Eastside family learn life skills at Martin University summit

INDIANAPOLIS – Dozens attended the first Breakthrough to Excellence Parent and Youth Summit on Saturday in the city’s east.

The event was held at Martin University. There’s a free breakfast followed by classes on topics like financial literacy and self-esteem. Then a resource fair took place for the day.

Amber Lynch organized the event.

“My goal is to put every barrier that our community faces in one weekend, in one location, with all of these different programs to try and create opportunities for children,” said Lynch. speak.

Kisha Wilson brings her son to the summit so he can learn skills that are not taught in school.

“You need basic training, basic life skills, and then different ways you can be successful as an adult,” says Wilson.

Lynch’s original plan was to host a youth summit, but during a Zoom meeting she held while planning the event, she realized the concept was even more popular with adult.

“The adults on the magnifier are all like, ‘I need this. It’s good that you’re teaching our kids, but we need this. ‘ And then when the check-in happened, I think there were 20 adults signing up without the kids,” Lynch said.

Best friends Darryl Hardy and Ken Morris went together. They want to learn about the resources available in the community so they can use that knowledge to help those in need at their church. Morris believes that many people are unaware of the services available.

“Parents… they want to help their children but they don’t know how. They don’t know who to call and where to start getting support. And I feel like places like this are a place to start,” said Hardy. “Maybe only 20% of people know about it, so we really have to expand that percentage to really make a difference.”

Lynch organizes the events himself, independent of the organizations. She has received some help from friends and family but said even the money for the donation has largely come from her own pocket.

“There are days when I want to give up. Because I said, “Wait, this is too much for me,” Lynch said.

But she can’t wait to do it all over again.

“If I could stop one of you from living in poverty or falling into a bad situation, I would have done my job,” she said.

Lynch hopes to turn the summit into a semi-annual event, with the next one in the fall. She says it will get bigger and even better.

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