Last month, we started sharing the story of the three competitive $10,000 grants awarded this year to the Rotary Clubs of Buckhead, Columbus and Meriwether County. Each focuses on the needs of children and seniors in their communities. We will feature one in each of the next three newsletters - starting with Buckhead. This month we'd like to share how the Rotary Club of Columbus is using its grant to help local youth.
Columbus, Georgia is experiencing higher incidences of homicide and assault involving youth due to lack of resources and activities engaging them in more positive behavior. With help from The Columbus Rotary Club’s D6900 competitive Grant for $10,000, Cure Violence Columbus, Ga is reviving a program begun in the 90’s, Midnight Basketball League.
The Basketball program will provide a safe, positive environment for youth (ages 13-25). Midnight Basketball uses local coaches and mentors from 10:00 pm until 3:00 - times when most youth criminal activities occur. This is also an effort to reduce violent crimes in marginalized communities.
Working together with businesses, local government, and community advocates, the Rotary Club of Columbus helps provide constructive alternatives for youth at risk of drug, crime, and gang related activity. This program aims to take them off the streets, teach them self-discipline, and give them an opportunity to make positive changes in their lives. Participants in Midnight Basketball are required to attend the following workshops:
- Critical Thinking
- Conflict Resolution
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse
- Interpersonal Relationships
- Financial Literacy Education
- Applying for College Financial Aid
Pictured: Dr. Ashley Hill, who happens to be the daughter of Columbus Rotary President-Elect Cedric Hill, addressed the club about how the Cure Violence program can help the community become better and safer.