Posted on January 20th, 2021 in Organizational Updates, Success Story

January is National Mentoring Month, celebrating the nature of mentorship in its ability to amplify change and help young people find and follow their passions, one relationship at a time. With a strategic goal to create a positive trajectory for young adults to actively participate in the workforce, EmployIndy uses mentorship to engage Marion County youth and prepare them for a future of success. By meeting students and young people where they are, local business leaders and educators work alongside EmployIndy staff to share experiences and expertise that both foster career development and bring inspiration.

“Hi Ana! Just checking in to see how you’re doing being home from school? I’ll be sending info later on registering for orientation, but I’m here if you need anything. Stay healthy.”

Each school year, hundreds of Indy Achieves students planning to attend IUPUI and Ivy Tech have the opportunity to connect with a mentor, a local community or business leader, and receive support through text messages, like the one above. Born out of the belief that all Indianapolis residents should have the ability to pursue and complete a postsecondary credential or degree program, Indy Achieves staff and mentors diligently offer support to students in everything ranging from filing for FAFSA to registering for classes. This mentorship goes a long way in preventing summer melt, a phenomenon where high school graduates and returning students never make it to classes in the Fall due to overlooked letters and emails, unfinished financial aid forms, failure to turn in important health documents, and more. In 2019, over 70% of Indy Achieves students took advantage of this mentorship offering and received the support they needed to start or continue their postsecondary.

Through Talent Bound, high school students have the opportunity to connect with local employers and business leaders, called Talent Mentors. In a group setting, students gain career knowledge, industry exposure and develop their personal network as they meet virtually and in-person with their Talent Mentor. In 2020, Talent Mentors worked with students at 25 mentoring events, impacting the lives of over 145 students within the IPS school system. These students had the opportunity to learn about competencies, expectations and experiences within the health sciences, business & finance, cosmetology, culinary, computer science, automotive, advanced manufacturing, military, construction and visual arts industries. 

Young people outside of the education system also have the opportunity to engage in mentorship through the YES Indy Power Huddle program. Power Huddle works to mentor local youth through a two-week intensive training where individuals learn how they can change their future trajectory that will help them take the next step in furthering their education or career. To provide support and accountability, Power Huddle instructors use mentorship and relationship building to help move participants from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. Through adult mentoring within the Power Huddle program, students also develop employability skills, find help with career navigation, receive life coaching, job readiness training, adult education services, and counseling.

If you would like to help prepare Marion County’s youth and young adults for the workforce through mentorship, use the links below to find out how you can become involved with an EmployIndy-led program:


Posted on January 15th, 2021 in Local News, Organizational Updates, Success Story

The entire EmployIndy and YES Indy family mourns with the Indianapolis community after the loss of “Mr. Johnny” Purchase, a beloved mentor and community leader who helped shape the lives of so many young persons throughout our city. He was an active and dedicated member of both the YES Indy and Edna Martin Christian Center (EMCC) teams, providing mentorship and guidance to so many who participated in youth and family focused programming. 

“He’s one of the most thoughtful men I know.” expressed Jamiah Banks, a YES Indy participant, in remembering the role that Mr. Johnny played in his life. “He did whatever he could to help others.” Jamiah also recalled memories of how Mr. Johnny would help him with his school work and regularly challenge him to 3-point shootout competitions in the basketball gym.

Mr. Johnny tragically lost his life on January 12, 2021 while out serving in the community, bringing hope to struggling families. When serving with YES Indy, Mr. Johnny was always faithful to reinforce YES Indy’s work by encouraging the young people around him to establish a vision for their life and achieve it. “Mentor, life-coach, motivator, professional, passionate, compassionate, committed, dependable, firm, fair, warm, steady. These are but a few of the adjectives that come to mind when I think of Johnny Purchase.” said Rev. Rodney T. Francis, Chief Programs Officer at EmployIndy. “Johnny epitomized the ideal Re-Engagement Facilitator. He had a unique way of reaching and connecting with Opportunity Youth. His impact was huge and his loss is a tremendous blow to our community.”  

When Devonte Whitehead, a mentee of Mr. Johnny’s, received his forklift license, Mr. Johnny took him out to lunch to celebrate the accomplishment. “Everything he did, he did it with a purpose.” remembers Whitehead. “He would always have a smile on his face and if you were having a bad day, he could cheer you up by just looking at you.”

Mr. Johnny Purchase served as a Family Success Coach at the Edna Martin Christian Center (EMCC) where he had an “unyielding commitment to engender a vision of hope.” Lashawn Offett, a mentee of Mr. Johnny’s at EMCC, described him as a caring person who ultimately motivated him to go back to school to finish his diploma.

On behalf of all of the EmployIndy staff, we ask that you join us in lifting up the Purchase family, keeping them in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. If you would like to offer support in additional ways, details can be found on the family’s GoFundMe page: https://gofund.me/07a48022


Posted on December 3rd, 2020 in Events, Success Story

“The Power Huddle helped me out because it made me sit there and set goals for me and my children and also think about what I really want for my life.” said Daijia Bible, a 23-year-old mother of three and recent completer of YES Indy’s virtual Power Huddle program. Daijia, along with 23 other young adults from Indy’s Eastside, gathered virtually and in-person in a socially distanced setting at the Indianapolis Boys & Girls Club located on 38th & Post Rd to celebrate this important milestone. During the ceremony that included completers from cohorts 17-19, several had the opportunity to share how the Power Huddle had helped them grow as well as show off their “vision board”, which they created during their time in the program.

The Power Huddle is YES Indy’s two-week job readiness experience where young persons have the opportunity to participate in group discussions, explore opportunities and support through YES Indy, and complete job preparedness activities that help them map out and work towards reaching their academic, career, and life goals. Since its inception, the Power Huddle has seen over 140 young persons go through the program. Upon completion, young individuals like Daijia develop important soft skills, earn two badges from Job Ready Indy, and build the confidence needed to take their next step. For Daijia, that includes studying cosmetology and eventually starting her own business. Thanks to the Power Huddle, she’s taken an important step in making those goals a reality.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Power Huddle program is currently being offered virtually. Young persons interested in participating in an upcoming Power Huddle session can learn more and register by visiting: https://yesindy317.org/power-huddle.