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Indy Youth Find Peace at the MLK Center

The Indianapolis Martin Luther King Community Center (MLK Center) has served the residents of the mid-north neighborhoods of Indianapolis since 1972. The center is located in the Butler Tarkington Neighborhood and embraces the teachings and philosophies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to build Beloved Community by fostering dreams, hope, peace and kindness within the community.

As a direct result of the ParkIndy and ParkMobile partnership, which allocates 10 percent of all mobile payment convenience fees for nonprofit support, the organizations collectively donated $20,000 to support the MLK Community Center in Indianapolis.

The donation will play a vital role in supporting the MLK Center and its programs, including the following:

  • Read to Lead - Literacy Lab Program allows children to become confident in their reading abilities by reading, listening to others read and skill games. The program runs year-round Monday through Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. for kindergarten through eighth grade students. Within just one year of the program launch, there was a 22% increase in students reading at grade level or just one below.

  • The Dream Space for middle school students at IPS James Whitcomb Riley School 43 encourages students to rise to their highest potential and be their best selves through tutoring, life skills, nonviolence, social and emotional training, and workshops.

  • Best Buy Teen Tech Center is open weekdays from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and provides students with new experiences in video production, robotics, coding, photography, sewing, and much more.

  • Tarkington Teen Work Crew is available to high school students who live within one mile of Tarkington Park. The program provides students with professional development training and a weekly stipend. Furthermore, it provides students a safe space while teaching them workplace and labor-focused skills.

  • Apprenticeships through the MLK Center are available for young adults between the ages 17 and 24 years old and live within a mile of Tarkington Park. Participants earn a stipend while learning technology skills, job readiness, conflict resolution and financial literacy.

  • Midtown-Get-Around is a micro transit solution for residents served by the MLK Center. It services the Butler Tarkington, Crown Hill, Mapleton Fall Creek or Meridian Kessler neighborhoods with rides to work, school, grocery stores, child care or the doctor.

Furthermore, the MLK Center offers wellness coaching and support services such as financial literacy, job prep or resume building workshops, grief support and counseling, and a new housing initiative to support the entire family.

“We are grateful for ParkIndy’s support as we strive to address the diverse needs of the community,” MLK Center Executive Director Allison Luthe said. “Our impact and success would not be possible without invaluable support from businesses, our volunteers and staff.”

Since 2015, the MLK Center staff has grown from two part-time employees, to 45 full-time staff members and 300 volunteers. Together, they work together to make a meaningful impact by fostering inclusiveness and the values espoused by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Learn about MLK Center career, volunteer and donation opportunities:

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