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Indianapolis program gives teens a second chance at a successful future

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — YES Indy has launched Power Huddle to help teenagers and young adults gain employment or finish school.

The program is a two-week job readiness experience at the Finish Line Boys and Girls Club on North Post Road on the city’s far east side.

Teenagers and young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not in school become students to develop employability and life skills five days a week. Power Huddle also allows students to earn ‘job ready Indy badges’ that are identified by the state as desirable skills.

News 8 recently caught up with around 20 students who were making vision boards.

Program administrator Tawnya McCary says students participate in art activities, therapy, and learn about finances.

McCary says that teenagers from all walks of life participate in Power Huddle. Some are homeless, while other are high school dropouts or young parents hoping to receive guidance and get on the right path. She says that the program is also a way to reduce crime by giving students a safe place to learn, grow, and have fun.

“Most of the students that come in are just looking for a chance at life, they’re looking for an opportunity for education or an opportunity for work, an opportunity to matter,” McCary said. “We provide that for them.”

Essence Gray and Jesse Baker are students in the program.

“Within these past two weeks, I would say that my life has changed every day. Every day for the better; every day. Things that I take for granted I no longer take for granted,” Gray said.

Baker said, “My plan when I leave here is to fix my relationship with my family and my peers, getting a better jobm and going back to get my GED.”

Power Huddle started in 2018. It reached a 92% completion rate in 2021.

For more information, visit the Power Huddle website.